Saturday, July 28, 2012

I miss California - 3,4, and 5

After we left Bodie - my dad and I needed to check to see if other things were right where we'd left them.
Mono Basin? - check.
 Obsidian Dome - check.

 Early Wednesday (Day 3) we went down into John Muir wilderness:
to check on  Devil's Post Pile. It's still there.

 the view from the back.

While we were walking over the top of the Post Pile we bumped into a Mule Deer. As we watched her fawn popped up and came to her. What a special way to start the morning. 

View of the Post Pile from the top. 

While on the ranger talk on Monday, we heard about the "wind event" that happened last November. It knocked over thousands of trees. The evidence of this was on a lot of trails in the John Muir Wilderness where trees were knocked in every which direction. So many tree roots are going to be left just where they fell so that they can turn into this beautiful specimen:
These roots were one more interesting drawing moment:
 And there was evidence of some pretty weird stuff.
But also some lovely stuff:
 Lupin out of Agnew Meadows.
After checking on some of our favorite places in the wilderness we had to check up on other things: 
The Mammoth Lakes Public Library - for example. 
Their donor wall was pretty clever.

Next we had to check on the Hot Springs - still there. But sadly no longer accessible. We used to swim in them when I was little. But sadly and irresponsible incident lead to the closure of the Hot Creek to everyone. 
 Those turquoise pools are the real hot spots.
And in more of our wild life adventures there was another Mule Deer at Hot Creek, minding it's own business feasting on the shrubs.
 After I dropped my dad off at the airport I decided to check on a few places of my own.
Emerald Lake - still there.
Further along the is Sky Meadows - also still there. Still beautiful.  
Thursday (Day 4) became The Big Hike Day. I hiked from Agnew Meadows to Iceberg Lake, a 16mile round trip. This must be one of the most beautiful hikes in the Sierras. Tough - yes, but you hike past four lakes and along the river, meadows of wild flowers, waterfalls, pine trees and granite that has been polished by glaciers. Absolutely gorgeous. 
 The beginning of the hike - is down hill, which is fine until you have to come back up 8 hours later. From this early morning view we are headed to the cleft between the two peeks. There is a huge waterfall there -that's about an hour away.
The above mentioned destiny there is another hour of switch-backs next to the giant waterfall.
 And views. A view of Mammoth Mountain from the back.

At the top of the switchbacks and waterfall is Shadow Lake.  the perfect first break spot. But we are headed two more hours beyond this to the base of the Minarets.Those are the tint peeks close to the middle of the range.

Then the hike continues along the creek to Lake Ediza. We hit the waterfall and then...
Lake Ediza.
At the back of Ediza there is a small trail that leads straight up to Iceberg. It was well maintained this year, so it was easy to find - other years it's been a guessing game. As one looks back on the steep climb there is another beautiful view of the Ediza. 
And then - almost at the top the hiker is treated to meadows of Indian Paint brush - in purple and red. I couldn't choose which image I liked better so here are both...

 And finally, the lake. It was gorgeous. But no icebergs this year. First time I haven't seen one in it. Apparently the winter was incredibly mild this year, so it's not a surprise. Still...
It's always hard to come down from this lake. I stayed for two hours. Took a nap, ate my sandwich, wished I could make it to the next lake, Cecile. But the usually apparent trail was not there. I watched two fathers and three brave teenagers make it up the trail. Very impressive. I think it's only do-able if I spend the night up there. Other wise it's too much. I got home and crashed. Could barely cook dinner even though I was very hungry.   

Day 5 - Rock Creek. 
Another beautiful hike. Lots of people on it and I hiked up to Ruby Lake. 
Ruby Lake had special significance this year. My cousin just had a baby and her name is Ruby. She's not named for the lake, but maybe some day she will come hike to it. On the way, there are many wild flowers to enjoy: 
 And then the lake.
There is nothing more luxurious than being able to dip your toes into an ice cold lake at the end of a hike.  
And finally the whole range - just as it has been for so long. 


Katitch said...

Oh wow, all of those landscapes are breath-takingly beautiful! I especially love photo no. 4
You are so fortunate to have been able to go to all of those places. It's my dream to hike and go on nature walks all over the world, but particularly Africa.

tara said...

hi Katitch - thanks for the compliments. The area is incredibly lovely. I hope you can make it there some day. My family has been going there in the summers since I was a little girl. It's like coming home.