Laura and Lee's September Saunter

September 6-9, 2001

September...time to celebrate Laura and Walt's birthdays in the mountains again! And yes, we do go the same places year after year...but it's *tradition* after all - and what's wrong with that?

This year we added another traveler to our merry band - Walt and Barb's Portugese Water Dog Kona, Empress of Portagees, aka the PWD (pronounced "pwid").

She'd never been to the Eastern Sierra before, but she was an excellent traveler and seemed to enjoy herself - except when she got too hot. :-) But more about that later.

Thursday, September 6 - Travel Day, Fossil Falls

This time on the way up, we stopped at a place called "Fossil Falls". This is the site of some volcanic activity - there's a large cinder cone nearby, lots of lava laying around, and then a cliff of what looks like obsidian - remiscent of a waterfall, hence the name.

It was pretty warm there, and we saw this very colorful lizard sunning himself on a rock. He let us get pretty close to him.

Speaking of colorful, the lichen that was on some of the lava rocks was also very colorful - and there was a lot of it.

After Fossil Falls we made our usual stops in Bishop for gas and bread and groceries before heading up to my parents' house.

Friday, September 7 - Rock Creek

After breakfast the four of us, plus Dad and Kona, headed up the road to Rock Creek to do one of our favorite day hikes in Little Lakes Valley. It's one of the prettiest valleys I've ever been to, and so accessible! You can get a great view of a lake and the mountains with less than a half mile hike up the trail. Of course it's popular enough that you often end up parking your car in the overflow lot that's another 1/2 mile down the road, but that's another story...Since it was after Labor Day, we hoped there would be fewer people around.

We walked about 2 1/2 miles up the trail to Chickenfoot Lake which, guess what?, is shaped like a chicken foot! We settled down in the grass around the lake to eat lunch, soak up the sun, and even nap a little.

We went back via a cross-country route which was a little steep in places, but eventually we hit the main trail and made it back to the trail head again.

Lee had fun taking water photos - though he had to get down and dirty for some of them! :-)

It was late in the season and it had been a dry year, so there weren't too many wildflowers around, much to my disappointment, but earlier in the season the trail passes by meadows that are full of flowers. I still managed to find a few of them, though. :-)

Saturday, September 8

Hmmm...after a wonderful breakfast of Egyptian Waffles (just like mummy used to make), we headed up to Convict Lake. I think I've told the story before - that it was so named because some escaped convicts were captured there in the late 1800s.

We had a good time wandering all the way around the lake. It was a pretty warm day, though, and while we were walking on the west side, which is sand and sagebrush and exposed with very few trees, it was getting *quite* toasty. At one point we finally came across a tree whose shadow provided some shade, and Kona immediately flopped down in the shade and refused to move for several minutes. :-) In that gray/black coat she was pretty hot! She certainly knows how to make her wishes known. :-)

The rest of it I'll just tell with pictures... :-)

Lee, Walt, Barb, and Kona on the east (somewhat cooler) side of the lake.

There's a "boardwalk" across the marshy/muddy part at the lake's inlet at the southern end. It looked kind of cool in the trees.

What are all these people looking at? :-)'s a large bird! We think it was a golden eagle, eating his/her kill at the top of this dead tree.

We took some "family photos"'s Lee and me...

...and Walt, Barb, and Kona.

This is what the trail on the west side of the lake looked like - you can see why Kona would have found the shade of a tree inviting - they were rather few and far between!

But even though it was dry I found some more flowers to photograph... :-)

That night we celebrated Walt's and my birthdays (which had been the day before)

Sunday, September 9

Time to go home...and pack up and drive home was just about all we did. The weekends always go much too fast!

But here's a few last flower photos...

Other Links

Tigger's Labor Day Lark

Laura and Lee's Vacation Page

Text and photographs copyright © 2002, by Laura Gilbreath. Feel free to link to this document, but you may not redistribute it in any form without the express written consent of the copyright holder.

Laura Gilbreath,
Last updated 4/12/02