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Sierra Mountains July 2020

Aside from immigrating to the US when I was seven, my first international trip was the summer between graduating high school and starting university. My sister and I traversed northern Europe on a very low budget, hitchhiking from one destination to the next, staying in youth hostels. We met fellow travelers from all over the world and learned about the cultures we were visiting. It was an eye-opening and expansive experience and I have loved to travel ever since.

I started this travel-photography blog in 2017 but have been traveling internationally for 30+ years. 2020 is not over, but I am fairly certain that I will not be getting on an airplane any time soon. So be it. I am blessed to live by the ocean and a mere four hour drive to the majestic Sierra Mountains.

As a getaway we wanted to camp and hike, away from people and thoughts of COVID 19. We chose an area in the Eastern Sierra’s not far from Sabrina Lake. The sparse and rugged vistas are breathtaking.

We set up tent in a clearing of Aspen trees, a short distance from a creek. The melting glacier water was fast moving and happily did not appeal to the mosquitoes. We could splash in the water for refreshment, but it was too cold for submersion.

John is a great cook and an open fire does not stop him. The paella was my favorite.

We were at about 9,000 feet, an adjustment since we live at sea level. Our first hike was relatively easy, circling Sabrina Lake. Not much altitude but a lot of scrambling over rocks. The vistas and rock formations were a thrill to behold.

On our second day we were more adventurous and hiked to Lower Lamark Lake. On a previous hike we had turned left to Grass Lake, this time we climbed two miles and 2000 feet higher to the first of a series of lakes. Beautiful views, tadpoles squirming in the water, and lovely reflections on the lake.

While we were climbing I had to laugh. Here I was too lazy to carry my 35 mm camera so took a pocket-sized point-and-shoot. Ansel Adams, who documented the mountains of California so exquisitely, traversed this terrain with his large camera, tripod and glass plates. Aside from being an exquisite artist he must have been in great shape!

Our third day hike was another climb to lovely views, but after a few days we were acclimated and not panting so much.

Some of the rock formations made reminded me of Cezanne’s work.

And aside from the vast and glorious vistas there were some lovely smaller details.

And I really loved the contrast of different rock formations.

I am hoping for more camping trips this summer. The perfect Covid get-away.

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