Trip through the Sierra Nevada , October 15~19  2001

Before the winter rains would start, I decided I had to tour through the Sierra's, visiting a few National Parks. Although there are a few shots from my motorcycle, most pictures are displaying the beauty of nature in California. Actually, there's quite a bit of pictures from Death Valley....

Note: The camera used is a Canon EOS D30 digital camera (3MP).

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Yosemite was the first national park I passed through. I picked a specific corner of the park I hadn't visited before: Glacier Point.
The left picture are remains of a pine tree on top of Sentinal Dome. You pass by Sentinal Point on your way to Glacier Point. At Glacier Point itself I waited for the sun to set over Half Dome. Unfortunately the sun sank behind clouds before it got really red....
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Next park on the list was the combination Kings Canyon / Sequoia NP. Again I picked a road I never did before, into Kings Canyon. The end of the road looked a bit like Yosemite Valley..... :-)
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Then down into Sequoia NP. The big trees here remain impressive. I keep on needing known objects with the trees in the picture to show how large they really are. The right picture shows the biggest of the lot, the General Sherman tree. At the right of the picture you see some 'normal' trees and people. This thing is HUGE!!!!!

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From Sequoia NP I found a way straight across the Sierra's to the east slopes. It was called Sherman Pass Road. The AAA map wasn't sure if it was paved all the way but it was, although not the best quality. Of course my brave horse, the Transalp didn't have any trouble with a few potholes.

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Finally I arrive in Death Valley NP. Of course I took the hard way in, through Wild Rose road, across the Emigrant Pass. This road is desceptive. On both ends the pavement looks very good and indeed half of the road is good pavement. But there are signs on both ends saying that the road is not suited for RV's and the like, with good reason! The other half is very bad with deep potholes and even pieces unpaved. I actually prefered the unpaved parts over the bad pavement with potholes! Fun challenge though. :-)

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From the main road (Hwy 190) there is a small sign saying "Dantes View 17 miles". GO IN!!!!! It is definitely worth it! It's like you're on top of the world. From Dantes View at 5500 feet, you look straight down to Badwater at -280 feet. Right across the valley is Telescope Peak at 12000 feet. Immense dynamics!!
The right picture is Zabrisky Point. You can't miss this one, it's right off the main road, where all the busses with tourists are parked. :-)

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Because of lack of vegetation on the hill sides, minerals expose in a variety of colors. The left picture is along the road, on my way to Badwater, where I arrived on the right picture. Indeed the water tastes BAD!! Mono Lake is "salty", like sea water but this is double-salty; horrible!  :-)

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Off the main road towards Badwater, there is a detour called "Artists Drive". It's a little one way loop. Definitely recommendable!! Like Dante's View, people tend to pass by these places of beauty.

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This wasn't planned but I ended up spending the night in a motel in Stovepipe Wells, in Death Valley. Now I was able to experience the sunset in Death Valley. Oh boy.....

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The next morning I traveled west again, towards the Sierra's. In a certain area, probably where the conditions are exactly right, you'll see Joshua Trees. In the background of the right picture, there is the Sierra's and somewhere in this shot, there should be Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower US. Too bad this is October and most of the snow on the peaks is gone....

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In the town of Lone Pine on Hwy 395, there is a road going straight into the Sierra's that is called the Whithey Portal. It is a dead end after about 12 miles but it is a cool climb. It ends up at some camp sites and trail heads for Mount Whitney.

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I had been looking for this and on the last day I finally found one: a good bush of Aspen in fall colors. I have seen better in Wyoming and Utah but this is still a cool shot!
Then I headed for home across the Tioga Pass through Yosemite. The picture on the right is Tenaya lake on the Tioga road.