Eastern Sierra

7/10 -- 7/13/2008

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The Eastern Sierra is vast, rugged, and sparsely populated.  This landscape is the meeting place of the Sierra Nevada, the Great Basin, and the Mojave Desert.  Not only is the Eastern Sierra diverse, it also claims a number of unparallel features:  Mount Whitney, the tallest peak in the contiguous US; Inyo Volcanic Chain, one of the youngest volcanic region in the country; Palisade Glacier, the southernmost  active glacier in the US; Mono Lake, one of the oldest bodies of water in existence on our continent; and western bristlecone pines, the world's oldest living organisms.

Getting there ...

In this trip, we only covered the northern half of the Eastern Sierra: from Mono Lake to the White Mountains.  Unfortunately, Iris got a cold before the trip and was not well enough to participate in many hikes.  She got a new accessory, the water bottle,  to ease her cold, so she got her new nickname "water bottle girl" for this trip (check out her pictures to find the water bottle).








The Second Day ...









The Third Day ...








On our way back down the White Mountains, my Prius hybrid car started to over charge the battery because it's so steep downhills.  Suddenly, it began to show a few big warning signs on the dash board, and Woanyu and Linus were busy looking up for instructions in the Prius User's Manual!

We had a dinner in Bishop so we did not have to rush back to Lee Vining.  After the break, we were all back to the normal condition (including my Prius).


The Last Day,






Going Home ...

Though less famous than neighboring Yosemite and Death Valley, the Eastern Sierra always has a reputation as one of California's premier settings for outdoor recreation and nature study.  We have only covered a small portion of this amazing vast land, and we did not even complete most of our hiking plans because Iris was not in a good condition.  We will come back to this wild land to explore more of its backcountry and experience its different seasons.


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