Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Eastern Sierra, California and Alicante, Spain

Whenever I explore places, I try also to imagine some places that may share some similarity. Doing this makes me feel like I have been to many places at one time. Having not enough time, resources and energy to explore all places in the world, when I take a hike, I close my eyes and transport myself to another place sometimes. Perhaps, very similar to the contrasting geography and weather in California is Alicante, Spain. Most of the province of Alicante has semi-arid environment such as the deserts of Eastern Sierra, East of the central and southern part of California.
   Dawn at Mono Lake South Tufa State Reserve, Lee Vining, CA
Whereas the Northeastern part of Alicante bordered by the sea has true Mediterranean weather like the coastal region of Southern California. Their mountain regions are also not spared from snow just as California mountains. 
 Desert and Snow, The Geographical Diversity in Eastern Sierra, CA
The Mediterranean weather closer to the ocean, the sand dunes in arid valleys and four seasons mountains provide so much geographical diversity in Alicante.  Since getting to Alicante has been made easier by the region's excellent transport networks, its natural features and culture make it one of the most surprising and visited provinces in Spain.
The similarity of the geographical contrasts in California, Alicante, and in most other places remind us that Earth is beautiful wherever we may be if we open ourselves to the beauty of the natural world that surrounds us. 
Because I have not been to Alicante yet, let me share with you our recent California get-away, in the Eastern Sierra. What makes the Eastern Sierra so unique is that this desert environment has so much small streams from the snow covered mountains that creates a vast desert landscape with surprising regions of riparian green habitat that provides a refuge to a diverse wildlife. 
From the lowest point in Northern America to the highest point in the contiguous US, there is so much diversity in the Eastern Sierra that is a geological wonderland to a keen observer.          
 Lowest Point in Northern America at  Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, CA                
 Highest Point in Contiguous US, Mt Whitney, Sequoia National Park, CA
(but photographed from Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA)
There are so many geological features in Eastern Sierra and so many trails that vary from desert to alpine environment. What I will share in this post is a glimpse to our 4-day unplanned getaway just recently. 

Day 1: From San Diego to Lone Pine via Death Valley National Park.                                         
Darwin Falls, Panamint Springs, Death Valley National Park
Day 2: Lone Pine to Bishop                                      
  Sunrise at Lone Pine, Eastern Sierra, CA                                       
 Manzanar National Historical Site, Eastern Sierra, CA                                        
Day 3: Bishop to Lee Vining                                      
Pleasant Valley Dam, Owens River, Bishop, CA
   Bishop Creek Canyon                                      
 Contrasting landscape, Bishop                                         
 Dusk at Mono Lake, Lee Vining, CA
Day 4: Lee Vining to Lone Pine                                      
Mono Lake, dawn                                      
  Hot Creek Hot Springs, Mammoth Lakes, CA                                      
 Eureka Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park, CA
Day 5: Trip back to San Diego from Lone Pine.
Home Sweet San Diego
Now, back to enjoying the sea.
I am just glad that though the ocean is our backyard in San Diego, but the mountains and the desert is just nearby.

Just like Alicante, Spain!

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  1. "Whenever I explore places, I try also to imagine some places that may share some similarity. Doing this makes me feel like I have been to many places at one time. Having not enough time, resources and energy to explore all places in the world, when I take a hike, I close my eyes and transport myself to another place sometimes."

    when i come to your page, i close my eyes and transport myself to the place you have been.., and it always feel like heaven! thank you Beth! you are a God given angel to a wanderlust like me who can't go anywhere physically. :)


    I'm glad you got to get away to the beautiful Eastern Sierra. It's always amazed me to such a beautiful earth, from your fantastic photos, and I feel as if I'm in another world through them.

  3. Oh, we LOVE the eastern Sierra! We drove up to Mammoth early this month and stayed 3 nights at Twin Lakes, then back to Lone Pine, then home to Palm Desert. It snowed 6 inches in 24 hours and yes, we had to scrape snow and ice off the car! I slipped and fell in the cabin and broke my camera. There is so much to enjoy in the Sierra!

  4. You first picture stops me from reading further.

    It is so beautiful that I cannot get away from it.

  5. Wow...each time I drop by your blog...I will surely be surprised with your photos...

  6. i so love it whenever i heard you are hiking because i know when you come back you bring with you lots of awesome photos. and what is more exciting is that - you share your wonderful experience with us here. keep doing it. you are an inspiration.

  7. California is an incredible state. Through youe lenses, we have everything...snow, mountain, desert, water.

  8. I didn't know that the lowest point and one of the highest were so close together. Very interesting.

  9. Love the waterfall! Happy Thanksgiving, Betchai- Hope you had a great one!

  10. For an unplanned trip, you had quite an adventure. You saw mountains, snow, sand, lakes, springs, ...etc. Hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving!

  11. just breathtaking your pcitures! I am so happy for you, that you are surrounded by such nature beauties and you can go and enjoy them!

    have a good weekend:-)

  12. the snow photo and the fall photos are my favorite. All your photos are so inviting, but what can I say new? lol. Have a great weekend.

  13. oh wow! the pictures are breathtaking! you've been to spain? nice! and lucky you to have an ocean as your "backyard" ;)

  14. Beth, when you added the music - 'How Great is Our God' to your wonderful photos and when you use words coming from the heart..... put tears in my eyes. I am so happy that God gave you these talents and am so thankful that you share them to the world - keep it up my friend. You know where and how to find me...... Always a fan and forever grateful - Linda - ;o).