We’ve been planning to visit the Valley of Fire for several years, but the timing wasn’t right until now – it couldn’t have been better. The weather was fantastic and although the campground usually filled up, we had no trouble finding a spot.
This place is fantastic! There are so many places to explore, so many rocks, and such a variety of color. It reminded me somewhat of White Pocket near the Utah/Arizona border, but with even more colors. The campground is very nice – it even has showers! Rocks nearly surround the camping area and lots of the rocks are fun to climb. I’d look around and see someone sitting on a rock or in a rock alcove quite often!
Here are some photos of the general area, with more to follow in another post:
As we made our way through Death Valley and the desert, we saw some amazing clouds and rainbows.
Before we left Bishop, we took a number of hikes and took loads of photos at Southlake, Northlake, Lake Sabrina and Rock Creek. Fall was in full swing!
On our way to town one morning, we came across cyclists doing the “Everest Challenge” – a ride totaling 29,065 feet of elevation! What a ride!!!
On the road above our campground, going towards Northlake and Lake Sabrina:
Along the way
At the Creek below Lake Sabrina:
Doug has created a couple of new, and very delicious, receipes: Mediterranean pasta and pasta with mushrooms and pine nuts. YUM! He also roasted a chicken in the gas BBQ – it was moist and very tasty!!!
After seeing the fall colors at Southlake, we decided to head north to see what the colors were like. We drove up to Convict Lake, drove along the June Lake Loop, and up to Lee Vining and finally Virginia Lakes. It was very disappointing – very few leaves had turned. We did enjoy stopping at the Latte Da coffeeshop in Lee Vining, and watching fishermen at one of the Virginia Lakes.
Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) grow from Canada to Central Mexico, generally at elevations between 5,000 and 12,000 feet. The trees are quick growing and generally reach 66 to 82 feet. They grow primarily through root sprouts, in extensive clonal colonies. Each colony is its own clone; all trees in the clone share a single root system and have identical characteristics. Usually all the trees in the colony are the same sex. Although they do produce seeds, aspen trees seldom grow from seeds.
One clonal aspen colony, named Pando, is considered the largest single living organism and is approximately 80,000 years old! Pando is located in the Fishlake National Forest in South-Central Utah.
South Lake, a few miles from our campground, is a great place to view fall colors. We spent hours enjoying and photographing the aspens. From one angle, the leaves look very bright – almost like they are on fire; viewed from the opposite direction, they look flat, and past their prime.
While Doug climbed up a rock fall to check out a possible climbing route, I walked over to the creek. The fish were jumping like crazy. They were very small, but very active!