The Owens Valley in early September . . . pre-trip, I wondered if Big Pine (went there last weekend for some California Native Plant Society activities) and surrounding environs would be too hot for shoe-less fun.
While I would not have wanted to stroll down Highway 395 in the middle of the day, by getting up early and/or going to higher elevations I was able to get in some wonderful hikes (no running . . . but that was fine . . . hiking has its own slow charm barefoot).
Here’s some images of my toes on the move:
The sunrise: over the White Mountains and through my toes.
The bristlecone pines at Schulman Grove: stunning.
Tallus on the trail at Schulman Grove: challenging (but brief). (See previous tree in background.)
The almost-disappeared Palisades Glacier: disheartening.
The spring water along Highway 168: refreshing.
The “marble plug” (a geological oddity near the Sierra Adventure Center): a cause for reflection.
A “lupine tattoo” along the South Fork of Big Pine Creek: inspiring.
A book for sale at the Bristlecone Pine/Schulman Grove Visitor Center: way cool!
And now for some images from this week’s local wanderings:
Yesterday’s view of the fire chewing through chaparral near “my” Orange County wildlands . . . scary . . .
Trying to show the steepness of the Hawk Trail at Santiago Oaks: difficult.
Looking the other way on the Hawk Trail . . . that’s the Villa Park Dam in the upper left: dam good trails around here!
What I found descending the Mountain Goat trail: bizarre . . . but photogenic . . . liquid-filled plastic stars . . . maybe some weird re-usable ice cubes? The setting sun set them aglow, so I had to stop my magical end-of-day run and shoot a few photos . . . and then remove these nasty plastics from the trail. I could just imagine a coyote trying to eat them 😦