"Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality." — John Muir
Mr. Muir coined many insightful descriptors for the Sierra Nevada. I believe he pegged it when he lovingly nicknamed them the "Range of Light."
I've been exploring the Eastern Sierra for over a week now. Old John was right, the rays are different here. Maybe, it's the way the sunshine reflects off the abundance of glacial scoured granite. Or maybe, it's the lack of humidity in this high mountain desert. For whatever reasons, even the Bristlecone Pines seem to radiate a warm alpenglow. It's so beautiful and best of all, heaps of it are under Federal protection.
Not many American Mountain Ranges score three National Parks, two National Monuments and twenty Wilderness Areas. The Sierra Nevada can add highest mountain range in the contiguous United States to its impressive resume too.
Look at a map. There's not many roads bisecting this steep landform from east to west. Many of those highways are mere 1.5 lanes thick. They'll close with the on set of the season of White Death. I suppose Caltrans doesn't want to overtax local Emergency Services and tow truck drivers.
From the U.S. 395 corridor, a few asphalt intrusions nudge westward up along waterways. Usually, an impounded creek which is now a Los Angeles reservoir is the road's terminus. Luckily for people like me, trails take off from there.
And hike is what I did. Despite being in the most populated state in the U.S. (there's a tad less than 39,000,000 in California), the trails are well-maintained and surprisingly clean. On this Labor Day Weekend, families strolled about. Some folks were content to sit along a creek side and nap in the sun. Most were sporting an almost IPA inspired grin. It's all good.
I'll now commit a Colorado blasphemy. I wish the Rockies were the Sierra Nevada.
From Bishop, California
Where did the summer go?
Next to Last photo: as usual I purchased a fix er upper.