Photographer's Note

Good morning everyone, just getting up from a restful night sleep and waking up to the day off because it’s the 4th of July, here in the USA.

Today I’ve posted the second in the series of our hiking at Northstar Mountain Resort in sunny California. The photo was taken at the summit of the mountain, just off the “Zepher Chair Lift”, where if you remember from yesterday’s post, we had just missed the chair lift ride back down by 15 minutes. Before heading down the mountain, we decided to leave a few “Rock Stacks” right next to the chair lift, so that when people started showing up the next day, the first thing they might see, would be our “Rock Stacking’s”. This is a close up of one of them, which I like because of the bright blue sky behind it with the mountain landscape at almost eye level. To the left you will see the Zepher Chair Lift. Elevation: 8,610 ft (2,624 m)

Also, I know I promised a while back, that I would post some of our Rock Stacks, which we always leave during most of our hikes. The reason we rock stack is that it is a calming practice, which allows us total concentration on balancing rocks, which takes our minds off the stress of life and calms our souls, my wife calls it her "Zen Factor". Being that we just missed the ski lift back down the mountain, it was best to clear our minds before scrambling down this mountain. Below is some information on Rock Stacking and on Northstar Mountain Resort.

I think you might be interested in this track:

Zoom in to see all elevations and terrain of our hike.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone, and for those of you from the USA, HAPPY 4th of JULY!!

Rock balancing
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rock stacking or Rock balancing is an art, discipline, or hobby (depending upon the intent of the practitioner) in which rocks are balanced on top of one another in various positions. There are no tricks involved to aid in the balancing, such as adhesives, wires, supports, or rings.

Rock balancing can be a performance art, a spectacle, or a devotion, depending upon the interpretation by its audience. Essentially, it involves placing some combination of rock or stone in arrangements which require patience and sensitivity to generate, and which appear to be physically impossible while actually being only highly improbable. The rock balancer may work for free or for pay, as an individual or in a group, and their intents and the audiences' interpretations may vary given the situation or the venue.

Styles of rock balancing

Pure balance - each rock in near-point balance
Counter balance - lower rocks depend on the weight of upper rocks to maintain balance
Balanced stacking - rocks lain flat upon each other to great height
Free style - mixture of the two above; may include arches and sandstone.

Notable rock balance artists:

Bill Dan, a San Francisco immigrant artist who is helping popularize the art in the U.S. (and around the world).

Andy Goldsworthy, an influential artist working in the field, for whom rock balancing is a minor subset of his "Collaborations With Nature".

Dave Gorman, British TV and radio comedian took up rock balancing after meeting Bill Dan in San Francisco.

Opposition to rock balancing in natural areas:

Many visitors to natural areas who wish to experience nature in its undisturbed state object to this practice, especially when it intrudes on public spaces such as national parks, national forests and state parks. The practice of rock balancing is claimed to be able to be made without changes to nature; reputed environmental artist Lila Higgings defended it as compatible with Leave-no-trace ideals if rocks are used without impacting wildlife and are later returned to their original places, and some styles of rock balancing are claimed to be short lived. However, "Disturbing or collecting natural features (plants, rocks, etc.) is prohibited" in National Parks, as these very acts may harm the flora and fauna dependent on them.

Northstar at Tahoe - Northstar Ski Resort

Northstar at Tahoe: New look... new feel. Located in the beautiful Lake Tahoe region of the California High Sierras, Northstar Ski Resort, is celebrating the completion of the Village at Northstar resulting in 35 shops, galleries and dining options. Factor in a 9000 sq. ft. skating rink, outdoor seating, fire pits and more... and the Village is just the prelude to Northstar's mountain experience. Any fan of Lake Tahoe skiing will attest that Northstar Ski Resort really does offer an unbeatable winter snowboard or ski vacation.

Northstar at Tahoe skiers and riders can explore 89 trails covering almost 3000 acres of varying terrain. Abundant novice and intermediate terrain covers the frontside, joining forces with the long vertical, double black diamonds of the backside, and innovative and abundant terrain parks for all levels, making Northstar a one stop shop for all snowsport enthusiasts. Northstar isn't just about skiing and snowboarding. Cross country skiers and snowshoers will also find solace on trails winding through the forest. Kids love the lift accessed snow tubing, with winter ice skating, icing on the cake.

During summer, the mountain comes alive with over 100 miles of lift accessed downhill mountain biking terrain. Factor in its close proximity to Tahoe and everything to do at the lake and you'll see Northstar offers a full menu of summer fun as wll. A longtime favorite of anyone who enjoys Lake Tahoe golf, the Northstar Golf Course gives summer visitors another great reason to stay right in Northstar. Add tennis, hiking, fly fishing, scenic lift rides, and even geocaching to the menu, and Northstar at Tahoe has got it going on. At the hub, the Village features outdoor movies, TGI Thursdays, and roller skating on the large rink. With a large variety of Northstar vacation rentals and lodging to choose from, you'll have no problem finding the perfect accommodations for your visit.

Various lodging options are available throughout the area, including one of the newest hotels in Lake Tahoe, the Ritz-Carlton at the base of the mountain. If you're staying at Northstar, resort guests have access to the extensive recreation center. There are plenty of additional lodging options available in nearby Truckee, and of course a large selection of Lake Tahoe vacation rentals to choose from only a 10 minute drive away.

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Additional Photos by Buddy Denmark (PecoBud) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 408 W: 0 N: 912] (3824)
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