Thursday, August 11, 2011

June Lake Camping Trip Including a Visit to Devil's Postpile National Monument, Sunrise at Mono Lake & Other Fun Stuff

Mono Lake at Sunrise

Santa Clara, CA - This next set of photos comes from our July 4th weekend.  We wanted to get out of town but had not made any plans.  A last minute search of the campground reservation sites showed that we may just be out of luck.  However, with a little work Erhhung and Suwei finally managed to dig up one site out at June Lake, on the eastern side of the Sierras.  Doug, Laura, Alyssa & Stacy, also late planners, decided to join us.

Because we had Monday and Tuesday off, we didn't get moving until Saturday morning.  That still gave us three and a half wonderful days in the Sierras, and we managed to stay pretty damn busy.  So, without further ado here are some of the photos from Keira's second camping trip:

Camping at June Lake:

Dinner at our Tiny June Lake Campsite
Because this trip was sort of a last minute decision and because we got one of the last available campsites in the state, we weren't too, too surprised to see how small the site was.  It was quite tiny.  It seemed even smaller after we set up massive new car camping tent.  It also didn't help that we had one extra car and 4 extra people (ok, one extra adult, one extra kid, one extra toddler, and one extra infant).  Nothing a couple of extra bucks couldn't fix.

Stacy Chilling at June Lake
Morning play time in the new tent / Alyssa shows off her anti-mosquito wear / Doug, Laura, & Alyssa in the Taco / Vera back at camp / Stacy loses the, "does a watermelon float?" bet. / Vera demanding a snack!

Biking to Silver Lake:

Biking to Silver Lake
On Sunday we decided to test Keira out in Erhhung's sweat bike trailer.  We decided on a short 4 mile ride from June Lake, past Gull Lake and down to Silver Lake.  Keira did great!  Vera, however, wouldn't let anyone but her dad ride the pulling bike.  We had lunch down at Silver Lake then rode back up the hill in the afternoon (thoughts of ice-cream & iced coffees keeping us going).

Keira and Vera ready to ride / Lunch spot at Silver Lake / Panorama of Silver Lake from higher up

Dinner at Crowley Hot Springs:

That evening we decided to avoid the mosquitoes in camp by heading out to Crowley Hot Springs to enjoy our dinner with the mosquitoes there. I've just got photos of our dinner spot and the sunset as it was dark by the time we made it out to the hot springs.


Hiking in Devil's Post Pile National Monument:

The Devil's Post Pile
On Monday we drove out to Mammoth Mountain to catch the shuttle to Devil's Post Pile National Monument. We chose a 4 mile hike from the Ranger's Station past the Devil's Post Pile then out to Rainbow Falls and back to the Rainbow Falls trail head to catch the shuttle again.

I found it interesting that Devil's Post Pile used to be a part of Yosemite National Park. However, in 1905 they found gold in the Mammoth Lakes area, prompting a boundary change that left the Post Pile unprotected. Not long after that folks were already making plans to blow up the Pile and send it tumbling to the river to form a new hydro-electric damn. Luckily there were a few people watching out for this sort of thing and they talked Taft into forming the Devil's Post Pile National Monument in 1911.

Map of our Hike / Erhhung and Vera at the Post Pile / Hexigonal Shapes at the Top of Devil's Post Pile / Keira Experiencing the Joy of Dried Mangoes / Vera Checks out the Top of the Pile / Vera Makes A Run for it! / Dad & Daughter Take a Break / Heeeeere's Stacy!
Rainbow Falls

Sunrise at Mono Lake:


Early Tuesday Morning Stacy and I went out to Mono Lake to take a few pictures of the Sunrise. I ended up taking quite a few. It was amazing out there! We parked ourselves at the South Tufa Area of the State Nature Reserve and wandered around looking for the perfect spot to watch the sun come up.






Lunch in Yosemite National Park:

Our Lunch Spot at Olmsted Point.
By Tuesday it was time to head home. However, we weren't in too much of a hurry. On the way back through Yosemite we made a few stops including: Tuolumne Meadows, Tenya Lake, and Olmsted Point. We wanted to check out the effects of the massive spring melt, and we weren't disappointed. The meadows were almost more lake then meadows, Tenya Lake was as high as I had ever seen it and there was about 3 feet of snow still on the ground in the picnic areas. Olmsted Point was the pretty much the same as usual (buried in tourists).

Toulumne Meadows

High Water and Lots of Snow at Tenya Lake

Keira's First Yosemite Free Solo
Lining up at Olmsted Point

Last Stop! Knight's Ferry State Historical Park:

We made one last stop to feed Keira and to get out and stretch our legs a bit in the 105 degree heat.  We stopped in Knight's Ferry and walked out to the historic covered bridge, the longest covered bridge west of the Mississippi.  I was thinking of taking a dip in the Stanislaus River, but the water was very, very cold and moving very, very quickly.

 The Historic Covered Bridge at Knight's Ferry
 
And that is pretty much it for our long weekend.  Hope you enjoyed the tour.  I know I posted a lot of photos up here, but there are even more in the slide show.  Check them out here if you are interested:

June Lake Camping Trip Including Visit to Devil's Postpile National Monument & Sunrise at Mono Lake

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