December 2019 M T W T F S S « Jun 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
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.
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
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.
On the way to Yosemite, I took a detour to visit the Ghost Town of Bodie California. It’s a thirteen mile drive into the town of Bodie from hwy 395, ten miles of pavement and three of which are a washboard combined with boulders. I was doing about 35 at times, but it was racking the heck out of my truck, so I decided to slow down. I wasn’t in a hurry anyway. I had to pull off for quite a few that were doing about 45 mph and swerving all over the road due to the washboarding. I reached the entrance and there was a Ranger there to greet me. Very nice man, told me to pay up at the parking lot instead of at the unmanned booth. Im glad I had change. As of the new year of 2010 the fee is 7.00 and 2.00 if you want a nice program that gives you a map and a story about Bodie. I sprung for the map. It was nice to know what I was photographing. The temperature was 55 and sunny. Be sure to wear good walking shoes and bring water and a snack. Its a huge place and a long walk to the actual mining part of it. The Cemetary is up on the left as you drive in to the parking area. Bodie is the largest preserved Ghost town in the United States. With an elevation of 8379 it has a record setting temperature range from 50 below 0 in winter to 125 in the summer. Bodie started out as a mining camp in 1859. It became a Boomtown in 1876 after the discovery of a profitable line of gold and the population grew to 7000 shortly thereafter. Only 5% of the buildings remain due to a couple of fires, but well preserved.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
At times the waves looked like surf rollers splashing on the tufa and the dust changed the color of the sky.
This is the sign when you enter the Old Marina parking lot.
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.
I was just awestruck at mother nature at work.
Here the sun peaked out of the dust cloud and lit the white tufa.
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.
I parked my truck by the Rush River to eat my lunch. It was so windy I had to stay in the truck.
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.
I found this beautiful piece of what I think is lake mullien. It was like driftwood.
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.
The pic above is the New Years Eve 2011 Sunset. No wind, no waves, no meadow grass. What a difference a day makes eh?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!!
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!!!
The Sun had many different colors as it was rising through the clouds. The water kept changing too.
Just an amazing place.
The water was so calm and it was very quiet there. I could hear a few grebes and birds, but that was it.
I turned around and caught the sun rising on the mountains.
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.
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!!!
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.
What a great Morning it is….It’s starting to warm up!
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”
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.
This is metal art on the overpass. They do the coolest things out here in the west…..
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.
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.
This is Faith Valley. Nice view from inside the camper.
This little baby aspen was turning color, but the large ones still had a ways to go yet.
Here is a view of the camper all set up .
The Sun was setting on the valley by 6:00.
Sun went behind the mountain.
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 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.
Thats Tom and Nancy and Myah crossing the Carson River. Good thing that log was there.
This Caterpillar was having a late breakfast….
This flower is called an Indian Paintbrush…it’s common in the higher elevations.
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.
There’s that blue sky again…..
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.
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!
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.
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.
Myah’s new name is Mud Myah. She looked like this the whole trip! And Stinky too. Stinkier than us.
We saw this stand of Aspen on our hike back down .
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.
I caught the Big Dipper just as it was sinking below this treeline
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…..:*)
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…..
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?
Heres the river that runs between the upper and lower lakes.
Trying the black and white again.
After our kayaking we hiked up to twin lake. Another beautiful lake. Although it was windy here and the lake was a little rougher.
This was a beautiful lake. I was in seventh heaven with my camera.
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…..
This fisherman forgot to close the door……
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.
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…..
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….
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.
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!!!
This landing was a beautiful site!
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.
On my way back to the barbed wire fence I found a cool rock with some colorful lichen on it.
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……..
Thank you to my friend Carol for such a wonderful Day.