..........A little blog about the little things in life..........

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Orange Corps de Ballet

The sunset last night looked like a line of ballerinas in orange tutus dancing across the sky.

Then the prima ballerina leaves the line for her solo.

And her partner leaps onstage to accompany her.

Front row seat, stage center!
My life is pretty exciting, don't you think!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 3 of Our Trip

We spent the 3rd day of our trip (the 4th of July) watching the parade in the small town of Columbia.  Columbia was a California gold rush boom town founded in 1850 that lives on as a state preserved historic park and a National Historic Landmark.  We found a bench on the shady side of the street and watched the parade go by.  It was a typical small town parade, but with a historic slant. 

This gentleman was across the street from us and entertained people with his impromptu songs.

After lunch in Sonora, we meandered back roads and got hopelessly lost on the unmarked dirt roads trying to reach Twain Harte, a small vacation community about 15 miles east of Sonora.  Named after Mark Twain, and Bret Harte, 2 authors who wrore of the gold rush, it is a picturesque little village (we did finally find it!).  

The next day we headed for State Highway 49 and home (with a stop in Oakhurst at a favorite barbeque cafe!).

The End.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Eastern Sierras - Day 2

On day 2 we left picturesque Bishop and headed northwards on scenic highway 395. 

We passed Tom's Place, a tiny community along Rock Creek and Lake Crowley.

Lake Crowley is a reservoir on the upper Owens River.  It was created by the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power to store water collected from the many streams in the area, before it makes it way into the Los Angeles Aqueduct. 

The June Lake Loop is a scenic road that passes by 4 lakes - nestled in the heart of the Sierras there are spectacular vistas, peaks, waterfalls, streams and stands of aspens.  The lakes and streams offer fishing, boating, sailboarding and swimming.  In the winter there is skiing, boarding and snowmobiling.

The white showing in the photo above is a huge waterfall.

I about got eaten alive by mosquitos to take this shot!

Mono Lake is one of the oldest lakes in North America - it's situated in a high desert valley (6383 ft) with views of the Sierras.  It was almost drained dry by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power when they diverted the streams that fed into it for their water supply.  Recently, the level of the lake has been rising after a lawsuit to prevent L.A. from using so much of the fresh water that flows into the lake. 
The interesting formations in the lakes are called tufas, and are fromed by calcium carbonate.
There's a wonderful visitors' center overlooking the lake.

I found this wildflower growing through the pavement in the parking lot.
Our next stop was Bridgeport, a beautiful little town built in the middle of large meadows, where thousands of cows were peacefully grazing on the lush grass.  I'm sure they appreciated the beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains in every direction!

There was a rodeo going on and we spotted lots of real cowboys!

Bridgeport goes all out for their 4th of July Celebration!  The town was decorated in red, white and blue, and bustling with people!  This is the charming courthouse in the middle of town.

After lunch, we headed out of Bridgeport until we came to State Highway 108 which climbs over Sonora Pass.  At 9,624 feet, it is the 2nd highest pass in the Sierras.  It is a narrow 2-lane road, which climbs steeply over the pass.

As we climbed we finally hit the snow level

It was all downhill from here - about 70 miles into Sonora. 

On the way down we passed a car which was stranded on the side of the road.  We stopped and offered a ride down the mountain to the occupants (our cell phone had no signal up here).  The driver stayed with the car, and we took his friend down to the first place that had a phone.  Hopefully, he was able to get a tow-truck up to the car.  We ended our 2nd day at the Best Western in Sonora, and had dinner that evening in the old mining town of Sonora! 

Come back for Day 3 - 4th of July in Columbia, California!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


We enjoyed seeing the large variety of wildflowers blooming during our trip through the Sierras.

Click on the collage for a closer look.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Road Trip to the Eastern Sierras

We just got back from a short trip to the eastern part of California - the part that's east of the Sierras.  We headed east out of Paso Robles on Highway 46.  The rolling hills are golden brown now that summer is here. 

On the way to Bakersfield we passed pistachios orchards, the trees loaded with clusters of nuts; almond and walnut trees; fields of roses near Wasco; and fields of oil derricks near Bakersfield.  We headed east on highway 178 which follows the Kern River, which was rushing alongside the road.

 We passed Isabella Lake and headed on toward Highway 395, which runs north and south along the base of the Sierra Mountains.

Our first stop was at Lone Pine, at a Visitor Center to pick up maps, and to take a look at Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in California (and the lower 48) at 14,505 feet.

At Lone Pine we took a short loop through the Alabama Hills, a very picturesque area of unusual rock formations that have been used in many western movies and television shows. 

Remember those scenes where the "good guys" were ambushed when they rode by those rocks?

Other interesting sites along Highway 395 are Owens Lake - a lake drained dry by the Los Angeles Aquaduct, the small towns of Independence and Big Pine, and the Manzanar Historical Site.  Manzanar was one of the 10 "relocation" centers for Japanese Americans during World War II.  We spent the night in Bishop, a bustling little town of about 3500, situated in the northern Owens River Valley.  It's a popular place for those who enjoy hiking, fishing, camping, and outdoor activities.

Stay tuned for Day 2