Monday, September 24, 2012

West Carson River

The West Carson River near Luther Pass (Lake Tahoe area). Just a slight detour off Highway 395, you can wet a line, take a hike, snap some photos, or get your Zen on;) Earlier winter snows were on the lean side, so streams are extremely low, and fishing, challenging. Mountainsides are already sporting washes of gold, yellow, and blazing orange since the aspens at higher elevations are getting an early start at Fall color.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Devils Postpile Centennial

Devils Postpile National Monument
celebrates its Centennial this year. Thank goodness a Forest Service Engineer recognized the formation's beauty and fought to save it from destruction. By presidential proclamation in 1911, Devils Postpile was saved! Yay! I remember first visiting the monument in the early 1970s. In those days, the trip into the valley was a dusty one. A steep, single lane dirt road descending 2000 feet in elevation, over 10 miles, made a trip to the valley floor quite the adventure. Still an adventure today, visitors now ride shuttle buses. My little one always liked the bus rides which included a stop at the Reds Meadow Store for an ice cream ;)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall Fishing

Fall is my favorite season in the Eastern Sierra. Post Labor Day, the crowds disappear, the weather is a bit more unpredictable, and aspen tree attire becomes much more flamboyant. Fall is also my favorite fishing season. Creeks that rush in Spring suddenly tame into calmer collections of defined pools (of hungry trout!) The natural food supply is leaner during Autumn months too; so worms, salmon eggs, crickets, and artificial flies at the end of a leader line are quite tempting to browns, brookies, rainbows, and the Eastern Sierra's own Alpers trout.

Yes, Autumn is always too short on my calendar. With two Fall fishing trips under my belt this year, I'm hoping for the 'hat-trick' before Winter arrives.... ;)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

California Seagull and Mono Lake

This California Seagull was photographed in Lee Vining, CA. He isn't far from his probable birthplace, Mono Lake. About 85% of California Gulls come from the rookeries located on the islands of Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierra. My first (childhood) glimpse of the lake was in 1964 from Conway Summit to the north. Even as a nine-year-old, I was in awe of the beauty of the area, desolate and lunar-esque. Though still very large in the 1960's, the lake had already begun to shrink due to the diversion of water (via the Los Angeles Aqueduct) from feeder streams. Many years later after the completion of the second LA Aqueduct (adding transport capacity) the lake's water level dropped so low that the islands became peninsulas and coyotes were able to access seagull nests. Through the efforts of the Save Mono Lake movement (in the 1970's), DWP allocates water to the lake so Negit and Paoho are islands again and seagull rookeries are safe from coyotes. The lake also serves a wide variety of migratory birds.

As a side note, the water issues of the Eastern Sierra were dramatized in the 1974 movie, Chinatown, with Jack Nicholson. The movie was based on William Mulholland's attempt to gain control of water rights in the Owens Valley and the resulting construction of the original LA Aqueduct. Cadillac Desert is a documentary fim, portions of which chronicle the fight over water in the Eastern Sierra.

More info:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Double Nickels

Saturday was my birthday and the Paiute Palace in Bishop paid me to play;) They loaded my player's card with gift money equivalent to my age. (THAT much? Really?) So luckily, after a week of storms, the sky rested and we were able to drive Highway 395 to Bishop. Driving time was 10 hours roundtrip for 4 hours of casino time (yes, we're nuts!), but it was my birthday;) Besides, snow was abundant even at very low elevations, and traffic was minimal, so our mini roadtrip was perfect. Since I forgot my real camera, I used my camera phone at the Division Creek Reststop north of Independence to record a memory. Pretty scene with potty relief....a wonderful, and necessary, combo!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Bishop, CA

Bishop, California at Christmastime. The tree lighting ceremony, festival of lights, and parade were great fun this year! With a population of about 3500, Bishop is the largest town in the Owens Valley. Main street is Highway 395, but Bishop is also the western end of Highway 6. Start driving east and 3205 miles later you'll arrive in Provincetown, MA:)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Starkweather Lake Trail

One of my favorite hikes in the Mammoth Lakes area follows Starkweather Lake Trail for 2.5 miles into the valley of the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River. The trailhead begins beside the Entrance Station on Minaret Vista Road and ends at Starkweather Lake. A well-maintained trail weaves through the forest affording incredible views of the valley below. There are creeks, wildflowers (including my beloved Tiger Lilies;) and critters too.....lots! The physical beauty of this walk is well worth your time plus it's all downhill! A great family hike, you'll have no complaints from the kids because Starkweather Lake is a shuttle bus stop making the 'uphill climb' a ride! The shuttle will also take you anywhere else in the valley including Sotcher Lake, Devil's Postpile, and Red's Meadow.