Stargazing Calendar |
Art Galley |
Ladera Ranch, Ca, 92694
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Stargazing Calendar |
Art Galley |
A 6 hour drive brings us beneath a starry sky cut by the galactic center of the Milky Way in the Eastern Sierras just outside of Bishop.
Right after sunrise we bomb the hill below the mountain a few times before our hike.
Beginning our hike in Mosquito Flats, we were battling buff mosquitos kamakazee bombing us from the onset.
They lurked along the water's edge waiting for warm bodies & hikers' blood.
But like a scene out of Switzerland, lush meadows cut by alpine streams were rimmed by snowcapped peaks. The beautiful scenery made the battle with the mosquitos well worth it.
We take a short snack break among a bounty of birds singing & gracefully gliding from tree to tree.
Our hike was typified by lakeside views, 5 in total. Such a plethora of mountain vistas made us feel spoiled considering it was only a 5-mile, relatively flat hike.
Staying on trail was nearly impossible; marshy meadows lined with flowers & areas too beautiful to pass by pulled us astray like magnets.
As we continued on, the opportunities for backpacking became abundantly clear.
This trail extends deep into the Sierras, affording an escape from the more crowded day hiking trails. Not this trip, but another we'll be back to explore the possibilities even further.
Before turning back, we search for a good place to climb above the lake.
Something about a bird's eye view feels satisfying. Perhaps its the accomplishment of seeking out just the right perch without falling or maybe its just the change in perspective.
With temperatures rising, we eye a good place for an alpine swim along the trek back.
And just like that, we leap in!
Supplied by snowmelt, the cold water provided a bone-chilling escape from the heat.
After our refreshing plunge, we wander through more flower dotted meadows, slurping water from the stream-soaked earth squishing beneath our feet.
To escape the mosquitos we travel an hour down hwy 395 to a different Sierra Nevada canyon known for bears. And immediately after setting up camp, we launch off on yet another hike.
While we found no bears, we sure found plenty of steep terrain & wind battered trees..
The trail climbed 1,000+ feet in elevation over a mile, slowing our progress.
Our pace slowed further, as each vista & interesting plant distracted us from our course.
We found trees seemingly growing straight out of boulders. These trees are extremely resilient, growing in nutrient poor soil & fighting torrent winds.
We arrived back at camp in the blackness of night, quickly sparking a fire that glowed in a brilliant orange, cooking our food & warming our bones.
We put our feet up, exchanging stories & listening to the sounds of critters rustling around our camp, cloaked in the shadowy night.
Summer stargazing provides the best viewing of the stars, since the core of the milky way shimmers nightly..
A stargazing favorite of ours is watching the moon rise. As it crests the horizon, the dark landscape is suddenly illuminated, something only noticeable when away from city lights.
We wander beneath the moonlight briefly before heading off to bed.
Sunrise & curiosity draw us to the pack station nearby camp.
Explorers looking for help hauling supplies deep into the mountains still use pack mules. They're incredibly reliable in difficult, uneven terrain.
From 80 degrees in the mountains to 108 beneath a dusty cinder cone! Possessed by our urge to wander, we stop off at one of our favorite pitstops along the drive home.
Like an alien planet, it has mars red & black sand dunes.
Only took about 20 minutes to experience that lost in a boiling desert kind of feeling. Amazing to think people actually used to live here.
From the volcano we journey over to the lava canyon, as we sweat bullets in triple digit heat.
We briefly hop along the hardened magma before accepting defeat beneath the mid-afternoon desert sun.
The mars red cinder cone rises above the lava rock, offering one final grand view on our walk back to the car. Until next time comrades! Thanks for tagging along on our misadventure.
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