Tuesday & Wednesday October 8-9The morning was taken up with chores. Laundry and groceries. While Mary baby sat the wash, I took off for another cruise up Power Plant Rd. in Lee Vining Canyon to look a little closer at the foliage along the creek. On second viewing, there really wasn’t as much there to photograph as I had hoped. I stopped for some small aspen and another time for leaves in water making an interesting pattern. It might be better when more leave are on the ground. I’ll check back again when we return later in the month. I came back to pick up Mary, and since it was lunch time, we stopped at the Whoa Nellie Deli to fill up our bellies.
We were feeling like trying to get in another hike before heading south. The Parker Lake hike was sounding pretty good. It is about a 4 mile trip up and back and even though it was already 2 pm, we decided to give it a go. It was still quite warm with nary a cloud in the sky when we left. The first mile or so was a pretty steep incline, but it leveled out after that and was a very pleasant walk to the lake. We bee-lined it up there in less than an hour so we could be sure to see the lake in sunlight. We had to skip a lot of pretty nice looking places along the creek on the way up, but we did get there in time. It wasn’t real easy walking along the shore, but rough “fisherman” trails did allow us to get pretty far around. We followed as far as we could, but clouds began filling the sky and the wind picked up considerably. We thought it best to turn back.
On the way down the trail I took a lot of time to photograph along the creek. Lots on nice things to picture. The clouds were thickening, but that really helped even out the light. It’s the kind of light I love to photograph in. The wind, once we moved away from the lake, calmed down almost completely. I just loved shooting the trees next to the creek and the multi colored leaves on the ground everywhere.
When we reached a clearing, still well above the parking lot, we could see just how cloudy it had gotten. We were back down to the lot by 5:15 and headed back to camp. In just the 3 hours we were gone, conditions had gone from sunny and warm to cloudy and windy. The leading edge of the storm was really moving in fast, and by the time we got back to camp the LD was literally rocking. Once the sun went down, the winds also died away and we had a calm evening.
In the morning, snow started falling much earlier than we expected. By 9 AM there was a thin layer all around us and by the time we were packed up, it was beginning to stick to the roadway. We had planned to meet friends Jim & Gayle down in Lone Pine, but because it was looking pretty dicey here at 6000′, we thought it best to not chance the Dead Man’s Pass on 395 at 8000′. We reluctantly called the Mono Vista RV Park in town and they told us we could come right in without waiting till check-in time. This is our first paid campground since our first night out and seems like a good idea because we would be severely electricity-challenged with this overcast weather. No sun for the solar panels. So we get their electricity, water, dump and wifi for $35. All things considered, not too bad.
It’s been a great week here in the Mono Basin. Tomorrow we will get to Lone Pine. The forecast is for more snow tonight, the clearing tomorrow. We shouldn’t have any problem getting there. Really excited to see how the Sierra’s look all covered in snow.