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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

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It was December 22, 1982; early in the evening. I was preparing to make lasagna for some friends who were coming to dinner. Suddenly, the lights and power abruptly ceased! We learned later that 70 MPH winds from a storm had caused this interruption. Power companies estimated that more than two million homes and businesses in California, Nevada and Arizona were without electricity as a result. As I gazed out our window, nothing but blackness met my eyes. The darkness was unsettling. Something I had always taken for granted was now gone. I began to ponder the vital part that light plays in our lives. Photosynthesis, for example; the process by which plants absorb sunlight and turn that energy into food. would not be possible without light. Our existence depends on it.

Just as light is necessary for natural survival, so the light of truth is essential for our spiritual well-being. Looking back, we can see how God placed lights; special people in our lives to guide us along the way. Our parents were the first. They nurtured us and illuminated our lives with good moral values, discipline, deep love and more. We owe them so much. Then there were others. Teachers, friends, ministers and pastors enlightened our paths as we left the nest. One light in particular who ignited our young lives was Lydia Miraflor-Thompson and her family. Lydia became a spiritual Mom to Mike and I. She took me in as an adopted daughter after I moved to California. Lydia taught us how to pray and walk close with God. Her young, twin grandsons showed me the importance of hiding the scriptures in my heart when they recited the 23rd Psalm to me. Because of Lydia, we learned to use wisdom. Her daughter Rachel and son-in-law Tom, were matron of honor and best man, and her daughter Evalani, sang in our wedding. All of her eight children and their families have been a blessing to us.

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The greatest Light of all, Jesus, came into the world and gave Himself so that whosoever would believe on Him should not abide in darkness (John 12:46). This light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehends it not (John 1:4-5). His light cannot be overcome by darkness. Whoever follows Him shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life. He is the Light of the World. The wonder of Christmas is its simplicity. This story holds no pomp and circumstance. Just the simplicity of the Divine. It is humbling to recognize that our human reasoning is often inaccurate, in that which matters. But it’s a good revelation to have. Because then we face the truth that God created us with limited perception, needing His direction, needing His Star in the darkness of night, to guide us. This Christmas, may the light of His life illuminate your heart to become a light to others.

Just one little flame in the darkness,
just one little flicker of light;
Just one small glimmer of brightness,
dispelling the darkness of night.
But, oh, what God did to the darkness
with one little flicker of light;
Oh, what God did with its brightness
When it touched just one other life;
Then two lights reached out with new brightness,
And soon there were four, and then more–
So quickly His light conquered darkness
as new lights flared up by the score.
No longer just one light in the darkness,
no longer just one tiny flame,
Now the world’s aglow with His brightness,
Since the Light of the world, Jesus came.
JESUS, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD – by L. Wolfe

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Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Climb to the Falls
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While vacationing in Yosemite earlier this month, Mike and I hiked to the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls. The slideshow above shows the highlights from our hike. It took us about 4 hours to reach the top of Nevada Falls. On the way via the Mist Trail, we were drenched, along with all the other hikers. The scenery was fabulous, a reminder of God's glorious creation. It only took us 1-1/2 hours to hike down, and by that time, we were exhausted, knees and joints aching, but happy that we did it! Yes, you can still hike, even in your 50's! We proved that! Woo Hoo!

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Creepy Crawlers

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A few days ago, we were staying with our friends Mike & Debbie in the beautiful little mountain town of Mariposa. We were driving around the area near sunset, just exploring and viewing the fall colors. As we were driving down a road which led to a small subdivision called “Royal Oaks”, we spotted something crawling across our pathway. Upon stopping the car and taking a closer look, we discovered it was a tarantula!! I immediately grabbed my camera and hopped out of the car to capture some shots of this creepy, but interesting creature.  Using Mike’s pen for scale, we took some pictures of the spider.  It was definitely not the “itsy bitsy spider” I grew up reading about in nursery rhymes.  By the time we were finished with our drive in this almost vacant subdivision, we had encountered nine sightings of these tarantulas; not sure if what we were seeing were the babies or the mamas, but they were BIG!   We decided this subdivision should be renamed “Royal Tarantula Estates”!!

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Mikie tries to make friends with the tarantula

Mikie tries to make friends with the tarantula

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Storms and Songs

The following excerpt from my devotional, “Streams in the Desert” spoke to my heart, and I would like to share it with everyone. May it be a source of encouragement.

“There are some natures that only a tempest can bring out. I recollect being strongly impressed on reading the account of an old castle in Germany with two towers that stood upright and far apart, between which an old baron stretched large wires, thus making an Aeolian harp. There were the wires suspended, and the summer breezes played through them but there was no vibration. Common winds, not having power enough to move them, split and went through them without a whistle. But when there came along great tempest winds, and the heaven was black, and the air resounded, these winds, with giant touch, swept through the wires, which began to sing and roar, and pour out sublime melodies. So God stretches the cords in the human soul which under ordinary influences do not vibrate; but now and then great tempests sweep them through, and men are conscious that tones are produced in them which could not have been produced except by some such storm-handling.”

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New Addition

Pierre the Red Cap Fish

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

In addition to the four goldfish in our backyard pond, we now have a new fish that we’ve named Pierre. Because of the red cap situated above his head, he resembles a French man, hence, the name Pierre. Pierre is a red cap fish from the goldfish family. Another name for this type of fish is oranda. An oranda is a fancy goldfish characterized by a prominent raspberry-like hood encasing its head. The hood or headgrowth (also known as wen) encases the whole head except for the eyes and mouth. Due to the fleshy outgrowth on the upper half of its head and sides of its face, the oranda has become one of the most popular goldfish. It is described as wen by the aquarists. The oranda is a metallic or matte scaled goldfish that is similar in appearance to the veiltail. It has a large, long and deep body accompanied by a long quadruple tail. This four-lobed and contracted tail normally spreads out broadly when the oranda stops swimming. The headgrowth of young fry may take one to two years to develop.[1][2] The oranda can reach 8 to 12 inches (20 to 31 centimeters) in length.[2][3]A specimen from China, named “Bruce” (after late actor and martial artist Bruce Lee), has attained 15 inches in length.[1] Sometimes the wen grows enormously covering its eye,due to this the eye sight is limited or no vision.These fishes should not be destroyed because they can still manage to survive. Special care should be given to the wen because it is prone to bacterial infections.Oranda can tolerate temperatures from 65-78 °F.More recently blue scale oranda have been developed but these fishes are very rare[5]. Oranda goldfish are especially sensitive to cold temperatures, more so than other goldfish.

Originally, Mike had purchased three orandas for our outdoor pond. However, a few days later, he found one and then two of the fish had been sucked into the bottom suction drain in our pond. Unfortunately, they did not survive. So today, Mike purchased an aquarium for the remaining oranda. Pierre seems quite content in his new home, which we have placed in Jeremy’s old room.   Feels like we’re parents again!  We hope to add a couple more buddies to Pierre’s home soon.

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Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

The morning again began with sunny, blue skies. After breakfast we packed up and said our goodbyes to our lovely cottage in the woods. We would always cherish the special time we shared there in commemoration of our 30th anniversary.
Last October, we had endeavored to hike around the valley floor. There is a trail that goes completely around the valley, but due to that time of year, we ran out of daylight before we could complete it. We had begun the hike at Curry Village and ended at the Yosemite Lodge. Today we were determined to pick up where we left off and finish this hike. We drove to the campground near the Yosemite Lodge and parked our cars. Today was warmer than yesterday, so we did not bring any jackets. We started our hike on the trail shortly before Yosemite Falls. On the way, we passed a group of people taking rock climbing lessons on one of the walls. It is always fun to watch them practice. Although this is not a sport or hobby I would ever care to undertake. Before long, we were again at lower Yosemite Falls. We did not linger here too long since we had just passed by here yesterday. The trail next led us deeper into the forest and started ascending higher up above the trees. We were very near the rock walls on the eastern end of the valley towards Royal Arches. At one point, we left the trail and climbed up a semi steep hill to the bottom of a large rock wall. Above the wall, an ephemeral cascaded down into a small pond. It was a tranquil setting. We also saw some rock climbers nearby up the wall. We ventured back down and continued on the trail. About a mile later, we arrived at the grounds of the Ahwahnee Hotel. We stopped by the gate keepers hut and took pictures. The trail next led us behind the Ahwahnee parking lot and again began to ascend higher back into the forest. We crossed a small foot bridge near Lahamente falls and saw the canyon where the Indians used to travel through to reach Yosemite Valley. As the trail neared Mirror Lake, it started to descend again. At times, we could see the bike path which we had been on many times before. But we were determined to stay on the valley loop trail and reach our destination of Mirror Lake. Once again, the trail ascended up into the forest. This was also part of a horse trail, and it seemed the higher we ascended, the more difficult the trail became. The trail was strewn with rocks and horse manure. It became slippery and somewhat difficult to continue one, not to mention the foul smell of the road apples we were encountering more and more. But eventually we did make it to Mirror Lake. How good it felt to dip my tired feet in its cold waters and be refreshed. We sat by the lake’s edge and ate our trail mix. Of course the local squirrels seemed to have some innate sense in them to know that we had food. They were soon coming up to us. Mike fed them a few peanuts. It was entertaining to watch them chew their food. Afterwards, we caught a shuttle bus back to our vehicle near Yosemite Lodge.
It was getting later in the day, and we needed to head to our next destination at Yosemite West. After a quick stop to the grocery store, we made the 20-minute drive to Yosemite West. We are staying at a small house called Cozy Bear. The entire décor of the home is a bear theme. The house has 4 different levels. The first level is a small living room area with a gas fireplace. The next level is a small kitchen that leads out onto an outdoor patio with a gas grill and table and chairs. The third level has our bedroom and a bathroom, and the 4th level has another bedroom. There is a 5th level, but it is locked, and we did not have access to it. The home is tastefully decorated, and very cozy, hence the name, Cozy Bear.
Jeremy and Molly arrived here at the Cozy Bear cabin around midnight. They are going to spend the next three days with us. We’ve looked forward to seeing them. We only visited for a short time after their arrival as it was late and everyone was tired. It felt good to lay our heads on our pillows for the night.

Bedroom at Cozy Bear

Bedroom at Cozy Bear

Ahwahnee Gate Keeper Hut

Ahwahnee Gate Keeper Hut

Pond & Waterfall below Royal Arches

Pond & Waterfall below Royal Arches

Below Royal Arches

Below Royal Arches

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anniversary ahwahnee

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

The morning of our 30th wedding anniversary began with sunny blue skies. After a delicious breakfast at the Curry Village Pavilion, we rode our bikes around the valley. Although it was mid June, the temperatures since we have been here have been in the high 50’s to low 70’s. It does not yet feel like summer. Our first stop was at the historic church in the valley. We always enjoy visiting this church. By this time though, part of the valley was beginning to fill with clouds, so the photo opportunities were not as ideal as we would’ve liked. From there we rode to the visitor center. We ate our meager lunch of granola bars near the Indian Village which is behind the visitor center. After that, we watched the film “Spirit of Yosemite” in the visitor center. We first saw this film in 2001, and it is still being show there. The footage carries many spectacular views of not only Yosemite Valley, but also Tuolumne Meadows and the high country. We had been told before that the majority of people who visit Yosemite do not venture any further than 500 feet from their vehicles. If that is true, it is a shame, because there are so many breathtaking places to see in this great park. Our first visit to Yosemite was on our honeymoon in 1979. We were so impressed with this place of such natural beauty, that we have returned again and again. There is so much to see, and we probably have not even scratched the proverbial surface of all there is to see in this great national park.
After browsing a brief while in the visitor center, we rode our bikes over to the trailhead for lower Yosemite Falls. On the way there, we ran into the O’Keefes again. They were heading over to El Cap meadow to watch the rock climbers on the wall. They are such a special couple, and we look up to them. We wished them well and rode over to the trailhead of the falls. We made the short hike to the footbridge where many visitors were enjoying the amazing view of the falls cascading from incredible heights down the mountainside. It took us longer to return from this hike as we were having so much fun taking photos and experimenting with our cameras. I am a beginner in the world of photography and have a lot to learn. Mike has been a big help to me.
From there we rode our bikes back to our cottage at the Ahwahnee and changed into our dinner clothes. We walked to the Ahwahnee and enjoyed some tea and cookies in the hotel’s Solarium. This room is behind the great hall and offers a good view of Glacier Point high above. The Ahwahnee has three main wings, and each wing was designed to face prominent scenes in the valley. The dining room faces Yosemite Falls. After we finished our tea and cookies, we wandered around some of the other rooms in the great hall and viewed old photos and relics of the past. At 5:30, we were escorted to our table to enjoy our 30th anniversary dinner. Mike had requested this special table, and we were happy that they were able to grant us our wish. The table is called the honeymoon table. It is located at the very back of the large dining room and sits in front of a huge window that I am guessing is probably 30 feet high. From out of this window, you can see Yosemite Falls. Mike ordered the Filet Mignon dinner, and I ordered the Alaskan Halibut plate. A basket of delectable breads was brought to our table. Before eating, we held hands, bowed our heads and thanked God for giving us 30 years of marriage together. In an age where more marriages appear to be failing than succeeding, we are so grateful to God for being with us all these years. When Jeremy and Molly were married last October, Pastor Stoops charged them to always keep God in the center of their marriage and to put Him first. If you do this, you will succeed. It was a special moment. We also ordered a watermelon salad. Neither of us had ever heard of this or tried it before. I was quite surprised with how pleasing it was to my palate. The watermelon was cut into small bite-sized cubes and arranged along with a few pieces of avocado on a thinly sliced dill pickle. There was a hint of mint seasoning on the melon along with some other spices. The combination was truly refreshing. For dessert, we each ordered the raspberry sorbet. The entire meal was delicious. We walked around the hotel and grounds before retiring for the evening. Thankful to God for this very special day.

Wedding Day June 16, 1979

Wedding Day June 16, 1979

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El Capitan

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

After a fitful night’s sleep, we arose around 6:00AM, quickly loaded the vehicle and headed for Yosemite National Park. The sky was blue, but clouds seem to be ever with us so far on this trip. We turned west onto Hwy 120 and made our way up Tioga Pass. We reached the entrance gate to Yosemite at around 9:00 AM. The elevation here was 9,945 feet. The temperature was 38 degrees Fahrenheit. There still was much snow at this elevation, and the mountain peaks even had some recent dusting of snow. We stopped at a small pond to take photos and continued on to the Tuolumne River where we also stopped. It was still winter in the high Sierras. Continuing on, we passed Lembert Dome,Tuolumne Meadows and Lake Tenaya before stopping at Olmstead Point. From there, we could see Half Dome down Tenaya Canyon. Many visitors were here as well taking pictures. We hiked down a short distance from the parking lot and were greeted by a couple of yellow bellied marmots. The first one I saw sitting on a rock. He was looking at me as if he were waiting for me to photograph him. Mike and I had fun taking their pictures. We hiked a little further on to a rise in the rocks and took more pictures of Lake Tenaya, Half Dome and the surrounding beauty. After we hiked back to our car, we had a lunch break, eating the sandwiches we had purchased in Bishop. We continued on and arrived in Yosemite Valley around 2:30. We stopped at a few of our favorite spots to take pictures and then pulled in to Camp Curry where we usually stay in the park.
Mike was going to the visitor desk to check on our rooms. I browsed in the village store. A few minutes later he was back, which was surprising to me. Usually there is a long wait before you can get your cabin keys. He said the rooms would not be ready until after 3:00 PM and suggested we go someplace where we could relax, like the Ahwahnee Hotel. The Ahwahnee Hotel has a great room that is like a gigantic living room. It has a couple of huge fireplaces and a variety of sofas and chairs. 97 percent of the furnishings in this room are the originals from when the Ahwahnee opened in 1927. It is a nice place to relax. We each ordered a beverage and went out to the veranda to relax and enjoy the scenery. As is common at the Ahwahnee, especially on a Saturday or Sunday, a wedding was getting ready to take place. We saw several from the wedding party going back and forth in preparation. It’s such an exciting time. After we finished our drinks, we took a walk behind the hotel. There are several cottages back there in the woods. We had stayed in one three years ago for our 27th anniversary and had really enjoyed ourselves. But this time, it looked like we were going to be staying in Curry Village, possibly in a tent cabin or a wood cabin without bath. Because of the rock slides last year in Curry, our original reservations had been cancelled. Mike had had a difficult time finding lodging for us in the valley. We passed by the cottage that we had stayed in three years ago. Mike was telling me that he had heard that some of the cottages actually had fireplaces in them. The one we had stayed in did not. We passed by a cottage that was being cleaned. We stopped to take a look, and it had a fireplace in it. The cleaning lady let us come inside and take a peek. The décor was Indian, with a King-sized featherbed and a good sized fireplace. The only problem with it was that it smelled smoky. Otherwise, it was a lovely spot to stay. The cleaning lady told us that a lot of honeymooners stay there. We continued on thru the forest and ended up at the river’s edge. It was so peaceful and tranquil back here. The river looked so crystal clear as it flowed through the forest. Mike and I took a few pictures. I noticed a bridge further down, and I told Mike I would like to go photograph it. He told me to go ahead and take some pictures. And then he informed me that we would be staying there at the Ahwahnee in the same cottage we stayed at three years ago. I was so surprised! All this time, I had thought we would be staying in a wood cabin without bath in Curry Village. I was not looking forward to a midnight trek to the restroom a stone’s throw from our cabin or waiting in line at the bath house to take a shower. But I wasn’t going to complain because I had stayed at the Ahwahnee three years ago, and I was grateful for that experience. But now, Mike was telling me we would indeed be staying at the Ahwahnee! I was surprised, happy and overwhelmed at the magnanimous heart of this man who married me almost 30 years ago. We both had an emotional moment of tenderness. We hugged and then Mike went back to the hotel to check us in and get our room keys. Still feeling overwhelmed with gratitude, I went back to the river’s edge, sat down and wept. As I sat there by the river, I began to pour out my heart to God and thank Him for his faithfulness and goodness to me.
When Mike returned, he told me there was a change in plans. The employee who had made our reservations apparently made a mistake. So instead of the cottage we had before, we would be staying in another one nearby. He took me to our cottage, and it was just perfect! It had a comfortable king-sized feather bed with soft, plump pillows. Outside our window we could see Half Dome smiling down on us. Everything was immaculate and tastefully decorated in the Indian style for which the hotel was named. What a wonderful anniversary gift to stay at this peaceful place. I am so blessed.

Our Patio

Our Patio

View from our room

View from our room

Our room at the Ahwahnee

Our room at the Ahwahnee

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june 2009 vacation 121

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

We stopped at the store to pick up a few items and then headed northwest on Hwy 395 towards a canyon that Mike wanted to explore. I later found out it was called Pine Creek Canyon. We took the Pine Creek Road exit. It was about 5:30 PM by now. We saw a sign that said the road we were on would end in six miles. Shortly after, we passed the small town of Rovana. Rovana is a community located in Inyo County. The elevation is 5,141 feet. Continuing further, we were headed into a narrow canyon up in the mountains. Below we could see the volcanic tablelands as we rose higher and went deeper into this towering mountain canyon. The snow-capped mountains further in the canyon loomed high and formidable above us. As we were taking in this fantastic scenery, Mike stopped the car and hurried outside. “What is he doing”? I wondered. In my side view mirror, I saw Mike looking at the rear tire on the passenger side of our SUV. He did not have a happy look on his face. I stepped out of the car and to my dismay; I saw that the rear tire was completely flat! We knew we had a spare tire under the vehicle. But Mike had never changed a flat tire on an SUV before. We had only owned our Sequoia two years. By now, it was almost 6:00 PM. I checked my cell phone thinking I could call AAA. To my dismay, we had absolutely no coverage up here. The winds were picking up in this narrow mountain canyon. The skies were darkening, and it would not be long before the sun would be setting behind the mountains. I felt panic rise up in my spirit. What would we do if we could not get down this mountain before dark? Would we have to spend the night here? There was not a single soul around who could help us. I felt like breaking down and crying and giving in to my fear. Instead, I began to pray to God and ask Him to help us. Mike found the auto manual in our glove compartment and began to read it. He placed heavy rocks under each wheel so our SUV would not roll over him. We had our bikes on the rack behind our vehicle. In order for him to get to the spare tire, he had to remove the bikes and the rack from our hitch. Next, He crawled under and began to move the spare tire down from its place. It was held in place by a winch. He had no real problems getting the spare tire out from under the vehicle. There was a hydraulic jack that came with our car, and after a couple of tries, he was able to raise the SUV enough to remove the spare. It was not easy work. I felt pretty helpless just standing there watching him and offering any help I could provide. We were in a race against time and the elements. After removing the flat tire, we saw a big screw inside. Thank God we did not have a blow out when we were on Hwy 395 driving 70 MPH. The spare tire was full of air. Thank God for small miracles! The tire was quite heavy, but Mike was able to hoist it in place and screw the bolts back in. It took about 40 minutes for him to complete the tire change and put the rack and bikes back in place. Before we left, Mike took three of the big rocks he had placed under our vehicle and piled them on top of each other as a memorial. The fourth rock we kept as a reminder of God’s provision. We then held hands and thanked the good Lord for helping us. Whew! This was our near peril miss, and we are grateful to God for His hand of protection and His help!

We made it back to our hotel about 7:00 PM. Mike called AAA and was told that they do not repair tires. We knew we were going to be leaving tomorrow and driving up to Yosemite, so we started looking in the local Yellow Pages for a tire repair location nearby. Most businesses by this time were closed. However, Mike called one place and was given the phone number of a man named Bill who had just left for the day. Bill agreed to meet us at his place of business and repair our damaged tire. He and his wife were there when we arrived. They were so kind and gracious to not only repair our tire, but to take the spare off and put the repaired tire back on our vehicle. And they only charged us $40. Bill and his wife Patty are around the same age as we are. They are recent empty-nesters like us. Patty is originally from the Midwest as we are. We had a lot in common. Sometimes I believe God sends people our way in times of urgent need to help us out. This was one of those times. If you are ever in the town of Bishop and need your car towed or a flat tire repaired, look up Bill’s Towing Service in the Yellow Pages.

We had not yet had dinner. It was about 8:15. We stopped at a KFC across from our hotel, and brought the food back to our room. It felt so good to know we would be sleeping in a warm hotel room and not on a mountain in our car. We fell asleep with grateful hearts.

Into the Foreboding Canyon

Into the Foreboding Canyon

fixing flat

Memorial

Memorial

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Minaret Summit View

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

ANNIVERSARY ROAD TRIP DAY 3

Today we were up and on the road by 9:00 AM. We were headed to our next destination – the town of Bishop. The skies were a milky white with darker clouds gathering on the horizon. The temperature was in the low 40’s. Hard to believe it’s June. Since these trips are also meant as a time for exploration and adventure, we decided to turn off and visit Virginia Lake, not too far from Twin Lakes. This lake was rather small, compared to Twin Lakes, but it had a similar beauty. It was surrounded by high, snow-capped peaks, and there were many fisherman lined up along its shores. They were having great success in their endeavors as the lake was well stocked with fish. Mike and I crossed a rickety wood foot bridge and made our way to the shore’s edge to take some photos. Since it was overcast, we did not spend a lot of time here. We checked out the resort lodge, and I spoke with a young man named Christian who worked in the store there. He informed me that the lake we had just seen outside was actually little Virginia Lake. There was a big Virginia Lake further up the road. He pulled out a map and began to show me that there were many lakes which made up the Virginia Lakes. They also had a hike that would take you from there to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. I’m sure that would be a rather arduous and strenuous hike. I prefer to drive there.
We continued on our drive and stopped about 15 minutes later at Mono Lake in Lee Vining, CA. We have been to Mono Lake many times, but we still enjoy visiting. Mono Lake is a majestic body of water covering about 65 square miles. It is an ancient lake, — one of the oldest lakes in North America. It has no outlet. Throughout its long existence, salts and minerals have washed into the lake from Eastern Sierra streams. Freshwater evaporating from the lake each year has left the salts and minerals behind so that the lake is now about 2 1/2 times as salty and 80 times as alkaline as the ocean. The Mono basin’s long history of volcanism is evident in the hills that mark the north and east boundaries of the basin. To the south lie the Mono craters. Panum Crater, the northern most of these craters erupted only 650 years ago. Mono’s islands are also volcanic. Pahoa Island is thought to be around 300 years old. Hot springs and steam vents in the basin show that volcanic activity is still present. This whole area of the eastern sierras is full of geo-thermal activity. Mike and I even saw a hot springs along the side of the road. We stopped at the Mono Lake visitor center and perused the displays and their gift shop. Mike bought me a little stuffed bird that chirps when you squeeze it. We have been collecting these birds for a few years now. The one he purchased today was a meadowlark. I named her Malarky.
Our next stop along the way was the town of Mammoth Lakes. We drove to the Minaret Summit view, which is over 9,000 feet in elevation. From this lookout, we can see across the valley to the group of mountains known as The Minarets. These peaks are very jagged and have a beauty all their own. Storm clouds were gathering, so we did not stay too long here. We took several photos and also video taped the Minarets and its environs using my cell phone. We then sent the video to Jeremy our son. It’s amazing what you can do with modern technology. It still blows my mind.
We reached the town of Bishop at about 2:30 PM. After checking into our room and getting settled, we drove around the town to do some exploring. We headed east on Hwy 6 for a few miles as we wanted to check out the Laws Railroad Museum. It was closed by now, but we wanted to find it in order to visit tomorrow. We rode a few miles further on Hwy 6. We were out in the middle of nowhere, with the White Mountains to our east and much scrub and sagebrush everywhere else. Out towards the west, dark foreboding clouds hovered ever closer. We could see sheets of rain in the distance dumping on the mountains.
We headed back into town and found a local Mexican Restaurant where we ate a delicious, albeit a little too spicy meal. Ironically, above our table was a big photo of over 100 different hot sauce brands. We looked to see if the “Wrath of God” hot sauce was there, but it wasn’t. We had a good laugh over the names of some of the other hot sauces though. There were names such as “Last Rites”, “Lotta Hotta,” “911”, and “Spitfire”. My favorite was “Tongues of Fire”. We retired early to get a head start on the next day’s adventure.

Old Cabin at Little Virginia Lake

Old Cabin at Little Virginia Lake

Boats by Little Virginia Lake

Boats by Little Virginia Lake

Little Bridge at Virginia Lake

Little Bridge at Virginia Lake

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