Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Reno, Nv

09/29, Wednesday: Arrived in Reno at the Reno Hilton KOA.
09/30, Thursday: Looking around Reno. Found a very good Sportsman's Warehouse store. Always interesting to look around these stores. There aren't any good sporting goods stores in California?
Left town about 2pm. Drove up US Hwy 395 to California Hwy 70 to Oreville. This is a pretty drive and the grades seem much nicer than US Hwy 80 plus it's a 2 lane road with little traffic.

Sorry for the lack of pictures but there wasn't much that I looked at that was worth a picture. Two things I plan to see when I return are the Auto Museum and the May Arboretum both of which will be worth pictures. Next time.
I'm spending the night in Oroville at Wall-Marts.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Walker River

Stayed by the Walker River on Hwy 395 between the towns of Bridgeport and Walker last night.

Yosemite Tuolumne Meadows

I visited Yosemite's Tuolumne Meadows.

Going up into Yosemite on the Toga Grade it looked like it was ready to snow.

Typical rock found in Yosemite.

The meadows are kind of dry this late in the year.

Darn Tarns! There are big tarns, and little tarns. The puddle on the right is about 10' x 4' by 6" deep. There are about 50 fish in it, the smallest about 3 inches long, the biggest about 8 inches long. I think they are hoping for rain.

The Tuolumne River and more rocks.

And more rocks.

Mono Lake looks good.
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Laws Railroad Museum, Yosemite NP

Laws Museum, Bishop

Visited the Laws Museum Northeast of Bishop. This is a nice museum of old stuff that you can get close enough to see. I arrived 30 minutes before opening but was invited in anyway. Spent some time talking to one of their volunteers who was working on a motorcoach trolley that will be running on a new track to be built toward Bishop. The printers shop was extremely interesting as well.

Their train is special because it was the last operating narrow gauge railroad in the US. Souther Pacific operated it until 1960. It's also special because it's the only complete original train at the original station.
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Laws Railroad Museum, Yosemite NP

Monday, September 27, 2004

Fall Colors Near Bishop Creek

The colors of fall have appeared on the trees above Bishop, California. Bishop Creek Road is dressed in many different colors going up to South Lake. The color change wasn't as visible on Big Pine Creek Road just 15 miles South.

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Bishop Creek

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Bristle Cone Pines, Big Pine, CA

I moved North to Big Pine to the Glacier View Campground. Nice place just north of town at the intersection of Hyw 395 and Hwy 168. The Bristle Cone Pine Forests are 24 Miles Northeast off Hwy 168. There are also some nice areas to see West of town in the mountains.

The road to Bristle Cone Pines looks like this, except, I should have taken one with one of the bicycle obstructions. There was a bicycle event with hundreds of bicycles making there way from 4000 feet at Big Pine to 9000 at the Bristle Cone Pines Schulman Grove, where I was going.

The Bristle Cone Pine trees here are the oldest living things on Earth, over 5,000 year old trees are found here. These live trees along with dead trees and fallen trees provide information valuable in dating events over the past 10,000 years. They were used to calibrate the carbon dating method and when that was done history was changed.

The trail was not a bad grade and there was lots of shade. Not a bad hike but there is no water anywhere here.. The trees weather well. They don't rot but do errode into nice patterns like above.

Some of these trees may look dead but look again, there are leaves. Some look like any other tree without all the dead wood and may be of equal size to a dead looking tree. The conditions of growth shape the trees. Nicely!

This is the road going down. There is quite a nice forest about midway.
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Bristle Cone Pines

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Kearsarge Pass Trail, Onion Valley

Drove North 15 miles to Independence. Then drove west 15 miles to Onion Valley Trail head. Hiked the Kearsarge Pass Trail to the trail crest to look into the Kings Canyon National Park Wilderness. Looks good!

Sorry for the quality of the map. I hiked from "You Are Here' to the middle of the map about 11 miles round trip. A very nice trail good grade, well maintained. Easier then Mt Whitney trail.

Views on the trail.

Gilbert Lake, Matlock Lake.

More trail, Heart Lake.

Big Pothole Lake, The final part of the trail to the summit. The summit is the top right side of the pic.

The view from the summit.

Don relaxing on the rocks. It's actually comfortable.
Today's hike seemed similar to the Mt Whitney hike day before yesterday. So I checked elevations. Today started at 9,207 feet ended at 11,734 feet a 2,527 foot rise. Mt Whitney trail to Mirror Lake started at 8,398 feet, ended at Mirror Lake at 10,731 feet, a 2,333 foot rise. The trail crest is 13,490 feet, the Summit is 14,495 feet. I'm glad I turned around at Mirror Lake. I would recommend the Kearsarge trail over the Mt Whitney Trail for a Day Hike. Views similar and you can make it to the trail crest more easily.
Tonite I'm staying in another rest stop North of Independence.
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Kearsarge Pass

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Mt Whitney Trail

Today I hiked up part of the Mt Whitney Trail.

The trail starts out with a long climb and doesn't quit. Your in a forested canyon above the desert. Lone Pine lake is the first point of interest other than the great view on the trail up. Lots of fish popping up for a bite in the lake.

The meadow is nice and green with a red creek flowing through it. Actually, it may not be classified as a meadow since it's covered with a low shrub and not grass?

The Ice falls were very interesting. I had to go quite a ways off trail to get close enough for a good picture. Evidently the sun doesn't shine here. All the snow is gone from the mountains but this remains and this is only half way to the summit. There was also a very weird rock on the same cliff as the falls. It's the only one like it. It has little piramids carved in to it covering possibly 300sf of surface?

Mirror Lake is as far as I hiked up this time. About 1992 I took a day hike to the summit, 27 miles round trip. That's too much for today!
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Mt Whittney