Saturday, July 05, 2014
I intended to do this blog yesterday or the day before but always got sidetracked before I got around to looking for pics. So I'm going to do it now. This is the last blog I think of my vacation. The day after we drove back to southern CA, then the next day I packed and did laundry and then flew out very early the day after that back home. But this was a great hike, although hard and tiring for me. But so glad I did it anyway.
We stayed the night before and the night of this trip in Mammoth Lake. We had to go to a certain spot and catch a bus to go to the hiking areas. We couldn't drive into them.
This is where the bus picked us up. Some shops there and a tram (we didn't have time to ride).
A picture of me in front of the elephant statue while waiting for the bus. It was definitely cooler there than when on the other side of the mountain at Yosemite. I had to wear light jacket and pants instead of shorts and t-shirt
The tram and the bus.
We got out and took the trail to the Devils Postpile trail from where the bus let us out. Elevation when we started was 7,560 according to a sign there.
Followed a creek for a ways
Trail was flat but starts to climb and later will climb even more.
This is the Devils Postpile. It was formed by hot lava and then ice on the back that froze this in place. This is from the bottom. It's amazing how straight these look. As we hike, we will work out way up to the top of it, which is further than it looks from this picture.
We hiked a little further and them came to this trail. Much more climbing.
There were a number of trees that had been blown completely down a couple of years or so ago by a big "blow down". I've seen those on tv and a giant wind blows through and is so strong it breaks trees completely off. This doesn't really show how much of the trees were broken.
Now at the top of the Postpile and these slabs are the tops of the long strips we saw down below Amazing how they look so even I guess through wear and tear over the years.
When we left that area we followed a loop down the other side.
Back to a creek
As we followed that trail we came to an area beyond the Devils Postpile where we could go on the section of the trail that is both the John Muir Trail (who hiked all over the Sierra Nevada Mountains) and the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Mexico to Canada. They are marked with initials on the sign on the last line.
More climbing here and not very many people. Very peaceful. My friends Tom and Lynda ahead of me.
More evidence of the blow down
I thought the trail was beautiful. Have to be prepared, even in June, for chillier weather up here Wasn't bad but not as warm as in Yosemite. This is still both the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails.
We actually had to climb over this big tree that was blocking the trail. I had to sit on it and swing over because I can't climb over because of balance and other problems. But they asked and I said we needed to go forward and not backward. It was too long up and down the hill and the earth too loose to try to go around.
More trail and blowdown
Another bridge crossing over the creek. I love those! Creeks and water in general I love so much.
As this point we followed the trail on to Red's Meadow. We wanted to hike on to Rainbow Falls, and I had read about it but it was another mile or so one way longer and I just didn't have the energy to go any further. I was sorry to miss it. I heard the way the sun hits the water it looks like a rainbow in the water. Maybe some other time I'll get a chance to get there. I can't do it all.
Pics of Red's Meadow. They also have cabins for rent there although they do book up fast.
From there we took the bus back down to the parking area where we caught the bus. There are a few more pictures of an earthquake fault we looked at after getting the car back I might post tomorrow. This is getting too long and slow now.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
On Day 4 of the trip we left the B & B for the last time. First we went back to a few places to check out preset tents and stuff so my friend could reserve one for early fall. Then we went up the top of the mountains, still in Yosemite, and started the drive toward Mammoth Lake on the other side of the Sierras where we would stay and then hike the next day. We didn't do much hiking up there, because time was short, but we did pass through some awesome areas, stopped and looked at a meadow or two, and had something to eat. Then we drove over the top and out of Yosemite. We later went to Mono Lake, which is not in Yosemite but on the way to Mammoth lake and looked around at the visitor center there.
One of the beautiful meadows on the top of Yosemite. It was cooler up there than it had been lower down where we were the past few days. There is snow pack on some of the mountains around too, and some runoff.
We stopped at a little store on the top at Tuolumne Meadows.
A lot of work was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps on Yosemite and here is a sign that talks about it. When I was in Silver City, NM we had some things also done by this same CCC.
We are talking about the high country here!
A few miles down the road we stopped at the grill to eat and to take some pictures of a meadow there.
Jackets were needed up on the top because is was much cooler.
Then we started down the mountain. At this point we had driven out of Yosemite now and this is forest service land I think.
The scenery changed a lot as we drove from what it had been on the other side of the Sierras. This is the area around Mono Lake, where we went through the visitor center/museum in the building.
From a display inside the museum about the lake
The formations that grow in the lake
I found it so interesting as to what the lake is made up of and how salty and full of alkaline it is. In another place in the museum I saw that no fish can live in the water because of the contents.
After we left there we drove some more until we came to the town of Mammoth Lakes. We had a condo for a couple of nights and tomorrow hopefully I will do a blog about hiking at the Devils Postpile, and also how we followed a little bit of the John Muir trail and at the same time in that area his trail and the Pacific Crest Trail run together so I got to do at least a short distance on the PCT trail. It is a trail that runs from Canada to Mexico including through CA, Oregon, Washington. There is another trail that runs from Georgia to Maine called the Appalachian Trail, which is much more popular than this one or the Continental Divide Trail. The Continental Divide also runs from Canada to Mexico but through various other states including New Mexico. It ran very near where I lived, and when I lived there I did a number of short hikes on trails in the general area.
So, more tomorrow if I don't get too busy or too tired LOL.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
The guidebooks I looked as (because I had to pick the outing for that day) said this hike was about 4 miles around the lake. I think they were wrong!!! And I was dead tired when we got through! I think it was closer to 5 or 5 1/2 miles. The lake is shrinking and some grasses are growing in part of it. They said that originally it was called Mirror Lake because you could see a perfect reflection of the Half Dome in it when it was bigger. But it was still really nice and we took the path on the far side instead of the paved on the one side. Either way, you still went all the way around it but we lost some of the visitors that only went on the paved side up to the lake and not on the dirt trail that followed around it, which was very nice. We had to take a shuttle to get to the beginning of the hike, and it was supposed to be a mile from the shuttle stop to the beginning of the lake, and then the one mile back from that point and 2.2 miles around the lake for a total of 4.2 miles.
This picture was taken on the paved side, just before we got off on the dirt trail. As you can see lots of people.
We followed a creek on the way to the lake.
My friend Lynda ahead of me and I think her husband was behind me but the trail was so m much quieter. We could hear a girl's group all signing loudly on the paved trail on the other side of the creek for a little way.
Some huge boulders along the way and lots of trees.
Now we are almost at the beginning of the lake. More people on the rocks but not as many as we'd feared. We found a nice quiet spot to eat our lunch before we continued on.
A little bird by the lake
And a duck swimming around I think looking for her baby. We had seen the younger duck playing by some rocks that created little waterfalls in the water and he seemed to be having a great time riding those little things Not many ducks there, and she was just a little further away and I don't think she knew where he was.
Beautiful pic of the reflection of part of the huge rock in the water.
Following the lake to where it is ending and then the trail.
Beautiful sides of the canyon
The creek continues on beyond the lake
As we left the lake behind and got onto the main dirt trail again we had to go through the trail on this landslide. The trail was perfectly passable but for a little bit there was no trees to shade us and the sun on those rocks was hot. But we soon got back in shade again.
We came to and crossed a bridge that the guide books said was the halfway point no matter which way you went.
Then we had to climb what seemed like a million stone steps but it wasn't really anywhere near that ha ha But I don't like the steps. I'd rather go up the trail itself but they are there for protection from erosion and maybe also to make it easier for some people coming from the other direction to go down.
more beautiful trail
As we got closer to the paved trail, and more people, we saw this area that you could climb up a number of steps and they had lots of rock formations. My friends thought it was some kind of religious collection but they were carefully put together with rocks pilled on rocks and there were a lot of them.
From there on we were hiking back around the small lake and seeing much of the same scenery we saw from the other side And I was too tired to take any more pictures! That hike totally wore me out!
After we rode the shuttle back to the car, we went back to Yosemite Village where Lynda and her husband Tom looked at some more stuff in the stores. I sat outside and told them to take their time. I was too tired to walk more. I sat on a bench with another lady, a few years older than me, who was also resting while waiting for her family that was shopping. We had also been in these 2 days before I think and there wasn't anything I wanted at that point.
As we were driving back out of the very large area we passed a meadow where we saw search and rescue vehicles, personnel, and a helicopter. And of course a lot of people watching. I have a 21 zoom on my camera so we were way out of the way when I took this.
We were told that a climber had to be airlifted down from this peak by the meadow.
We couldn't find out any more, and when Is searched the internet today I could only find information on a climber in April and not one in June. But it looked like they loaded someone and took off with the helicopter. The rescue in the fire truck stayed though. Then we saw a different helicopter come in and land, and then take off again about 10 minutes or so later. My oldest son had ridden in helicopters as a paramedic, then a flight nurse, and now he's an administrator over 20 places that are part of a large company. But his are flights to traffic accidents, hospital to hospital, and all those kinds of things. I told my friend it's like the difference between a firefighter who fights fires in buildings and one who fights wildfires. They are both exceedingly important and dangerous, but very different. So is the search and rescue helicopters from the regular medical helicopters.
I want to thank all those that have responded to my previous blogs. I haven't had a chance to answer each one. Several have mentioned that it brings back memories of visits they had there at some point in time, or it's on their bucket list to do. It definitely was on my bucket list. I just wish I had the strength and stamina to hike more of it because it's so beautiful!
Saturday, June 28, 2014
The only problem with the bed & breakfast is that they served a delicious breakfast but from 8 to 9:30. We ate there and of course talked some, which meant we always got a late start. But still lots of time to get everything in.
Thanks so much to everyone who posted and/or read my blog yesterday about what we saw there. I'm going to continue with another day or marvelous things we saw! On Day 2, we went first of all up a trail toward a the Vernal Fall on the Happy Isles trail. That trail goes on up to the top of the falls but we just went part of the way to a bridge where we could see the falls, ate the lunch we had packed and then went back down. This bridge is 8/10 of a mile according to a sign. Then we drove up to see the the Sequoia trees in another area but I'll get to that a little later in today's blog. First the waterfall.
The trail starts out fairly even but soon starts climbing. The trees are just so lovely! It also crosses a lovely creek that we see a lot.
It is climbing here although it doesn't show as much in the picture.
Looking down the trail you can see it is climbing. There were a lot of people on the trail.
That's the creek below so you can see we are going up up up!
More beautiful scenery from the trail.
Finally we come to the bridge! (Of course going back down seemed so much easier and faster when we got to that part LOL)
We found a nice little spot in the shade on big rocks to eat our lunch. And of course we had company!
In the middle of the rocks is Vernal Fall (it is spelled without an "s" on the end).
I wish I could climb up to the top like a lot of others were doing from that point, but since I had a stroke I can't do it anymore. I had to use 2 walking pole, even on the paved trail, to keep my balance somewhat. I wouldn't have done that before. But still so glad to see these areas even if I cant do as much as I want! And my friend Lynda had a total knee replacement in December that she's still having a little trouble with otherwise she hiked for miles and miles and also did backbacking trips. And she's about 9 years older than me! Her husband is very active also, and last fall ran a marathon in Germany. He runs most days and has for years just because he likes to. He doesn't compete a lot, but does this for fun.
After we ate our lunch and hiked back down (we had to take a shuttle from the parking to get to the trailhead) we got back on the shuttle and then got their SUV. From there we drove toward the Mariposa Grove to see the big redwoods in the Sequoia park. Not as big I understand as the Redwood Forest in another part of CA but still pretty impressive. We couldn't drive because the few parking areas up there were full, so we stopped at this general store and waited for the shuttle to take us to Mariposa Grove. After we were done and came back we went in this little store. It was in the tiny business district there of Wawona in Yosemite park. It really is big!
After we caught the shuttle we went several miles, climbing all the way, in it up to the Mariposa Grove. Then we got out and hiked some more to see the sequoia trees.
Here are some of the redwoods, and they climb way up, much taller than the other trees around.
One that has fallen and the root are huge!
Here's me in front of the roots to give an idea of how big it is. With my trusty walking poles LOL.
There are some areas that show the burnt out areas from a fire I think was last year in this area. Some trees survived. When I was living in New Mexico there were several burnt areas I went through at different times in different areas near me.
We got back into more trees again there, but I had also seen the devestation from the fire in some other places
Then we came to the Grizzly Giant.
This was another one shortly after the Grizzly Giant called the California Tree.
At one time they could drive through this tree in the old cars.
This is a piece of tree that shows the rings of a tree, with an interpretive sign attached or normal big size. See how small the sign looks on the piece of tree.
After this we walked back toward the bus stop. We didn't go further. We also had to be back in time because it would be the last bus of the day and it was a loooong walk to the car! The bus didn't run on an exact schedule. When it got there it told us it was going to wait over half an hour for the tram to come in. There is a tram there you can ride also but I think it was about $24 a person extra for those tickets and we decided not to. We decided to get on the bus anyway, although there was another souvenir store there. Other people did too. It's a good thing we did because then the driver got on and took off with us after about 10 minutes instead of the 30 he had said! We would have missed that bus! I think he said it took about 40 minutes to make the round trip to the parking lot and then the top so as far as we know he was the last bus. Maybe he found out there was no one riding the bus that was on the tram, who's start was also right by there. I don't know but we were really glad we didn't count on him not leaving for a while! I was tired and needed to sit anyway.
So then we got back to the parking area, went in the little shop, then got the car and drove back to the B & B. It was a beautiful day!
Tomorrow we go around Mirror Lake!
Get An Email Alert Each Time LINDAKAY228 Posts