Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day Trip Up North

After a long weekend at Vegas and then a long work week, I definitely needed an escape.  At first I thought sitting around at my house and just relaxing would be a great way to decompress.  But after Saturday afternoon and watching Wisconsin fall to Michigan, I determined staying in Los Angeles was not going to do the trick.  

So at 7:30PM on Saturday, I decided that a drive to Bishop was in order.  Thankfully, I always keep my backpack packed with all my gear, so 7:45PM I was on the road up to the mountains.  The main idea was to take a good hike and take some pictures.  The weather was forecasting 60's with a 20% of thunderstorms after 11AM.  Perfect!  The drive up was pretty tame, other than the close call of hitting an elk on the 395.  

I arrived in Bishop around 11PM and discovered all the campsites were gated up due to winter.  This surprised me since it wasn't even October, but oh well, I improvise.  With it getting late, I just figured no one was coming around until the morning.  So I slept in the backpackers parking lot at North Lake.  I awoke to 30 degree weather!  If you're jealous, you should be... it was stellar.  I packed up and headed off to Lake Sabrina and started hiking before sunrise.

(Fall colors before sunrise)

The hike started off very well.  I packed my SLR, three lenses, a pop-tart for breakfast, some water and a pump, and a trail map seeing I had no idea where I wanted to go.  After hiking on the main trail around the lake, I decided to do a little bushwacking and see what I could stumble across.

(Aspens bordering Lake Sabrina)

The bushwacking paid off, I came across a stream that was needed.  One, waterfalls are fun.  Two, I needed to pump some water and didn't feel like hiking down to the lake.  So after messing around taking pictures, I figured it was time to get back to the trail and decided where I was headed.

(Stream headed down to the lake)

After looking at the map, I decided to head up and hike 2.5 miles to a lake at 10,500 feet.  Once I got above the tree line, I was glad I did.  The views of the lake were amazing.  Plus the sun felt pretty nice.  After getting into the sun and taking off some layers, I decided to sit near a cliff looking over the lake and eat my breakfast.  Nothing beats a poptart in the mountains, I promise.  After breakfast, I headed up 500 more feet to Blue Lake and looked around.  Nothing too exciting, pretty much a mountain lake above the tree line.  So I decided to head back before the clouds decided to roll in.

(View while eating breakfast)

The hike down, I ran into a few groups headed up the way I came.  Other than that, it was pretty much uneventful.  Took a few more pictures, talked to a couple folks at the trailhead, and just enjoyed the perfect weather.  
(Lake Sabrina)

All in all, very glad I drove up for the day.  Very well worth it.  You can't beat the weather right now and the fall colors are just bursting everywhere.  I really think all should head up there soon to enjoy it!

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