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|Fall in the eastern Sierra can be spectacular. Four of us--Jim and Darlene, Martin and Connie--met at Dunderberg Meadow for a weekend of adventure.|
Our Trip Journal (the long version)
|On our way north, we discovered the Bureau of Land Management's Goodale Creek Campground, south of the town of Big Pine, about six hours from home.|
|The yellow rabbit brush and cottonwood trees glowed in the morning sunlight.|
|We took the Virginia Lakes road west from Conway Summit, then followed a graveled road to Dunderberg Meadow to meet Martin and Connie. As we were admiring the view of the meadow, we realized that smoke was drifting towards us. Later the smoke extended all around us, greatly decreasing visibility and creating a haze the next day. Perhaps the smoke came from a fire on the other side of the Sierra.|
|A friendly burro came to call at Dunderburg Meadow. A Basque sheepherder soon appeared, but he spoke Spanish and we spoke English. He and his dogs chased the burro over the hill.|
|Martin brought two canoes so we could explore the tufa at Mono Lake. He and Connie led the way. The smoke lingered in the distance but the sun was warm.|
|There is an osprey nest on the tallest part of the wide tufa. During nesting season, this area is restricted.|
|Calcium carbonate is brought to the surface by springs and over time it precipitates out to build the towers called tufa. As the lake water recedes, the towers are left to stimulate the imagination of visitors and to provide a tempting perch for the many birds.|
This tufa extends outward from the present shoreline.
|Jim executes a J-stroke as Darlene grabs a quick picture over her shoulder.|
In fading daylight, we hiked up Lundy Canyon to the waterfall.
The sunset that evening appeared to be sculpted by wind.
|A weather change was predicted. We wakened to find snow falling the next morning and the temperature was 32 degrees. Since our camp at Dunderberg was at 9000 feet elevation, we decided to head for lower country and scattered rain showers.|
Less than 18 hours ago we were canoeing on Mono Lake!
|After breakfast in Bridgeport, we explored Buckeye Hot Springs. Very hot water emerges 40 to 50 feet above the creek, rolls down the face of the rock and is mixed with creek water in pools below.|
There was golden aspen in the forest nearby.
|Before parting, we stopped for lunch at the end of a dirt road in a small canyon named By-Day.|
Connie and Martin strolled while they ate their sandwiches.
We knew that these leaves would soon look like--
|--this. Part of the fascination of this trip was observing the changes that come with Fall.|
|We returned home with memories of spectacular color and good companionship. The eastern Sierra had shown its charm once again.|