Eastern Sierras-part 2

June 28, 2020 at 12:08 pm (California, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers) (, , )

Moonset at dawn from Alabama Hills

Day Two of my short road trip to the Eastern Sierras started with the waning full moon setting behind the mountains at sunrise. Hardly anyone else was up, so I had the view pretty much to myself.

Moonset condensed to 8 seconds

After I had more than enough stills, I decided to video the moon setting behind the mountains. It took 85 seconds, but in processing I sped it up so it takes 8 seconds here.

Moon setting before the sun touches the mountaintops
First Light
I really wanted the moon setting behind these spires, but oh well.
Mt Whitney

I explored the south side of the Whitney Portal Road which held more rock formations and the main campground.

Mt Whitney about a half hour later.

As it was the afternoon before, the air was incredibly crystalline.

I was captivated by the chartreuse cottonwoods in an otherwise brown and gray landscape.

Knowing the Alabama Hills was the site of many movies over the decades, it makes me want to watch those movies just to see how the landscape was part of the story.

Near McGee Creek
Crowley Lake

Then I drove north to explore McGee Creek area. The campground there was closed but the trail was open. I just explored the creek area and about 100 yards into the meadow looking for wildflowers.

Icicles over McGee Creek
Western Wood Peewee
View from McGee Creek trailhead

Next stop was the scenic road to Benton Hot Springs. I didn’t see the wild horses I hoped were there, and when I got to the little tiny town (population 13-1/2) I saw a shack backdropped by a mountain vista. Unfortunately a huge bank of clouds kept it in its shadow, so I waited a half hour for the sun to return.

I thought a town with a whimsical “13-1/2” population would be a fun place to explore. But, nearly every building or site in this town had a “No Trespassing” or “Posted” sign. It definitely did not make me feel welcome. There was a somewhat attractive B&B there, but I’m not sure where the hot springs actually were, nor did I want to find out.

An old car museum? Or a junkyard? Either way, it was “No trespassing.”

I took the “back way” to Hwy 395, with one particular scene on my bucket list – a dawn view of the Eastern Sierras with Hot Creek in the foreground.

I visited the little settlement to the south for gas, and the general store had hot pizza slices, focaccia, and a blueberry scone! Though I had brought some MRE’s (my emergency supply) I much preferred freshly made “real” food. Heavenly! The employees and some of the customers wore masks, thankfully, and of course I made sure to sanitize back in the car.

Check out Part 3 for the rest of the journey.

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre
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Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com
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