March 11th, 2008

full steam ahead

East Sierras

Snow on the peaks, salt on the flats. Flows and bombs of lava turning to horses grazing in sagebrush. the small of the sagebrush and the sound of the stream with the darting fish.
full steam ahead

Top signs of Mono Lake

Mountains all the way to Mammoth Lakes, apart from the odd frozen lake. Tri-tip sandwich and meatloaf for lunch at the Hot Chicks rotisserie (extraordinary). fabulous mountain views all the way to Mono Lake where we waded through snow to get photos, then drove back to the lake shore where the towers of tufa have survived both falling water levels and the navy using them as targets. 100 times as salty as the ocean, making the surface wonderfully reflective even with ripples of wind. the reflections of sky and mountains and volcanoes and trees and tufa in the silence, even more impressive as you climb out of Lee Vining to 7000 and above; this must be the edge of the world to double like this. mountain pass after mountain pass.
Saw a dog at the door of an animal shelter (just visiting?) and a huge black cat on the roof of an SUV.

They work the devil hard around here; he has a post pile and a corn field and a gate to deal with before he can get to his golf course.

And those signs; one road near Lee Vining has been adopted by the Friends of Bodie, the other by One of them June Lake liberals. wonder if they drive one of they Ford vans?

Down out of one set of mountains, passing a bald eagle at Topaz lake, across the flat of Carson valley and up again, on some lovely swooping switchbacks, with the local minibus trundling up to Summit Village. The light was fading as we reached Tahoe so we did the slopes down in the dark and stopped at Placerville for Mel's Diner and the spa (snow scrambling in capri pants = grazed legs). Must come back and try the wineries some time; Pichetti has a tasting room near Tahoe.