Critical Section

touring the Sierras

Monday,  07/11/11  08:15 PM

Last weekend Shirley and I had a chance to tour the California Sierras, and it was amazing.  Friday we drove through the central valley (yes it was 110in Fresno) and then into Yosemite from the West, ending up in Markleeville for dinner, Saturday I rode the Death Ride (a tour of the Sierras in itself), and Sunday we drove back down the Eastern Sierras, stopping at Mono Lake and the Mammoth Lakes to admire the incredible views.  It is so nice traveling this way when you're not in a hurry, pulling over to see all the sights, reading the historical markers, and generally experiencing the scenery instead of just watching it pass by the windows.

Some pictures, in case they are of interest:

Our route: up the central valley into Yosemite and the high Sierras,
then back down the Eastern Sierras past Mono Lake and Mammoth Lakes
(Kind of cool having the profile; the crosshair is at Lake Topaz)

big sky in the central valley
(not pictured, 110o heat!)

up up up into the mountains we go
yay, pine trees

incredible panorama from Big Tree (click to enbiggen)

birds of prey in Hell's Kitchen

OMG snow in mid-July

Alpine Lake panorama (click to enbiggen)

waterfalls everywhere

Mosquito Lake - still nearly frozen over

beautiful streams splashing along Ebbett's Pass

our amazing dinner companion at Stonefly in Markleeville

amazing model wagons by Dale Ford at the Lake Topaz Lodge

Mono Lake from the top of Sherman Pass

Mono Lake: Black Point - Negit Island - Paoha Island

Twin Lakes seen from below...

... and from above :)

reflecting at Lake Mamie

Horseshoe Lake

who knew?  a French bistro in Independence
(thank you Yelp)

We hope to do this again soon...  there are so many amazing places to explore, and they really aren't far away.  Stay tuned!

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