In the last Month I have made 6 trips across the Sierra Nevada to various places along HWY 395, thats about as many as all my prior visits combined.  “The Eastside” is truly a ridiculously awesome area that I am only now becoming comfortably familiar with, driving the same stretch of highway 6 times in a month will do that – though I’ve only scratched the surface.

In Late August my girlfriend joined a group of people raising money and awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy by hiking to Mount Whitney.  I could not make it for the hike but was able to pick her up afterwards, which afforded me the great pleasure of traveling through Tuolumne Meadows at sunset.

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The sun was setting as I arrived in the meadows-at the first parking lot I hopped out scrambled up the rocks and made this quick panorama

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Getting back in my vehicle I couldn’t resist on quick grab of these clouds lighting up over the granite dome I had just descended.

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My phone rang as I drove down the road – my brother, whom recently moved to North Carolina from the Bay Area was excited to hear I was in the Tuolumne and asked me to take a photo of Mt. Dana, naturally I tried to…

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Above: this is not Mt. Dana but the mountain next to it,   Mt Gibbs.   I did my best.

Below: After picking up my girlfriend in Lone Pine, we camped at June Lake.. sitting by the campfire looking up at the stars.

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After making a mad dash out through friday night traffic from the bay area, we made it over Sonora Pass to the Bridgeport area just after midnight and then climbed over the seats and into the back for a few hours of sleep before sunrise.

Conway Summit- not quite what one would hope for- a picture speaks a thousand words..

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Arriving at the Sage Hen Summit area mid morning – the place was just past peak as advertised.  After looking around a bit I came across this location that really captured my interest, a good part of the morning was spent exploring this valley.  Its a little early – though some of the brush was already loosing leaves, overall an awesome spot I can’t wait to visit again and again in the seasons ahead- maybe even in early October – we shall see.

This is a panorama made from 4 vertical frames | ISO 200 | f11 @ 1/30 | 28mm

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I absolutely love the mix of aspens in the fall with high alpine desert scrub.

Below:  another panorama. three frames oriented horizontal but panning from top to bottom.

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Originally the plan was to head to Twin Lakes and hike up into the meadows of Upper Robinson Creek …. looking for aspen.   A last minute decision was made to have go at Bishop Canyon Instead.

From Surveyors Meadow:

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Last year was my first visit to North lake and I never made it over to South Lake.  The time I headed to South Lake first and then ended the day at North Lake. Photographing foliage and shooting in the early mid and late afternoon hours was a welcome and refreshing change – this area is just beyond gorgeous- the vibrance of the color here, on this day in the bright 4pm sunlight was just incredible.  I scrambled into as many places as I could as time was limited.

Here is another panorama- oriented in landscape with panning from top to bottom.

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One last shot from North Lake before heading back over the mountains…

two frames- oriented horizontally.  Thankfully some high thin clouds were streaming over around this time.

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My goal was to catch sunset in Tuolumne Meadows, thus shortening the final drive back to San Francisco.   sunset didn’t really pan out from Olmsted Point as planned, but this amazing light hitting the cliffs around the meadows was a gleaming example of just how incredibly beautiful Yosemite – the sierra – can be on any given evening.  I pulled over for all of 60 seconds, just to plop drown the tripod and snap a shot.

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