Hikes in high places

The eastern Sierras might be as close to heaven as you can get right now.  The skies are huge and deep blue, the days are warm and the nights are cool, the fall colors are out, and there’s millions of hiking trails where you can enjoy all of it!

On Thursday, we set out for a pilgrimage to a much loved lunch counter at Rock Creek Lake Resort, about 15 miles north of Bishop.  To get there, you drive up, up, up a canyon, following a deep cleft lined with aspen.

The resort is very old school, with a small general store, and an even smaller lunch counter.  The grill was closed for the season, but chili was still available.  We had to begin with a solid protein base so that we were ready for the main event: PIE!  We don’t eat much gluten at all, but there are some places where you just have to make an exception.  Every day, this resort makes about 10 pies (40 on summer weekend days) and starts selling them at 10:30.  If you get there too late, it’s too bad for you.  We were having trouble deciding, so we didn’t.  And then we ate 4 pieces of pie!

From bottom to top: Pecan Chocolate Chip, Loganberry, Coconut Cream, Chocolate Cream, and Sweetie Pie! 🙂

The top of the canyon is the start of the Little Lakes Hike, which winds past alpine lake after alpine lake in the John Muir Wilderness.  I like hikes that have a “Wow!” at the end, but this was was more like 10 wows all in a row.

I’m not sullen, I just didn’t know it was time to smile!

Clear water!

Our favorite lake: Long Lake. Snow up on the mountains!

Self portrait with striped rocks

On Friday, we decided to have a pretty low key day.  We did lots of cooking for the week, and just enjoyed our mountain views from our house.  We went into Bishop in the afternoon and window shopped.  It’s a cute little town with lots of galleries, bookstores, and unique stores like Western wear and outdoor supplies.

On our travels, we noticed this interesting sign.

I checked, and it’s for real! Not the most direct route across the country, but a viable one!

Yesterday we hiked in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the Inyo Mountains east of us.  These trees are the oldest living things in the world, with one, named Methuselah, being at least 4,600 years old!  We enjoyed the views of distant mountain ranges, and the weird and wonderful shapes of the twisted trees.

Apparently, Death Valley is somewhere just over that far ridge.

Baby bristlecone pine cones are purple!

I also wanted to give an update on the no-shampoo situation.  In a nutshell, it rocks!  I didn’t really seem to go through an adjustment period…my hair has been great.  I used to have to wash it every other day, or it would be really greasy.  I’m going longer and longer between washes, and not seeing any issues.  Today is Sunday, and I last washed my hair Wednesday morning.  My scalp is a bit itchy, so I will wash today, but it still looks pretty good.  I’m still waiting for it to have a major freakout!  I love the fact that I’m able to use so much less water for my showers.  So far, this experiment is a major success!

Day 1

Day 8

Day 11

Day 14

We originally thought that we would move a couple more times before we have to report to Amazon, but we are so in love with our spot that we decided to stay here a few more days, and just move once more on our journey north.  We will probably leave Tuesday morning, and hopefully enjoy a couple more sunsets like this:

Not too shabby for $5/night!

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