Pyramid Lake, Nevada

Pyramid Lake is the remnant of an Ancient Sea. Its tufa formations are highly porous, sedimentary rock (limestone) composed of calcium carbonate, CaCO3. The Pyramid is 400 feet tall and there are many other remnants of large tufa outcroppings along the entire shoreline. Pyramid Lake weather can change in a minute. You can be walking the beach and enjoying a beautiful day and a dust storm can blow in and blind you with dust. The Lake sits on the Paiute Indian Reservation and is home to the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. I enjoy going out to Pyramid because it can be a very peaceful and spiritual place only an hour away from the Reno. This particular day was full of different kinds of weather: dust storms,smooth water, and sunrise and sunsets that glow from the desert dust in the air. It’s an ever-changing lake that the Truckee River flows into and water levels can change significantly due to drought. This happens to be a draught year. One of the worst since I moved here in 2006. Low levels of snow in the Sierras make for a trickle on the Truckee and hence the larger shoreline from little rain and snow, including lake Tahoe. We need to conserve water, not just in the Desert, but everywhere, because it WILL affect our future generations.

Pyramid Lake and Needles Dust Storm.

Pyramid Lake and Needles Dust Storm.

Sunrise

Sunrise

Sunrise over the Lake Range

Sunrise over the Lake Range

Pelicans and Sunset

Pelicans and Sunset

Pelicans sunset

Pelicans sunset

Pelican Point

Pelican Point

Pelican Point Dock

Pelican Point Dock

Tufa formations

Tufa formations

Tufa and Grass-1

Tufa and Grass-1

Tufa and Grass-2

Tufa and Grass-2

Tufa Formation

Tufa Formation

Tufa and Pyramid Lake

Tufa and Pyramid Lake

The Pyramid from Pelican Point

The Pyramid from Pelican Point

Geese and goslings with dust storm

Geese and goslings with dust storm

Geese and Goslings

Geese and Goslings

Goose and Goslings

Goose and Goslings

Rock Wren on tufa

Rock Wren on tufa

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Lassen Volcanic National Park

Bumpass Hell, located inside Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the hottest Hydrothermal volcanic parks in the world. At 322 degrees Farenheit, (OUCH) the mostly acidic high-velocity steam coming from Big Boiler are not safe for bathing.

As the story goes, Bumpass Hell was named after an early settler who severly burned a leg after falling into a boiling pool, so If you want to keep your extremities I would not advise going off the boardwalk to test the waters.

At an altitude of 8000 feet, towering red fir trees line the trail for shade. The one and a half mile, one hour hike (depending on who you are physically) is a gradual climb that is rocky and narrow in places.(don’t look down) Flip flops and sandals not recommended! Really?? You know who you are!!

A 100 foot descent into the volcanic park will lead you to a boardwalk that has an overlook to the ponds. The far part of the boardwalk is under construction at this posting so the walkway ends without being able to continue on to the upper part of the Fumarole that I hear leads to another turquoise pond.

You can start to smell the sulfur about half way there. (smells like rotten eggs…just sayin..)
With about a quarter mile left of the hike, you will come to an area with a bench that overlooks the entire volcanic area. This may be enough for some, (huff and puff) but I highly suggest that if you came this far, you should experience it close up. Your almost there and it’s all downhill from here!!! Remember though you have to walk back up…good butt exercise!
The basin is filled with turquoise steaming pools and beautiful multi-colored rocks and soils that have been stained brown, yellow, orange and terra cotta by the minerals and sulfur.

The 8000 foot altitude can make this hike seem harder, and I readily suggest you take plenty of water and a couple of snacks.
Photographers can plan on a good hour or more while down there, and a tripod is recommended for DSLR’s.

We were treated to an amazing sunset on the way back as the sun lit up Lassen Peak with red and orange color. We made it back to the car with last light of the evening. (flashlight optional)
The parking lot was packed with motorhomes and hikers when we arrived at 3pm, and by the time we got back to the car we were the only ones there. We tailgated a picnic dinner and watched the sky turn dark and headed back home.

Note:This August 16th 2015 marks Lassen Parks 100th Anniversary.

Lassen Peak

Lassen Peak

Southern Edge of Cascade Range, California

Southern Edge of Cascade Range, Lassen National Park,California

Lake Helen & Lassen Peak

Lake Helen & Lassen Peak

Red Fir Tree

Red Fir and Granite Rock-Lassen National Park

Trail to Bumpass Hell

The trail to Bumpass Hell

Red Fir Trees

Three Trees-Lassen National Park

Bumpass Hell

Bumpass Hell-Lassen National Park

Hydrothermal Pool Reflection

Hydrothermal Pool Reflection

Boardwalk at Bumpass Hell

Boardwalk at Bumpass Hell

Bumpass Hell Boardwalk

Boardwalk with deck overlooking Pond

Sulfured Trees

Sulfured Trees

Sulfur Creek at Bumpass Hell

Sulfur Creek at Bumpass Hell

Sulfur Creek at Bumpass Hell

Sulfur Creek at Bumpass Hell

Hydrothermal Pond and Boardwalk

Hydrothermal Pond and Boardwalk

Hydrothermal Pond

Hydrothermal Pond

Big Boiler at Bumpass Hell

Big Boiler at Bumpass Hell

Hydrothermal pond at Bumpass Hell

Hydrothermal pond at Bumpass Hell

Bubbling Mud at Bumpass Hell

Bubbling Mud at Bumpass Hell

Bubbling Mud at Bumpass Hell

Bubbling Mud at Bumpass Hell

Bubbling Mud at Bumpass Hell

Bubbling Mud at Bumpass Hell

Bubbling Mud at Bumpass Hell

Bubbling Mud at Bumpass Hell

Bubbling Mud at Bumpass Hell

Bubbling mud at Bumpass Hell

Bubbling Mud at Bumpass Hell

Bubbling Mud at Bumpass Hell

Bumpass Hell Volcanic Area

Bumpass Hell Volcanic Area

Steam Pool at Bumpass Hell

Steam Pool

Steam at Bumpass Hell

Steam at Bumpass Hell

Bumpass Hell

Hydrothermal Pool at Bumpass Hell

Bumpass Hell

Bumpass Hell

Bumpass Hell

Bumpass Hell

Steam from Hydrothermal Fumarole

Steam from Hydrothermal Fumarole

Reflections at Thermal Pools

Reflections at Thermal Pools

Reflections at Thermal Pools

Reflections at Thermal Pools

Turquoise Thermal Pools

Turquoise Thermal Pools

colorful rocks Bumpass Hell

Colorful Rocks-Bumpass Hell

Bumpass Hell Volcanic Area

Bumpass Hell Volcanic Area

Bumpass Hell Overlook

Bumpass Hell Overlook

Red Fir Trees

Red Fir Trees

Bumpass Hell Trail Sunset_

Bumpass Hell Trail Sunset

Sunset Bumpass Hell Trail

Sun setting from Bumpass Hell Trail

Lassen Peak Sunset

Lassen Peak Sunset

Lassen Peak Sunset

Lassen Peak Sunset

Sunset at Lassen Park

Lassen Park sunset from Bumpass Hell parking lot

Lassen Park Sunset

Sunset Lassen Park

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American Flats-Gold Hill Nevada

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Built in 1922 at a cost of 1.5 million, American Flats located on public lands just west of Gold Hill Nevada, was the worlds largest concrete structure used to process about 7.5 million in local gold and silver using cyanide … Continue reading

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American Flat Mine at Gold Hill NV

National Geographic website published my photo of American Flat Mine at Gold Hill NV. See Blog roll on the right for link to the page. Then press ‘Like’ for the facebook page underneath the photo.

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The Many Moods of Mono Lake

Mono Lake is an ancient lake that is over 1 million years old and is one of the oldest lakes in North America.  It covers about 65 square miles and serves as a nesting, feeding and resting grounds for 1 to 2 million birds that feed on the brine shrimp that number in the millions. Tufa towers, are calcium spires formed by the interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. Salts and minerals wash into the lake from Eastern Sierra Mountain streams.  The lake is 2-1/2 times as salty as the Ocean.

"looking at mono lake from the vista point

Mono Lake from Overlook

I had a week off over Christmas and New Years, so I decided to take a few days and go on a photo shoot.  I was hearing a lot of stories about the Tioga Pass being open to Yosemite, which hasn’t happened in about 30 years.   It has been so dry that there hasn’t been any snow in the Sierra’s.  So of course I had to see it.  I decided to drive to Lee Vining, home of the ever changing moods of Mono Lake.  I left friday morning December 30th and treated myself to a starbucks on the way out,  for a three hour drive south on hwy 395.  The plan is to stay at the Murphy’s Lodge in Lee Vining for the weekend.  It’s close to everything I plan on doing.   Second day I will drive into Yosemite, and third day spend at the famous Ghost Town of  Bodie California.  The largest preserved ghost town in the United States.  When you come over the hill to Lee Vining, there’s a cool turnout that is famous for this view above, of Mono Lake.  Today, there happened to be a lot of air traffic.

"Dust Storm, Mono Lake, Paoha Island"

Dust Storm, Mono Lake, Paoha Island

It hasn’t been windy for over a month and the second I pulled out of the driveway the wind started blowin’.  I was hoping it would calm down by the time I arrived, but no luck there.  In fact this picture above, the winds were clipping about 50 to 60 mph and creating a dust storm on Paoha Island in Mono Lake.  I read that this is common when the wind blows here.

"Dust Storm-Paoha Island"

Dust Storm-Paoha Island

It was actually pretty cool to see in person.  I stopped at another high spot to take this pic of the dust storm.  The waves were about 2′ and the water was green.  The wind was blowing in sheets across the lake.  It was very dramatic.

"Windy Day at Mono Lake with green water & high waves"

Windy Day at Mono Lake

At first I was really bummed that it was windy because I had to hang on to my camera and tripod for dear life. Then I thought wow, this is awesome!!!!! Go with it Sal!!

"Mono Lake Dust Storm with 60 Mile an Hour Winds and High Waves"

Mono Lake Dust Storm with 60 Mile an Hour Winds and High Waves

At times the waves looked like surf rollers splashing on the tufa and the dust changed the color of the sky.

Mono Lake-Old Marina

Mono Lake- Old Marina

This is the sign when you enter the Old Marina parking lot.

"Mono Lake Dust Storm"

Mono Lake Dust Storm

Here’s an example above of the wind blowing in sheets……the wind would blow so hard that the waves would almost disappear.  Picture me trying to hold on for dear life.  I don’t weigh much.  I was going to take a self portrait of me blowing in the wind but I couldn’t let go of the tripod.

"Dust Storm, Mono Lake"

Dust Storm, Mono Lake

I was just awestruck at mother nature at work.

White Tufa & Dust Storm

White Tufa & Dust Storm

Here the sun peaked out of the dust cloud and lit the white tufa.

"River washed out the road"

Road Ends

When I got into Lee Vining  I stopped at the motel and unloaded a few things.  Then I headed for the history museum but it was closed for the winter.  From the parking lot up above the lake I could see some dirt roads.  So I headed down without a map.  I went a few miles and ended up here.  The Rush River had flooded the road.  It was about 2′ deep with thick chunks of ice.  I probably would have tried to go through it if  I wasnt alone, but woman’s intuition told me to stay put and have my lunch by the river.  My sister Becky can attest to that. I called her on my cell while I was eating lunch( homemade turkey wrap and chips) to check in and let her know that I made it to my first destination.

"Rush Creek washed out the road"

Rush Creek

I parked my truck by the Rush River to eat my lunch.  It was so windy I had to stay in the truck.

"The Beach Near Rush Creek Inlet"

The Beach Near Rush Creek Inlet

After lunch I found a turn off  for the boat launch and drove about a mile.  I ended up at a turn around that had a boat dock and a beach.  Oh , I forgot to mention, aside from it being really windy, it was a balmy 55 degrees, and mostly sunny.  T shirt weather!!!!  Nice Beach eh?  You wouldn’t want to go swimming in it though.

"Driftwood Flower"

Driftwood Flower

I found this beautiful piece of what I think is lake mullien.  It was like driftwood.

Pink and Blue Sunset-Old Marina

Pink and Blue Sunset-Old Marina

I headed back to Old Marina for the sunset.  It was starting to get colder and the wind just wouldn’t stop.  I had to sit on a wooden bench on the boardwalk trail and wrap both my legs around the legs of my tripod to hold it still.   I had to sit because when I stood up to get a pic without the meadow grass in it, I almost blew over.  No kidding!  Right about the time I was asking myself what the heck I was doin out there, this beautiful sunset started to happen and made it all worth it.

"Blue and Pink Sunset- Old Marina Tufa"

Sunset Old Marina Tufa

The pic above is the  New Years Eve 2011 Sunset.  No wind, no waves, no meadow grass.  What a difference a day makes eh?

"Yellow, Orange Sunrise,with silhouette tufa- Old Marina"

Sunrise, Old Marina

HERE COMES THE SUN , do, do, do, doooooo….and I say….Its aright…

Woke up at 5:00 on New Years Eve to catch the sunrise at Old Marina.  Im headed for Yosemite today but first things first…..It was really peaceful.   I was the only one there.

"Sunrise-Old Marina"

Sunrise-Old Marina

It was really cold!  Picture me breathing hot air on my finger tips!  I stood here for over an hour and got some awesome pics.  I learned the day before not to walk too far off the beaten path because you will sink ankle deep in salt muck.  It wasn’t pretty.

"Frost Covered Boardwalk-Old Marina"

Frost Covered Boardwalk-Old Marina

This is the boardwalk you have to take to get to the tufa’s.  I think it’s about a quarter mile.  If you look close you can see the frost sparkling on the wood.

"Frosted Boardwalk"

Frosted Boardwalk

"Tufa Rock Reflections in the water"

Tufa Rock Reflections

Sunday, New Years Day 2012, I awoke at 5:00 again to head to South Tufa for sunrise.  It was about 15 minutes from town and was very dark when I arrived there. Another photographer was there when I pulled up.  I grabbed my gear and flashlight and followed a bit behind her down the path.  I didn’t know where I was going and she looked like she did.  I hung a right at the end of the boardwalk and kept going….I didnt know what I was in for until the sun started to rise. WOW!

"Sunrise South Tufa Silhouette"

Sunrise South Tufa Silhouette

I met this guy yesterday and we were talking about the lake.  He asked me if  I had been to South Tufa yet.  I said no, I have never been there.  He said, go! It will blow you away!  (I was hoping not literally because I had, had enough wind for a while)  He told me it was better than Old Marina for photographing…so I went… and he was right, I was blown away at the beauty!!!

"Sunrise, South Tufa Beach"

Sunrise, South Tufa Beach

Just imagine being able to sit here in perfect silence and watch this sunrise happen.  I was pinching myself to make sure I was awake.

Happy New Year 2012!!!

"Eared Greebe water fowl"

Eared Greebes & Tufa

The Sun had many different colors as it was rising through the clouds.  The water kept changing too.

"Tufa Reflection"

Tufa Reflection

Just an amazing place.

"South Tufa Sunrise"

South Tufa Sunrise

The water was so calm and it was very quiet there.  I could hear a few grebes and birds, but that was it.

"Eastern Sierra's & South Tufa Sunrise"

Eastern Sierra's & South Tufa Sunrise

I turned around and caught the sun rising on the mountains.

"Hot Springs View from the Beach"

Hot Springs from the Beach

As the sun rose I noticed some steam coming up off the lake.  It’s the Hot Springs.  Maybe I’ll take a dip!!!  I decided to hike over there.

"Hot Springs at south tufa"

South Tufa Hot Springs

I don’t know how hot it was because I couldn’t get close enough without sinking.  It looked too hot to get in, thats for sure.   It was Bubbling Hot!!!

"South Tufa Hot Springs

South Tufa Hot Springs

I walked from that tufa area beyond.  There are paths that take you over here but not right up to the springs. You have to find your own way and watch your step!  I kept seeing dead bird carcasses with feathers.  It must be good hunting ground for some animal and I was keeping my eyes open for it.

"Mono Lake Hot Springs"

Mono Lake Hot Springs

What a great Morning it is….It’s starting to warm up!

"south tufa formations"

South Tufa Formations

Well, its time to leave South Tufa and head for Bodie.  I hope you enjoyed  The Mono Lake Journey.

Stay tuned to my blog for the Yosemite and Bodie Adventures.


“The journey that you take is more important than your destination”

‘unknown’


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Carson Pass Vacation

Road Trip with Nancy's New Camper

Nancy and I are heading south on HWY 395  to Hwy 88 South to Go Camping at Carson Pass.  She bought a used camper and this was the second camping trip for her.  She is a whiz on setting it up and taking it down.  There is so much you have to know when you own one of these campers.  There is a system you have to follow in order for everything to work right.  You have to level it before you crank it up and then you have to pull the beds out and anchor those to the camper, and set the metal bars to stretch out the canvas.   The door comes out of the ceiling and not very easily, but Nance has it down.   You have to check your water and pump and propane to make sure its all working and not leaking so you have enough to get by for a few days.  We call it dry camping.  No electricity and no water on site, except for the river and yep, that was freezing.   We were a little smelly by the end of the trip…..well, not real smelly, we did get to wash up.  We didn’t have to wear bug spray, the campfire took care of that.

 

Art work on Fairview Overpass

This is metal art on the overpass.  They do the coolest things out here in the west…..

Washoe Valley Scenery

This is Beautiful Washoe Valley.  It’s usually a really strong crosswind.  Overturned Semi’s on a regular basis.  They have digital warning signs telling them to go around,  but they don’t listen.

Faith Valley Campsite

This is our campsite.  This is the Fire Pit.  We had two fires, one monday night and one tuesday night. It was pretty quiet, there were only about 3 other campers but they were far away.

Our View of Faith Valley from the Camper

This is Faith Valley.  Nice view from inside the camper.

One little Aspen changing color

This little baby aspen was turning color, but the large ones still had a ways to go yet.

Campsite

Here is a view of the camper all set up .

 

 

Faith Valley

The Sun was setting on the valley by 6:00.

Faith Valley

Sun went behind the mountain.

Lake Margaret Hike

This was our first hike on Monday.  Lake Margaret is up by Kirkwood Ski Resort, which is approximatly 7800 feet in elevation.  This is the Eldorado National Forest.  Its a 2-1/2 mile hike to the lake and it’s supposed to take about 1-1/2 hours.  But when your with a photographer, it takes 3.  We always double what they say when Im around.  We like to meander anyway and take in all the sights and smells and wildlife.

Myah Swimming in the Carson River

Myah is Nancy’s golden retreiver.  She is almost 4 years old.  She has puppy energy and loves the water .  Myah also loves being muddy and sneaking up on you and shaking off.  She has a new trick now, Nancy throws a rock and she dives for it…it’s pretty funny, because she almost drowns herself trying to get the rock.

Walkin the Line....

Thats Tom and Nancy and Myah crossing the Carson River.  Good thing that log was there.

Caterpillar

This Caterpillar was having a late breakfast….

Flowers along the Trail

Tom the Mountain Man

Paintbrush

This flower is called an Indian Paintbrush…it’s common in the higher elevations.

I love the character of dead trees.

I really love the character of the old cypress trees.  They are so many hundreds of years old. The Sky is so blue out here.  Yes, Its really this blue, I did not fix this picture in any way.

Now thats a lonely Tree

There’s that blue sky again…..

Me taking a pic of a very big tree

Thats me and my 30lb camera pack.  There was some interesting moss on the branches of this huge tree.  Im sitting on pieces of bark that have fallen off the limbs. Just look at the size of those things!  And look how thick they are!  It’s like jumbo wood mulch. Really, I was just sitting down to take a break from that 30 lb bag and happened to look up. I also got a souvenir of sap on my butt.

Beautiful Lake Margaret

We finally reached Lake Margaret.  What a sight!  I just love walking up over a ridge and seeing a sight like this.  I am always amazed at these beautiful alpine lakes. They are so clear and cold and usually calm.  It’s always worth the climb. And the blue sky!

Lake Margaret-Black and White

I decided to play with some Black and White settings on my camera.  What a great lake for that.   The stripes on the rocks are lines from the water heights at different years.

Lake Margaret in color

I took a color and a black and white of the same scene so you could see the dramatic difference.  If you look hard at the black and white you can see billowing smoke in the sky from what we think was a prescribed fire.  We hung out for a good hour, but the smoke was coming our way so we packed up and headed out before it started to smell.  The smoke ruined the blue sky.

Same pic in Black and White

Playing with my Camera and airing out my feet

Myah catching a wink in the sun

Myah’s new name is Mud Myah.  She looked like this the whole trip! And Stinky too. Stinkier than us.

Lake Margaret

Aspens in Black and White

We saw this stand of Aspen on our hike back down .

Colorful Leaves

Milky way over Forest Dale Divide

Later that night I set up my tripod and took some pics out in the middle of Faith Valley.  There were so many stars.   They just kept going and going…the milky way was amazing.

Big Dipper

I caught the Big Dipper just as it was sinking below this treeline

Kayaking Blue Lake

This is what I call a drive by photo.  Its what happens when you are trying to get a pic for the blog but you don’t want to tell the driver to stop every 5 minutes.  Whenever someone else is driving, my excited expression for “I want to stop and get that picture” is the word,  EEEEERRRRRTTTTTTT!!!!!  It kinda scares em’ at first but then they get used to it and just keep driving…..:*)

Getting Ready to get the Kayaks off the Van

Our Friend Tom brought the kayaks down from Tahoe.  You can see why they call it Blue Lake.   Its one the coolest lakes to kayak.  I think its in my top 3. Tahoe being #1.  It has upper Blue Lake and Lower Blue Lake.  This is Lower.  There is a river that dumps water into the lower from the upper and its a sight to see.  Especially when the water is high.  It was not high this time.  This area is the dam and a lot of fisherman love catching trout here.  I caught one while fishing from my kayak that last time I was here.  There’s that blue sky again…..

 

Blue Lake

The water was cold, but like Tahoe, you get used to it.   You turn blue and then warm your toes in the sun.  And Oh Yeah, look at that blue sky will ya?

 

Falls from Upper Blue Lake

Heres the river that runs between the upper and lower lakes.

Blue Lake from the Falls

Upper Blue Lake Falls and Lower Blue Lake

Lower Blue Lake Shoreline

Trying the black and white again.

Twin Lake

After our kayaking we hiked up to twin lake.  Another beautiful lake.  Although  it was windy here and the lake was a little rougher.

Tree Roots and shoreline of Twin Lake

Nancy and Myah at Twin Lake

Twin Lake- Black and White

Twin Lake- Color

This was a beautiful lake.  I was in seventh heaven with my camera.

Old Cabin at Blue Lake

I like to try and imagine what it was like to live in those days.  Maybe it was just a hunting cabin, but its got a story somewhere…..

OOOOPS!!

This fisherman forgot to close the door……

Another Milky Way over Faith Valley & Forest Dale Divide

This is what we looked at every night. This was a little longer exposure so the stars start to get that trail look to them…

The Carson River was only a couple hundred feet from the campsite. Nance and Myah and me hiked around it on the last day before we left.

Carson River

Reflection

Nance & the Carson River

A Horse just happened along....

I heard Nancy talking to someone and I looked around and there was a horse standing in the river.  Wow, ya never know what your gonna see out here in the west…..

Pullin' Out

It was a great trip.  Took about an hour to pack it up.  The good thing is, all this beauty and we are only 1-1/2 hours from home.  I love this place!!!!!

“The Journey that you take is more important than your destination”

Thanks for going along for the ride…….until we meet again….

Sal

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Hiking Carson Pass

I will be leaving tomorrow on a camping trip with my friend Nancy in her new camper. We are going to hike the Carson Pass and do some kayaking. Nancy has been there already and will be showing me some beautiful places. The weather is supposed to be windy but sunny tomorrow and 75 the rest of the week. We will be at a little higher elevation so it will be around 40 at night. Cant wait to sit around the campfire and also looking forward to getting some really cool night shots during the new moon. Stay tuned for pics when I return.

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Pyramid Lake Graffiti Clean Up Day

 

On May 21st the Paiute Tribe of Pyramid Lake organized a clean up day to remove grafitti on the East side of the lake near the Pyramid.   We had a great turnout thanks to Wendell Henry, Lela Leyva, Susie Albright, Truckee Bob, and many others that contributed their efforts to make this happen.  Sierra Soda Blasting donated their time, labor and  equipment, as did Custom Painting and Decorating from Sparks.  Pyramid Lake Search and Rescue and the Paiute Fire Dept were both there with their equipment and muscle.

Pyramid & Stone Mother Area Closed

The Entrance now has a sign for limited access for Tribal Members Only.

Pyramid

Early Morning about 8:00 am, a view coming in to help with the clean up.

Everybody Needs One Sooner or Later

Cleaning a Tufa Rock

Frank & Sally Ready to Clean

Frank is from sutcliffe and was one of the blasters that helped clean the Grafitti off the Tufa.

Carol & Linda Cleaning Trash from the Rocks

The Tufa rocks and surrounding areas were full of broken bottles, plastic, metal cans, paper, food wrappers, you name it, we found it.  I found two plastic GI Joe figures and a really cool old fishing lure.

 

Shaking Hands

In the beginning before the blaster ( I love that word) machines arrived the guys were using drills with wire brushes on the end.  It was taking forever, but it did do a decent job of getting the black paint off.

Generator

This is the generator that powered the drills.

Be Careful!!!

The guys had to be very careful.  The tufa rock is sharp and you had to stand in a precarious position in order to get to it.

Using Drills With Wire Brushes

These drills did a pretty good job of getting the top layer of paint off the tufa.

Taking Hose to the Top

Finally the Big Guns showed up with the blasters!  (love that word)

More Hose

This guy is dragging the hose up so the guys can get started with the soda blasting.

Alonso w/ Sierra Soda Blasting

Sierra Soda Blasting donated their time and equiptment.  This is Alonso and he was in charge of working the blaster machine.  I had a movie of Alonso explaining the process, but the file was too large to download.  The soda is a non chemical process that will not harm the tufa.

 

Big Guns are Here!

It was very loud and dusty.  They guys looked like ghosts when they were finished.

Soda Blasting

More Blasting

Linda Picking Up Trash

Linda, who lives in Sutcliffe donated her time to pick up trash found in and around the tufa rocks.  Its not any easy job either.  Trying to keep a foothold and not slip.

Nevada Skies Youth

The boys from Nevada Skies Youth facility at Big Bend in Wadsworth showed up to give a helping hand!

More Grafitti

There were numerous areas that the graffiti had to be removed.  This one was just behind the Stone Mother.

Using Drills Till the Big Guns Show Up

Cleaning Fire Soot off the Tufa

All ages showed up to help clean up the Pyramid Site.

Cleaning Fire Soot off Tufa

Cleaning the Tufa Rock

Everyone worked really hard to get the tufa back to its original state.

Ready to Clean # 2 Graffiti

This is the second round of soda blasting.

Team Work

Hard Work

Clean!

Burning Brush

Dragging Water Hose

They used water to wash the soda off the tufa but it will take time for it to return to its normal state.

 

Sand Blasting

Doing a Great Job

Blasting the fire soot off the tufa

Trash from the Beach

Linda and Tex show us the trash they found on the beach.

Getting the BBQ Ready

The Pyramid Lake Veterans & Warriors Organization provided the BBQ Lunch for everyone after we finished, and it was delicious!!!!

Burgers and Dogs!

Before we ate lunch we had a wonderful Prayer and Song from the Paiute Tribe.  I did not feel it was appropriate to take pictures during that time.

Time to Eat!

Veteran Truckee Bob

Fire Rescue also Donated Time

Enjoying a Late Lunch

Snake!!!

One of the guys found a snake to scare the kids with…!

Big Snake!!!

Nice snake!!!

They reluctantly decided to touch it.

Stone Mother Keeping An Eye

The weather was very cooperative and gave us a warm day with sun and clouds. Stone Mother will be keeping her eye on you.

Hangin Out

Truckee Bob

All in a days work.

The Chief

View of Pyramid After the Clean Up

A Big Thank you to everyone who showed up to help clean up the graffiti.

Pyramid lake is spiritual.  A place I love to come and just be.  I consider it an honor to have been able to explore and photograph her in all her moods.

“The Journey that you take is more important than your destination”

Thank you for this journey.

Sally

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More Pelicans of Pyramid Lake

A few weeks ago I went back to Pyramid Lake to try to get some close ups of the Pelicans. I just wasn’t happy that I didn’t get a close up of the breeding bump on the pelicans.   My friend Carol who is lucky enough to live on the lake in the cool little town of Sutcliffe, showed me a great spot to get close.   I spent about a half hour there, sneaking up and clicking away.  Then, Carol, who is good at getting me in trouble :*) said, “Hey Sal there’s a hole in the barbed wire fence, why don’t you crawl through there?  I’ll hold your camera!

So I crawled through the hole in the fence snagging my jacket on the barbed wire; what we won’t do for a photograph!  Carol handed me my camera and I continued to sneak up on the pelicans that were hanging out on the jetty.  Talk about a lucky shot!!!! Wow the Pyramid as my background!!!

White Pelicans & Pyramid

 

Coming in for a landing

Coming in for a Landing

This landing was a beautiful site!

White pelican coming in for a landing

Nice Landing!

And now, what I wanted to show you was a fairly close up shot of the breeding bump on the beak.  The pelicans also have a fluffy white crown as you can see on the one on the left.

Pelicans with Breeding Bump

Which Way Did He Go!!

On my way back to the barbed wire fence I found a cool rock with some colorful lichen on it.

Lichen on Tufa Rock

The Sun was starting to set, the shadows were getting long and the pelicans were starting to fly off for the evening so I headed back and lo and behold I got caught again on the barbed wire fence!  Sorry, no pic of that embarrassing moment but I did get this beautiful shot of the pyramid as I was leaving……..

Sun Setting on the Pyramid

Sun Setting on the Pyramid

Thank you to my friend Carol for such a wonderful Day.

Happy Trails………….Sal

 

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White Pelicans of Pyramid Lake

White Pelicans Flying Over Anaho Island

Anaho Island is a wildlife refuge in Pyramid Lake, Nevada.  It is home to one of the two largest colonies of American White Pelicans in the Wesstern United States.   I woke up at 5:30 to head for Pyramid Lake to capture pics of the White Pelican migration.   It was a sunny morning with a slight wind that put a chill in the air.  I parked just south of where the Truckee River meets Pyramid Lake and hiked about a quarter mile in through sage and muck.   I set up my tripod and started clicking.  They were flying overhead and making wonderful flight patterns low to the water.

White Pelicans Waiting for the Elusive Cui Cui Fish

The Pelicans main staple food is the Cui Cui fish.  A sucker fish that can live up to 40 years.  It is an endemic species to Pyramid Lake, which means it is a species that is only found in a particular region and nowhere else in the world.

Pelicans in Flight

The infamous Pyramid is in the background.  I used a Cannon EOS 1 Ds Mark 2 with a 400 mm telephoto lens borrowed from my friend Mark to get most of my shots of the Pelicans.  There were hundreds of them sitting on small islands created by a low water level. Thanks to Mark, I got this great shot of them taking off while he was hiking in to get a little closer.

Flying High

White Pelicans wing span can be anywhere from 6 to 10 feet.  This particular Pelican has what they call a breeding bump on their beak, but unfortunatly I did not get close enough to get a shot of it.   In the photo below,  you can almost see the bump on their beaks.

Three's a Crowd

 

Anaho Island

Pyramid Lake surrounds the Island of Anaho.  The white patches are pelicans hanging out on the Island.   I took this photo north of the Truckee River inlet, near the Pyramid on the Lake Range side.

The Pyramid

 

Happy Trails……..Sal

 

 

 

 

 

 

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