Wednesday, July 13, 2016

EASTERN & CENTRAL SIERRAS: Summer Vacation July 2, 2016 (Day 1: Lone Pine, Horseshoe Meadows, Bishop)

This was our first vacation/road trip with Addy and Sasha, our beloved but occasionally naughty and rambunctious Akitas. We weren't sure how they would handle it, being the homebodies/couch potatoes that they normally are but, I have to say that, in the end, they and we really enjoyed the experience of being outdoors in alpine environments where the weather was so much more temperate and pleasant than here in SoCal in July. I was, as usual, in hog heaven photographing all the wildflowers, even though it wasn't quite a banner year in the Eastern Sierras, despite the so-called "Godzilla" El Nino that was actually hit-and-miss here in our state. And, of course, there were all those creeks and lakes that Addy and Sasha couldn't get enough of (notwithstanding the fact that they also liked to trample through the adjacent muddy, boggy areas before jumping back into the 4Runner). As usual, I took WAY too many pictures - almost 2,000. So, I've broken the trip up into separate posts by day, featuring only a few of the highlights. Gil & I were dog-tired after the trip but the dogs weren't - go figure! But we'd do it again...

9am Saturday morning of 7/2/16. Geared up and ready to head off on our first road trip/vacay with the fur babies.

 Pearsonville - a fav must-stop for gassing up, stretching legs, etc., just past 
the Inyo/Kern County line on Hwy. 395

 View of the Red Hill cinder cone in the Coso lava field, a few miles north of Pearsonville.

Haiwee Reservoir on the east side of Hwy. 395 south of Owens Lake, Inyo County

Olancha - famous for Gus' "Really Fresh Jerky" just south of Owens Lake. 

 Owens Lake

 Owens Lake

 Owens Lake

 Owens Lake

Owens Lake

 Lone Pine

 Whitney Portal Road from Lone Pine

 Whitney Portal Road

Passing through the Alabama Hills on Whitney Portal Road

 Alabama Hills

 Alabama Hills

Alabama Hills

 Alabama Hills

 Turnoff to Horseshoe Meadows Road from Whitney Portal Road

 Horseshoe Meadows Road

Ascending Horseshoe Meadows Road

Horseshoe Meadows Road

Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius), the ubiquitous Eastern Sierra shrub 
bedecked with its distinctively fuzzy achene fruit

Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) growing between Manzanitas (Arctostaphylos ssp.) and Red Fir (Abies magnifica). Horseshoe Meadows Rd.

 Bridge's Penstemon (Penstemon rostriflorus), Horseshoe Meadows Road

 Red Fir (Abies magnifica), Horseshoe Meadows Day Use Area

Red Fir (Abies magnifica), Horseshoe Meadows Day Use Area

 Horseshoe Meadows Day Use Area

 Horseshoe Meadows Day Use Area

 Horseshoe Meadows Day Use Area

Trailhead to Horseshoe Meadows and Cottonwood Pass

Trail to Horseshoe Meadows from parking area

 Colville's Gentian (Frasera tubulosa), trail to Horseshoe Meadows

 Addy, sniffing out a potential pee pee spot to mark his turf

 Entering the Golden Trout Wilderness!

Sasha, poised for troublemaking.

 Sulfur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum), trail to Horseshoe Meadows

 Mousetail Ivesia (Ivesia santolinoides), gravelly area before the meadows

 Sierra Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis), trail to Horseshoe Meadows

 Brewer's Lupine (Lupinus breweri), trail to Horseshoe Meadows

 Sierra Evening Primrose (Oenothera xylocarpa), trail to Horseshoe Meadows
 Penstemon species, trail to Horseshoe Meadows

 One-seeded Pussypaws (Calyptridium monospermum), gravelly area at Horseshoe Meadows

 Pumice Hulsea/Alpinegold (Hulsea vestita), gravelly area at Horseshoe Meadows

 Horseshoe Meadows

 The very tiny Skunky Monkeyflower (Mimulus nanus var. mephiticus), growing in a gravelly area near Cottonwood Creek
Skunky monkeys are what Addy & Sasha smelled like after swimming in the creek 
(not from the water, but just cuz they're dogs).
Alpine Goldenrod (Solidago multiradiata), Horseshoe Meadows
 I'm not really thirsty but, hey, this is some really good s**#&%&!! 
Cottonwood Creek

 Can't get enough of this s**#&%&!!  Mo' betta than stupid tap water - I'll need rehab after this trip!
Cottonwood Creek

 My dastardly bro has led me to the dark side. 

 But I'm a wader, not a drinker...
 Alpine Pussytoes (Antennaria media) growing with Club-Moss Ivesia (Ivesia lycopodiodes),
Horseshoe Meadows

 Cottonwood Creek at Horseshoe Meadows. Think soundtrack to "The Sound of Music"

Slender Cinquefoil (Potentilla gracilis), Horseshoe Meadows

 Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Horseshoe Meadows

    Hey, there's a husky off leash across the creek and we're wondering why we can't be, too! 
Well, try obeying mom and dad once in a while, then we'll discuss off leash... 

    Still staring wistfully at the off-leash husky
 Alpine Shooting Stars (Primula tetrandra), Horseshoe Meadows

Alpine Sheep Sorrel (Rumex paucifolius), Horseshoe Meadows

 Horseshoe Meadows

 Clubmoss Mousetail (Ivesia lycopodioides), Horseshoe Meadows

Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum), trail to Horseshoe Meadows

 Mountain Parsley (Oregana clementis), Horseshoe Meadows

Meadow Penstemon (Penstemon rydbergii), Horseshoe Meadows
 Addy, the creek addict, back in the creek

Gil looks wiped out after handling the rambunctious fur babies at 10,000 ft. elevation

 Green leaf Manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula), descending Horseshoe Meadow Road

 Paintbrush (Castilleja ssp.), descending Horseshoe Meadow Rd

 Heavenly Blue (Eriastrum densifolium), lower elevations of Horseshoe Meadow Rd

Inyo Wild Buckwheat (Eriogonum latens), Horseshoe Meadow Rd

 Descending Horseshoe Meadow Rd

 East side of Hwy. 395 between Lone Pine and Bishop

 Entering the city limits of Bishop at 5:30pm. What do those dark clouds portend? 
Actually not much - just a few micro-drops of rain and some extra humidity. 
The adventure continues...

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