Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hiking the High Sierra Nevada

Admission is by lottery to the High Sierra Camps.
The lucky campers get to stay in tent cabins equipped with a stove and firewood. Four beds with sheets and blankets, one table and chairs are provided. All food you bring is kept in iron, bear safe lockers. Food is offered family style in the lodge. Dinner and breakfast are generous in portions and delicious. Lunch packs can be ordered.
I was very lucky to be invited to be the fourth in our group by my friend who has been hiking in Yosemite for decades.
Many High Sierra Camps are at 10,000 feet of elevation. The camps are arranged so that you can hike from one camp to another.
We visited Tuolumne Meadows, the largest camp, and Glen Aulin, the smallest camp. The hike around Saddleback Lake was our first adventure.
Crystal clear lakes, framed by carpets of wildflowers, ringed by mountains that still bore last season’s snows, made us grateful to be here. A 1,000-foot waterfall rushed to the valley below.

The trail to Glen Aulin was spectacular. Actually, everything is spectacular in Yosemite! The Tuolumne River flows through wild meadows, forests, glacier polished granitic rock, cascading for a while, and then flowing through sandy glens.
Glen Aulin, without shower amenities, offered a big bonus. A roaring waterfall steps from our cabin!
Our chef who cooked the salmon should get an award! (All supplies here are brought by mule trains.)
One day we chose to explore individually. I explored the Tuolumne River below Glen Aulin Camp. I saw many enormous cascades of white water over granite.
I even saw two Ouzels dipping in the water. Every so often a roaring water fall would form a large basin, ideal to swim in. I sampled four natural pools and two deep river bends.
The walk through aspen and huge conifer forests at the bottom of the massive, granitic domes was magical. I saw deer, coyote, signs of bear, lots of birds and a weasel.
In the evening after a leisurely dinner we watched stars, enjoyed a ranger’s camp fire or read by headlamps. We plan to return next season.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Another Winter in BVS, 2010


Today is the first day of Spring and these snow photos are late, the next post will show the glorious wildflower carpets on road 123 to Arvin. Thanks to our wet Winter this year, we are given a great treat from mother nature.

But here are the beautiful winter scenes in my neighborhood I see when Tashi and I go on our daily walks. The dramatic scenes between the storm are my favorites.
We had so much snow, that one day even Highway 58 was closed for most of the day. All was still and beautiful.

Now the springs in the mountains are active and on Surrey Way, Goldspike Road, and other drainages the sound of running water can be heard. The deer are moving up the mountain...

Here are the photos I took on 3-16-2010 on road 123 and some are from the rugged Canyon Road leading to lake Isabella. (Hwy 178 out of Bakersfield.)

Tashi grazed on the lush green grass, drank all his and my water on our 2 hour journey through these meadows. Meadow larks sang, bees hummed, butterflies flew by. It was magical.

It only will be good for a short one, maybe two weeks if we get some more rain and cold weather.
In Bear Valley the flowers will come later, as we are at higher elevations.