August 23rd, 2014, morning
After a rainy night, the view above the campground:
And then a few minutes later:
But it clears up again in a few minutes. It’s a beautiful day.
I have a busy day planned, but first there’s morning coffee and some organizational work to be done:
When you move about so often, packing and unpacking, keeping track of everything is essential. Where do I keep this? Now where did I put that? More on this in a future post.
First I drive up this side of Mt. Wheeler, or Wheeler Peak (the mountain seems to go by both names)…
…from which we see the dry valley in the distance:
I take the nature walk at the Wheeler Peak parking lot and campground where we can see some interesting forest specimens. Great Basin National Park is known for its bristlcone pine trees which can live from two to three thousand years:
I don’t think this is one of them, though. You have to walk up higher that 9,500 feet to see them and I don’t go up that high. For some good pictures of truly ancient bristlecones, though, look here.
The trail twists and turns among the pines:
A stand of aspens comes into view, a good sign, they say, for the evolution of the forest:
Of course, I take pictures of whatever wildlife crosses my path: the ritual deer…
…and, will wonders never cease, a chipmunk.
Katie, do you see that ? I actually got a photo of a chipmunk! My career as a wildlife photographer may yet come to be.
Before we go on, let me bring you up to date on that art car we saw at Spencer’s Hot Springs. As of this posting, September 7th, Burning Man 2014 has come and gone. But you can now see pictures and a video of that art car, The Mushroom Patch, here, and here.
And have I told you about my conversation with the bartender at The Major’s Place? It went something like this:
Bartender: You know, I’ve been in Nevada for nearly 15 years and I thought I’d heard of everything, and then this guy comes in here the other day and tells me he’s going to this thing called Burning Man. What the hell is that?
Me: It’s sort of an arts festival, but more. I went there with some friends back in 2006.
Bartender: Well, tell me about it.
Me: Well…guy named Larry Harvey…divorce…big party on beach in San Francisco…big fire to burn the old man and bring in the new…the Man…art exhibits of all sorts…got out of hand…moved to Black Rock Desert in Nevada…gift-giving economy…leave no trace… Well, maybe you should just Google it, here.
Since the title of this post is “Great Basin National Park, above ground…”, you can imagine what my next post will be.