Originally Posted by Desert Dave
North of Lee Vining is the turnoff for Lundy Lake. I'm now in day ride territory and thought this would make a good spot to come back to, but it's so close and I'm right here so why not look. The colors were changing but I decided another week or so of cool weather will make for some incredible photo oppurtunities and I'd come back. I predict an update in this thread in short order ........
So here I am two weeks later on my return trip to Lundy Lake. A nice day ride where I could devote the time needed to explore the area. Lunch packed and out the door a bit after 6 AM I'm excited as to what the day might bring. The two Sierra passes I plan on crossing were both shut down due to the first snow of the year, Tioga re-opened and I had faith that at some point in the day Sonora Pass would do the same. Doesn't matter as this ride isn't about the passes, but an eastern Sierra lake.
As elevation increases the temperature drops and it feels refreshing to use my heated gear for the first time in months. I love the crisp air, it makes me feel alive.
If you enjoy photography, trying to get across Tioga road without stopping for a photo is torture, but I was trying to make time. I ignored the changing colors in the morning sky, made it past Olmstead Point with just a quick glance at Half Dome and pushed passed the first view of Teneya Lake even though the shadows were dramatic and took my breath away once again. However, riding along the edge of the lake I couldn't resist the mist on the water, frost on the beach and reflections on the lake before the sun comes over the towering granite.
It was chilly, mid 30s, but that just made me feel a part of the scene. I could see the first rays of light peeking over the ridge and was glad I waited. The instant the rays hit the water the mist took on more of a prescence than smoke at a David Copperfield show. I always have time for this
Looking at where I just came from, for those of you not familiar with the area, that is the highway cutting through the granite next to the water. Much different than summer when this would be crowded.
O.K. now I'm going to make time. Really. At least until Ellery Lake with it's fresh dusting of snow. I hope I never get used to scenes like this.
A quick ride out into the desert and then back into Lundy Canyon for a look at the lake. I spied some old two track next to the lake for a better vantage point.
From there I went further up the canyon on a dirt road that would lead to the Hoover Wilderness where I was looking for a hiking trail.
The best surprise of the day was a neat series of ponds along the road that I had to stop and enjoy.
Wonder why they call these the Beaver ponds??
I really love this next photo, and not for the obvious reasons guys...
The rugged beauty of nature, with a silhouette of a softer type of beauty.
The road dead ends into a trailhead (hiking) and I set off in search of a well known waterfall. Lots of photographers up there doing the same, and honestly I wasn't impressed when I found it. Two miles of hiking and a bit dissapointed, it was time to get back to doing what I love best, riding away from the crowd.
Aspen lined roads made me slow down to enjoy where I was at.
lots of short roads to camping spots, but my favorite was an overgrown dead end that led to a footbridge that existed for the sole purpose of reaching a valve that would divert some water from this creek. This would be my lunch spot, for some reason a ride doesn't seem complete unless I find a hidden gem that I can claim as my own, and this was it for today.
Back on the highway headed North I take the turn off to Virginia Lakes. This is my idea of a powerline road. How can you NOT ride over the next hill to see what is there??
What is your favorite flavor? We've got them all in this grove.
Looking East I love the contrast of color to high desert.
Cresting Conway Summit is the classic view of fall colors with fresh snow on the mountains as a reminder of a looming winter.
This time of year I think of each ride over the passes as a gift as soon they will be inaccessible. This ride was no different.