Tuesday, December 3, 2013

High Sierra Camping part two

It's Saturday morning, and after a short light breakfast, (yogurt and granola - breakfast of camping champions) We are off to Mono lake for a canoe tour.

Mono lake is filled with brine shrimp and flies, and has been the subject of a large conservation effort since Los Angeles county began diverting water away in 1941. It's been a long slow recovery.

The valley is filled with Sage - so strong you can almost drink in the scent.

We get in our not-so-stable canoes and learn a little about he history of the lake.
The Ospreys are slowly returning and making nests at the tops of the tufas.

It's beautiful and serene. Paddling on such a calm surface reminds you of just how small you are...

There are other birds that fill the area. This is a Says Phoebe.

And this is another osprey warming its wings.

I did mention the flies, didn't I?

There is other wildlife too.

Time, salt, mud and some erosion makes these little structures that could be mesa houses if they were larger. As they stand, they are about 8 inches high.

The lake is very salty. This is what happens when you take your water shoes off.
The gulls don't seem to mind.

We finish our tour after about an hour and walk around. One of our team heads home a day early, the rest of us head back to Mammoth and sit still for the afternoon.

I leave early the next morning. It's a pretty ride through Yosemite, I'm not in a rush and enjoy the meadows and lakes of the upper section while slowly working my way around tourist vans and busses.

I make it down to Groveland and the valley has the distinct smell of smoke. Apparently I threaded a needle - a wild fire had taken over the area and they would be evacuating some sections later that day. It would have been a long ride back the other direction.

Arrived at home at 3:00pm. I'm unpacking the sage I harvest from the campsite and placing it all around the house. For the next six days, the house is filled with the smell of the high sierras, and I'm sleeping better.

Introducing, The Squirrel

I have another VW. I know it's a sickness. I'm cutting and pasting the post that I put on the samba: The Back story: My grandpare...