Celebrating the Environment

Today is environmental blog action day, a day where we bloggers are drawing attention to the environment through our posts.  Since I’m cynical and don’t really see a viable solution to the mess we’ve created on this planet, I’m not one for solutions (don’t procreate? vote democrat? neuter your pets?).  I just play outside a lot and talk about it.

This weekend was no exception to my getting outside philosophy.  With the faux in-laws in town, we headed down to June Lake for some good eatin’, fall-color watching and bonding with my mother and stepfather who drove up from LA to meet us.  The Eastern Sierra is absolutely glorious at this time of year.  Vivid colors, cool temps, and in the case of this weekend, a dusting of snow over the peaks made it all the more spectacular.  While N took his parents and my stepfather into Yosemite, my mom and I had dog duty, so we took the mutt for a hike in the Ansel Adams Wilderness via the Silver Lake trailhead.  It was a 2600 foot climb to Gem Lake, and you can see how high you are for most of the trail, as it’s entirely above treeline.  With big peaks above us and large lakes below, combined with the odd glimpse of Mono or June Lake, we were awed by the expansive views that the Eastern Sierra is renowned for.

(photos courtesy of my mother)

As happens in this part of the world, we encountered a few interesting characters on the hike back, including the South American guy who looked like a real junk-show, wearing a hard hat with headlamp and toting his possessions in various stuff sacks and handbags looped over his body.  He must have been the one to drop his container of lighter fluid (?!) on the trail, which I promptly picked up to avoid encouraging stupidity in the backcountry.  Even though fire danger is no longer extreme in this part of the world, campfires are verboten in wilderness areas, though many people blatantly ignore that rule.