Archive for June 20, 2008

7th Day in the CA Sierra

7th day, our last sightseeing day before we hit home. I think at this point of the trip, what the majority wanted was just a relaxing day. So, we abandoned plans hiking to Rainbow Falls after Devil’s Postpile National Monument, and decided instead to just relax at Mammoth Lakes.

 A. Devils Postpile National Monument – please click here: http://california.today.com/2009/01/29/devils-postpile-national-monument/

B. Mammoth Lakes

 

Mammoth Rock and Mountain

We did not do any hiking at Mammoth Lakes, instead, we used this place to relax some more, have lunch and wait for the perfect time to head South on 395.

 

Falls at Twin Lakes

C. Driving Along Highway 395

Along CA 395

The drive was uniquely scenic. Barren it may be, but it has its own different and unique beauty. The Eastern Sierra is now mostly desert. But desert it may be, it still is filled with wonderful colors.

 

Along CA 395

The barren mountain exposes the different colors of the earth, the result of the oxidation of its minerals. Snow still dusts and covers some parts of the mountain.

 

Along CA 395

The desert valley still look a lush green, because it had not been dried up by the heat of the summer sun. Cows, horses, lambs and deers from afar feast on the green grasses, such a wonderful sight.

D. Alabama Hills

Mt. Whitney and Rock Piles, Alabama Hills

This is one of California’s wild wild west. This area is graced by incredible rock pile formations, of all shapes and forms you can think of.

 

Arch Rock Framing Mt. Whitney

This geological wonderland has become a popular setting for many western and sci-fi movies and numerous commercials. There were just too many movies shot here that if you are interested with the films shot here, you can stop by Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce for Movie Tour and Guide, where they will specify the specific location and rock outcroppings used in the movie. Some of those movies I could remember shot here were: Gladiator, Maverick, How the West was Won, Lone Ranger, High Sierra, John Wayne movies, etc.

 

Sea of Rock Outcroppings

If you go up to the top of a tall outcropping, you will be rewarded by the magnificent sight of rock formations as far as your eyes can see. Your mind may probably wonder if you have been transported back in time.

 

Mt Whitney and the Rocky Slopes of the Eastern Sierra from Alabama Hills

But once you look West, and recognize Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous US (does not include Alaska), you’ll know you are still very much in California at present time.

 

Mt. Whitney

There are many arched rocks in Alabama Hills, and they are easy to find if you follow the map which is usually given at Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce or at the Inter-Agency Visitor Center.

 

Arch Rock, Alabama Hills

 ( Arrowhead Bottle Water got a free commercial from us. Hiking in the desert, don’t forget your bottled water 🙂 . )

 

Arch Rock, Alabama Hills

More Rock Outcroppings, Alabama Hills

 

E. The Drive Home

Well, despite being inside the car, the unique sights of the Eastern Sierra did not stop us from taking more pictures. Below are pictures of the sights we saw on our way home, taken from the inside of a runnning car.

 

Owens Lake

 

Sunset

 

Sunset

We had a wonderful trip in the CA Sierra. From West to East, from North to South, we are rewarded by unique sights. Mountains, marble caves, waterfalls, pine forests, groves of sequoias and the largest trees on earth, glacial lakes, glacier-polished granite domes, gushing river, blue sky, sun, rainbow, snow, limestone salts ( TUFA), desert wonders. From the mountains, to the desert, and now we head back home, closer to sea. Water, wind, fire and ice. This is California, it may be the state of innovation and opportunity, but its exquisite natural beauty is also a reality that lingers in our dreams.

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June 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm 5 comments


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