Saturday, April 13, 2013



On the way north, I planned a stop in the area of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48.  It is 14,505 feet high, is on the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada range, directly east of Sequoia National Park.  This means it is made of the same medium grey granite that forms the bulk of the Sierras.

What is different is that the peaks here are unprotected by foothills.  They rise directly from the desert around Lone Pine, CA.

My first day full day here, I drove a road known as Whitney Portal Road.  On the flats just west of Lone Pine, some great views of the Whitney massif can be seen.

I was ready to stretch my legs, so at the Portal, 8400 feet up, I took a short hike along the Whitney Trail.  I would love to have reached one of the lakes, but they were out of my range.  I had to settle for this.

That evening, the peaks blocked the sunset, but I had a hint of what it might have looked like.

I got up before dawn the next morning and set up my tripod, waiting for the light.  Some cloud cover to the east blocked some of the color but it still was nice when the sun found a hole through which to peek.

The morning after that, there were no clouds.  The first few seconds of direct light on the peaks were rich with reds.

Moments after, the color muted to orange, then yellow-orange.
Not too shabby a way to wake up.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

...and now for something completely different,

... to quote John Cleese, of Monty Python...

A very simple description of most of my postings might be "What Hath God Wrought".  Few of my posts are about people and focus much more on nature.

Well, not this time.  I traveled to southern California, to meet friends from Florida.  Their daughter was part of a national soccer tournament, and they flew to the San Diego area to watch her play.  I traveled a few days out of my way enroute home to Oregon to meet them.

My first day, I took a hike while waiting for them to arrive.  Three days sitting in the seat of Enterprise was enough.  I needed to move a bit.  The Mission Hills trail system was nearby, and I hungered for running water, so off I went.

The San Diego River didn't look like much of a river this far up, but it provided a pretty setting after 5 months in the desert.

The next day, the three of us went for a hike in the Torrey Pines area. 

The trails are set on a bluff overlooking the beach, with eroded terrain providing the views.

The next day, the soccer tournament began.  We were 10 feet from the sideline, mid-field.  The athletes were skilled and competitive, just what you would expect from players at this level.

Thanks, guys.  Good to see you again.