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Been so busy around here, weekends included, that when a break showed in the calendar it was time to go. The east side is close, so we loaded up the truck Thursday evening and busted out of here after work on Friday. Made a quick stop at Heenan Lake to see Hopi, one of our favorite border collies and headed over Monitor Pass on our way to Virginia Lakes.
After topping off the tank at Topaz Lake (gas prices there are less than here at home and Topaz is the only alternative to the steep prices further south on 395) and grabbing a Walker Burger for supper, we found a nice dispersed camping site along Virginia Creek below Virginia Lakes before dark.
Saturday's plan was hiking into the Hoover Wilderness above Virginia Lakes and dropping into and exploring the upper reaches of the East Fork of the Green Creek drainage. It looked like Sunday's predicted storm was coming in a little early with brisk winds out of the west and fast moving clouds,making this a pretty spectacular day.
Into the Hoover Wilderness
Up and over the top
And down the other side
There was evidence a large bear had gone up and over the pass also, except in the opposite direction.
As we got down in the drainage, Hoover Lakes were still below us
But our destination was to the west and up to Summit Lake
Just past Summit Lake is Summit Pass, an entry into Yosemite's backcountry
Summit Lake was a great place to lounge, snack, and soak up the very occasional shaft of sunlight. This was definitely recharging our batteries!
Having volunteered to help on many trail projects and knowing many trail crews, we love to see good clean handiwork that we know is incredibly labor intensive.
Looking back over the Yosemite high country, weather was coming in. We had wind, light rain, and occasionally, light blowing snow
In the early afternoon we were dropping back into the Virginia Lakes basin.
Light rain was falling at Blue Lake, just above Virginia Lake.
The aspens at the Virginia Lakes parking area were in their fall glory.
The rest of the afternoon we planned on just exploring and looking at the weather and fall colors. Heading north on Dunderberg Meadow Road we had to stop several times just for the color.
Light snow and rain coming down to Dunderberg Meadow
Our thought was that wandering up Green Creek Road would be fun.
We found a great spot to camp in the meadows and watched the sunset as we sat and ate dinner.
It rained hard and blew overnight so we packed up and slowly wandered back toward home Sunday morning.
Enjoying history, we stopped at the site of one of the first hydro electric projects in the Sierra Nevada, all to provide power for the big mill in Bodie.
We stopped for a hot spring soak and this was the view as we thoroughly relaxed.
We decided to poke around the Twin Lakes area and made a stop at Mono Village, usually a very busy place in the summer. It was quiet, almost empty, with a few workers busy on closing it up for the winter. A walk along Robinson Creek just above Upper Twin Lake was relaxing and fun to see brown trout and kokanee moving upstream to spawn.
We made a stop at Buckeye Hot Springs in the Bridgeport area. The springs flow down a steep hillside and fall into pools built along the cold waters of Buckeye Creek.
All in all it was a quiet, relaxing, and beautiful weekend. More and more we are enjoying the freedom the camper provides in visiting and staying at some of the really special places open to us.