This was a novelty for me--I left my guys at home to fend for themselves and went off for a week backpacking with a couple of friends. I began with the long drive to Bishop in the Owens Valley, and spent a night in the highest campground close to our meeting point.
|A tent, a car, and a table full of stuff to put in my pack!|
|Aspen shadows on the granite.|
A late start and an easy hike, and we were lunching at Lower Lamarck Lake, and looking up to where we'd go the next day.
|A lake, some sun, a lot of granite...another great day in the Sierra Nevada.|
To my surprise, as we climbed toward Lamarck Col the second day, there were even a few flowers out. Most of them are done by the first week of September, but alpine plants don't waste any possible growing and spreading time.
|Columbine at about 11,000'|
|Sacked out but not done.|
|Notice how the color of the lakes darkens as you go down--the glacial silt settles out, leaving them less green and more blue.|
|There are so many beautiful little lakes up there that they don't all even have names.|
|White bark pine. Love the color of the trunk on these ancient trees.|
|Wanda Lake camp, with my shelter in front, Zeke's back against the rocks. Zack was 'cowboy camping' up in the rocks.|
|Morning at Wanda Lake|
|The inside of the beehive roof.|
|The hut exterior. From only a short distance away the hut blends completely with the mountain.|
|Heading down into LaConte Canyon|
As is the way of mountains, our trail the next day led us on to regain the elevation we lost the previous day. The long climb from the Kings River to Dusy Basin took all day, and took us through a range of terrain.
|Dusy Creek slides over the granite slab for several hundred feet, in the biggest waterslide ever, though not one I'd care to ride!|
|Sierra juniper, ancient trees that, like the bristlecone, live for centuries and take eons to grow in inhospitable places.|
It had rained in the night, and clouds kept us cool all the way up the climb, twice moving in to shower heavily. We just deployed a tarp, hung out, and let the storms blow by while eating (of course) and telling tales of adventures past.
|Rain shafts moving across the canyon toward us.|
|Camped by an unnamed lake in Dusy Basin.|
In the morning, the sky was completely clear, the air completely calm, and me near completely frozen. I got up early anyway for the photos.
A morning spent exploring the Dusy Basin yielded many treasures, like this lake, where we had intended to camp.
|Portrait of the writer in her favored habitat.|
After lunch, we packed up camp and headed on over Bishop Pass, a few miles closer to the cars. I had a meeting to be at the next day, so I enjoyed the evening light, and was up at dawn to hike out.
I always am happy to see the car at the end of a trip--nice to see it's still there, and in one piece! In this case, since I had started early and hiked fast, arriving at 8:45 a.m., the car was also covered with frost I had to scrape off before I could drive! A shower at the nearby pack station, a cup of good coffee from a cafe in Bishop, and I was ready to drive back home.
The last of my summer adventures, and a mountain fix to last me until spring!
©Rebecca M. Douglass