Dome Rock

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This is Dome Rock, seen from a distance.

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According to http://www.summitpost.org/dome-rock-ca/153955, Dome Rock “is a 400′ high by 800′ wide granite monolith.” It is located on the Western Divide Highway, between Quaking Aspen campground and the Trail of 100 Giants. Dome Rock is located at the end of Forest Service Road 21S69, which is directly across from the Peppermint Work Center.

I’d heard of Dome Rock for several weeks before I visited it or even saw it from a distance. I wondered what the big deal was. It was just a rock, right? What’s so exciting about a rock?

The afternoon I visited, I drove down the short dirt road, excited to see something new.

The dirt road ends in a wide area for parking. I wasn’t sure how exactly to get to Dome Rock, but I saw a green gate with a sign on it.

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This is the sign I saw posted on the green gate.

I decided the rock must lie behind the gate. I walked behind it and headed up to the top of Dome Rock.

It’s not really a hike to the top of Dome Rock. I saw a faint trail and followed it up. The climb was a little steep, but not too difficult, even for an inside kid like me. The climb was absolutely nothing as intense as the climb to the top of Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park. (To read that story, go to http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/08/02/i-climbed-it/.)

When I got to the top of Dome Rock, I realized the attraction is not the rock itself, but the view from the top of the rock. The view was amazing. Here’s a photo of mountains in the distance.

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Of course, the photos my little camera produces don’t really do justice to what in real life is a fantastic view.

Here’s a view of more mountains in the another direction.

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Are one of these peaks Mt. Whitney?

Mt. Whitney is apparently visible from the top of Dome Rock. According to Wikipedia, “Mount Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous United States and the Sierra Nevada, with an elevation of 14,505 feet.”  I visited Dome Rock alone, so I had no one to point out Mt. Whitney to me. You’d think it would be easy to see the tallest mountain in the continental United States, but I didn’t see any mountain towering over all the rest.

Being on top of Dome Rock made me feel like I was on another planet. (I had that experience more than once in California.)

Dome Rock is so big that trees are growing on top of it.

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Pine tree on the top of Dome Rock.

Some of the trees on Dome Rock are dead.

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Someone had been up there stacking rocks.

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Throwing rocks from Dome Rock is apparently a really bad idea. There’s another sign up there saying not to do it.

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The next photo shows that there are no guardrails around the edges of Dome Rock.

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See the edge there where it looks like the rock just ends? It really does! There’s no more earth on the other side of those rocks, just air and a loooooong drop.

According to a Forest Service informational brochure (which can be seen at https://fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev3_058930.pdf) visitors should “… be aware that there is no guard rail and the slope of the top of Dome Rock may be deceiving, with the drop to the bottom being hundreds of feet. Parents of young children should hold them securely while visiting the top.”

I scurried around the edge, wondering how close was too close. I suppose I didn’t get too close, as I didn’t plummet the hundreds of feet to the bottom.

It was very peaceful on the top of that rock. No other people where out there with me, and I didn’t hear a single sound produced by a human other than my own footsteps and breathing.

IMG_3388I didn’t stay on Dome Rock for very long. I hadn’t worn my hat, and the sun was beating down on my head. I enjoyed my visit and was glad to see a new outdoor attraction.

I took all the photos in this post.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now my (male) partner and I (a woman) have a travel trailer we can pull with our truck. We have a little piece of property, and when we're not traveling, we park our little camper there. I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

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