Sunday, September 23, 2018

Big Pine Creek Hike #5 - Aspens

Aspen Leaves, Tree Trunk (Big Pine Creek) - Sierra Nevada  2018

Aspen Leaves (Big Pine Creek) - Sierra Nevada  2018

The aspens seemed to be healthy enough, higher up. Alas, down at the campground they didn't look  all that great.

Problems have been noticed in the Rockies for some years now, but there doesn't seem to be any recent news concerning aspens in the Sierra.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Big Pine Creek Hike #4 - Wilderness Cabin

Cabin (Big Pine Creek) - Sierra Nevada  2018

Chimney (Big Pine Creek) - Sierra Nevada  2018

So, this was a cabin built by the actor Lon Chaney!

He picked a nice location!

Full story can be found in the LA Times.


Ranger Camp (Big Pine Creek) - Sierra Nevada  2018

Friday, September 21, 2018

Big Pine Creek Hike #3 - Cienega Mirth

Branches, Boulder (Big Pine Creek) - Sierra Nevada  2018
Cut Log (Big Pine Creek) - Sierra Nevada  2018

The trail turns a corner and runs parallel to Big Pine Creek for quite a while. This is a pleasant, shaded area (called "Cienega Mirth" on the topo map), very noisy with the sound of the creek nearby.

[UPDATE]: Below, a black and white version of the log, as suggested by Curtis in the comments.


Cut Log (Big Pine Creek) - Sierra Nevada  2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Big Pine Creek Hike #2 - Morning Haze / Cirque

Two Trees, Haze - Sierra Nevada  2018

Cirque (Big Pine Creek) - Sierra Nevada  2018

A cirque is a glacially-created wide, open valley. In this case consisting of rocky and hot terrain, with the trail leading towards a nicely forested area.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

. . . from the archives #101: First Falls (Big Pine Creek) - Sierra Nevada 1995

First Falls (Big Pine Creek) - Sierra Nevada  1995

Yesterday's photos were taken from the other side of the bridge, towards the upstream side. Here's another view from 1995 looking downstream. Mike used a Mamiya C220 twin-lens reflex camera for the photo.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Big Pine Creek Hike - #1 (First Falls)

First Falls (Big Pine Creek) - Sierra Nevada  2018

First Falls (Big Pine Creek) - Sierra Nevada  2009

Top photo, this year. Next, 2009.

Mike started out early in the morning, no set goal in mind. On this particular trail, one quickly comes to a bridge over this waterfall, very useful for photos. (There is a "Second Falls" - but not especially photogenic.)

Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday Squirrel Blogging

Squirrel - Sierra Nevada  2018

As Mike was walking around his campground he spotted this squirrel wrestling an exquisite pine cone across the road.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sagebrush

Sage - Sierra Nevada  2018

Sage, Mining Equipment - Sierra Nevada  2009

Photo 1: twilight view of sagebrush near the campground this year.

Photo 2: Sage and some rusted-out mining equipment at the upper campground, taken in 2009.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

. . . from the archives #100: Temple Crag - Sierra Nevada 1974

Temple Crag - Sierra Nevada  1974

Yay! The 100th "from the archives" post!

This was taken during Mike's first visit to the mountains above Big Pine. (Whoa . . . 44 years ago!) Back in 1974 Mike had just completed a Sierra Club wilderness training program; as a result, he became enthused about early-season backpacking. So it was that he found himself up in the Big Pine lakes area with his ice axe, snow still on the ground. Photo was taken with a Nikon F.

It's interesting. There's a photo of Temple Crag on the contact sheet, but no photo of the lake in front of it. Odd.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Big Pine Campground

Pine Trees, Aspens (Big Pine) - Sierra Nevada  2018

Pine Needles, Big Pine Creek - Sierra Nevada  2009

It being Wednesday, Mike was able to find a nice campsite at Sage Flat Campground without much difficulty. (Note: At the Upper Sage Flat Campground sites can be reserved, and most of them were taken.)

Mike has camped here a few times before, so some earlier photos are available. Top photo taken on this trip with an Olympus E-PL7 and a Panasonic 12-60mm lens. Next photo taken in 2009 with an Olympus E-620 and an Olympus 4/3 12-60mm lens. Bottom photo taken with an iPhone 7 Plus.


Campground (Big Pine) - Sierra Nevada  2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Highway 395 South from Mammoth Lakes

Convict Lake - Sierra Nevada  2018

Sierra Crest - Sierra Nevada  2018

Earlier photo: Convict Lake.

It was fairly clear up at Sherwin Summit, but visibility was very impaired down in Owens Valley.

Alas, Mike has no current photos taken at the summit, so below there's one from a film negative taken in 2000, snow still on the ground. Of course there's no camera data available now, but it was probably taken with a Nikon F100.

Mike drove down past Bishop to Big Pine, then turned right, up into the mountains.


Sherwin Summit - Sierra Nevada  2000

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Lions Fire

Lions Fire (from Mammoth Lakes) - Sierra Nevada  2018

Just prior to leaving, there were three fires in the Sierra of concern to Mike.

- The Ferguson Fire, near Yosemite and El Portal, ended up closing access to Yosemite National Park for some days. By the time Mike started driving the fire had been 100% contained, but smoke remained in the area.

- The Donnell Fire, in the area of highway 108 (route over Sonora Pass) was still burning while Mike was in the mountains.

- The Lions Fire, just south of Devils Postpile National Monument, was still not close to being contained.

Mike had planned to hike out of Devils Postpile towards Lake Ediza, but just after picking up his wilderness permit, he looked northwards towards the direction of his projected backpack. Yikes! Smoke from the Lions Fire was extremely heavy and ominous-looking, and drifting right over his backpack locations.

Plan B was therefore put into effect: no backpack, instead, car camping. (Just like in 2015.) He had thought that this eventuality was come to pass, so he had brought along a goodly amount of car camp equipment in his Toyota.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

To the Mountains

Jacob's Fruit Stand - San Joaquin County  2018

Foothills - Mariposa County  2018

Going up into the mountains last month during the haze and smoke.

For clearer weather, see "Scenes on the Road to Yosemite."

Monday, September 10, 2018

Monday Cormorant Blogging

Cormorants - Sausalito  2017

Seen as Hali and I walked along the Sausalito waterfront last December.