Fall Colours Bishop

Whirlwind of the Eastern Sierra

In 2013 we had a number of visitors including fellow climbers, parents, siblings and friends. Some were enroute to other places, some came for the rock of the South West USA, some for conferences!

Becoming accustomed to guests, by the time my sister arrived toward the end of October I had a smooth routine of LA’s best attractions (in my opinion) and a good idea of the top places to visit across the State in a small timeframe. Creating an opportunity, we realised if my sister was happy to spend a week relaxing weekend in Mammoth Lakes we could book-end this with visits to the Eastern Sierras and Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.

Friday night Dikko, my sister and I piled in the Smokey the Subaru and drove from Los Angeles to Grand View Campground in the Inyo National Forest. This was a fantastic camping area and perfect for waking up and venturing to the Ancient Bristlecone Pines up the road.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine

Ancient Bristlecone Pine

Following the ancient trees we moseyed toward Mammoth Lakes enjoying the amazing fall colours still so rich throughout the valley and foothills. Our drive north included a stop at the Mountain Light Gallery in Bishop which was well worth the time.

View from White Mountains

The White Mountains – Eastern Sierra’s dry, parallel neighbours

Mammoth’s surrounding campgrounds were closed for winter so we camped at Clark Canyon after exhausting other options. At the campsite we met a Scottish guy living in California who was a climber (we’ve since done a trip with him).

That evening in Clark Canyon us Aussies were all awake due to the coyotes howling nearby!

I got out of the tent to see if my sister was happy in her tent (as our first thought was they were howling at bears!) Luckily there were no bears and the howling stopped after another half an hour. On the Sunday we explored the obsidian belt just north of Mammoth Lakes which was amazing.

Obsidian near Mammoth Lakes

Obsidian near Mammoth Lakes

We also took a pokey Sunday cruise around June Lake before heading to the hostel in Mammoth to drop my sister for the week. We were greeted by a few local characters in the hostel keen to share tequila and tatter-tots which I politely declined with the drive home ahead!

In five days we’d return to drive the Tioga Pass to Yosemite National Park then south to Sequoia for another sightseeing weekend! I couldn’t wait, it’d be so much fun sharing new and old sights with my sister and husband.

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