Monday, June 29, 2009

High Sierra Love

My family and I just returned from a wonderful, week-long vacation in California's High Sierra. One of my very favorite things to do when I'm in those mountains is to strap on a little backpack, grab some friends, and go for a day-long hike. It's guaranteed to clean out your mental smog and cobwebs.

The High Sierra contains some of the most beautiful scenery on Earth, like this vivid blue sky and gorgeous, alpine meadow. That's Triangle Peak, center, on the horizon:

Here's a closer view of Triangle Peak and, in the foreground, one of the region's many crystal-blue lakes:

I've hiked to that lake several times. Usually, I go with wonderful fellow hikers like these characters:

That's my buddy, J., in the foreground. He's a grandpa, a daily distance biker, and an intrepid hiker. In the back, wearing the red cap, is D., who is roughly half the size he used to be about five years ago. Diet and exercise will do that to you!

When we get where we're going (usually an alpine lake or a mountaintop), we sit down and enjoy sweeping vistas like this:

That's my hubby, drinking in the view of Lake Tahoe. Sometimes, we enjoy a fun surprise, courtesy of a young'un in the group. G., our student guide, treated us to fresh strawberries and melted chocolate, at the top Mt. Tallac:

Chocolate-dipped strawberries with a killer view, anyone?
Just watch out for the occasional bug!:

Death by chocolate, indeed!

Chocolate-coated bugs notwithstanding, I love the High Sierra because you can see wild critters in their natural habitat. In the last week, I saw lake trout, a marmot, Canada geese, loons, a mama grouse and her five, fuzzy little chicks, tons of robins and jays and butterflies, and a friendly ladybug who landed on my leg a mile and a half above sea level:

Some of the animals in the High Sierra aren't wild, of course. I couldn't move fast enough to get a photo for you of an adorable red mutt I met. She was wearing the cutest little protective bootees (rocky mountain paths are tough on dog feet). But I did catch this pup who decided, at the end of her trip, that she needed a cooling dip in the lake:

It's for breathtaking moments--and silly scenes like these--that I keep returning to the place that photographer Ansel Adams called "The Range of Light."

"Nevermore, however weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever."

--John Muir, 1838 - 1914, founder of the Sierra Club

1 comment:

  1. drop me an email, Juli ... sal/sally/self [at] towse. com. Your durn email wasn't on that card you gave me. (Like these pics!)



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