David and I took a day trip to the east side of the Sierra via Tuolumne Pass on Wednesday the 13th. We got up at 2:30am, left the house at 3:30am so we could be at Mono lake at sunrise. The temperature was high 50’s when we left but dropped to 31 going across Tuolumne meadow area. Mono Lake wasn’t much warmer so after an hour of taking pictures my fingers were frozen with pain. I love the Sierra Mountains. Their colors, shapes, light, majesty and awe inspiring beauty never cease to to touch my soul.
Sunrise with Sierra Nevada Mountains and Mono Lake tufa towers.
The freezing temperatures at Mono Lake created beautiful soft delicate frost on the low dry grasses.
The developing fall color on the side of the mountains. I took this photograph shortly after leaving Mono Lake. Though the air was hazy and the mountain was in the distance you can still appreciate the stark beauty of the Sierra dressed in the fall colors. There’s still a lot of green yet to change. The foreground is burnt vegetation that hasn’t re-grown after a fire.
The June Lake Loop fall color wasn’t ready yet but the scenery was still beautiful.
We decided to head south on 395 to see how the color was developing. We didn’t get very far after I saw the sign for Devil’s Post Pile. I’d never been and wanted to see the formation so we detoured. I was surprised how small it was. I expected a grander site. We grabbed a couple of treats at a bakery in Mammoth and headed south to Convict Lake. The color was much better at Convict Lake. I was in heaven with the brilliant blues of the Lake and the fall colors and mountains reflecting on the lake. The blues of the water were ultramarines blending into turquoises with waves of cerulean blues. This is where our hike began. We hiked along the south shore to the aspen groves at the far end. There were lots of fishing boats and we could see huge fish in the crystal clear water.
Looking down from the trail. A fishing boat is in the upper right corner in the reflection of the shore and mountain.
The aspen groves were an enchanted place with many great ‘path’ shots.