The Dance is Over

Part 1 of 4: When the music stops . . .


It is early October 2013.

I decide to go visit my friends, the two "dancing trees" I had seen just a month and a half ago.

Dancing trees?  Yes.  In this article by Arthur Lee Jacobsen on Madrona/ Madrone trees (apparently the 'a' or the 'e' on the end is a matter of geography---click here to go to Jacobsen's discussion), Jacobsen says that among the things that make these tree attractive to humans are . . . "their orange-red, peeling bark. It helps that their trunks are often sinuous and leaning in an attractively irregular fashion."  Well?  What is dancing if it is not sinuous leaning in an attractively irregular fashion?

In August I celebrated these two lovely tree having survived the great fire of 2011   Seeing them again, and seeing they had survived,  made me happy. Really, it did, even with the obvious devastation all around, because all the other trees I liked, and I was sad for them, but these two I loved, and they lived!


Loved?  Yes.  When I first moved to this area in 2010 I had explored the Sitting Bull Falls recreation area and had fallen totally in love with these two beautiful Texas Madrone trees.   In love?  Yes, so much so that I entered them into a local newspaper photo competition and it was selected for publication!  [See the Carlsbad Current-Argus, October 15, 2011]

The following Summer, 2011, a great fire swept through the recreation area and led to its closure for more than  a year.

Finally, earlier this Summer of 2013 I went there again, and amongst widespread destruction by fire I was astonished and profoundly moved to find my favorite two trees still alive and dancing!  I was elated, really.

Then came the September floods, and once again the Sitting Bull Falls area was closed because of damage to trails and lookout points.  But this time I was NOT going to wait for a year to see if my two friends were still dancing.  I respected the fact that the Sitting Bull Falls site was closed.  I did not go there, I stayed well over a mile away.

But I did walk down to see my dancing friends.  I walked down using this trailhead off the Queen highway:

After just a bit of walking I began to feel good about the positive effects this rain had had on the vegetation, like a small lake with water in it:

bushes and trees that were not burned were sporting their finest greenery:

and colorful flowers abounded:

I took trail number 214 when I came to Junction C in order to reach Junction D.  There are decimal places in those distances, 1.5, 1.2 etc.  My two best loved trees live(d) between Junctions D and B:

I walked down into the valley where my friends carried on their eternal dance (eternal from my perspective, since I imagined them growing up and toward each other with longer branches until they touches, which would be way past my personal lifetime.

So on this page we see our progress on a trail generally well marked, but overgrown by exuberant vegetation in some places making it temporarily hard to figure out where it was (the line of stones gave its location away here):

Some of the best views on the way down were looking back up:

We keep descending, and hit bottom on the next page.

Go to the Second The Dance Is Over Page

 Go to the Third The Dance Is Over Page

 Go to the Fourth The Dance Is Over Page

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