When we arrived in Tahoe on February 12th, there had been little snowfall for the winter so far. Fortunately, Heavenly mountain has good snowmaking capabilities so there were several runs with good coverage so that we found pretty good ski conditions. Of course, if you looked off into the trees you would see mostly rocks and stumps. So definitely, stick to the main runs.
We spent a few days in Oakhurst, CA, which is north of Fresno, about 17 miles from the south entrance for Yosemite National Park.
We took some day hikes around Oakhurst and Bass Lake. We also took one day trip into Yosemite going as far as Wawona. Sadly the Mariposa grove of giant Sequoias is currently closed for restoration work but we enjoyed the visit to Wawona, home to the Big Trees Lodge.
Next stop: Yosemite National Park
We left our RV parked near Crowley Lake and made the drive to Lake Tahoe to visit with our friends Steve, Wende and Brady. It’s always fun to spend time with them but summer in Tahoe at their nice home is special.
Lake Tahoe is a truly beautiful place at any time but summer is especially nice with a pleasant climate, clean mountain air, the blue lake and the variety of colors in the snow topped mountains. We enjoyed lots of hiking, biking and took a ride up the Heavenly gondola and did a little hiking around the ski runs.
Lee Vining put us close to Mono Lake and the June Lakes Scenic Loop. Located just north of Mammoth Lakes, June Lakes is another collection of beautiful mountain lakes. June Mountain is a small ski area (7 lifts) which is affilated with the much larger Mammoth Mountain ski area.
Mono Lake is a very interesting lake, ecologically and socially. Since it has no outlet the water in Mono Lake is very salty, 2 to 3 times higher concentration of salt than the ocean. As a result there are no fish in Mono Lake but that doesn’t mean that it is lifeless. The lake has a massive population of tiny brine shrimp as well as alkaline flies. The combination of the shrimp and flies attracts a wide variety of birds here. Notably, the majority of California seagulls are hatched in Mono Lake. There are also some migratory birds that stop here during their trip from Canada to South America. Notably the Eared Grebe spends a few weeks here to molt and fuel up for their non-stop flight from Mono Lake to Ecuador and Columbia. Interestingly, this bird is very efficient in the water but cannot walk on land. It has to land and take off from water. If it finds itself on land it will die there unless a human finds it and takes it to water.
Crowley Lake is a water reservoir operated by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. It’s located in the eastern Sierra mountains alongside US 395 about 28 miles north of Bishop, CA.
I previously mentioned that we cut short our time in Acton and made new plans. We were supposed to be in Acton until 7/7, then move to Lone Pine, CA, for 3 days and then on to Crowley Lake on 7/10. But when the temp in Acton began to rise past 100 and was forecast to go even higher we began to look for alternatives. Since Lone Pine daily high temps were expected to exceed 100 degrees as well, we decided to skip that and go directly to Crowley Lake since this would put us at a higher elevation and somewhat lower temps. We were able to find space at Crowley Lake Fish Camp starting on 7/6. We then moved to Crowley Lake RV Park on 7/10 as previously planned.