The glorious sunrise glow on the east side of the Sierra near Alabama Hills.
Since I was a young boy growing up in Bakersfield and Fresno California (yes I can admit it!), I have had the extreme pleasure of regularly camping and playing in California’s spectacular Sierra Nevada mountain range that forms the spine of the Golden State. One of the good things about my stint in the Boy Scouts (aside from learning what a fascist organization they are – a training ground for right-wing wackos…), was that I was taken on a semi-monthly basis to some glorious spot somewhere in the Sierra just outside of Fresno. The scouts took me to such locations as Yosemite, Bass Lake, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks and many other splendid camping sites. Aside from some of the brainwashing that was attempted in the scouts, many of my memories are actually very positive.
On one occasion we even did a two week, 100 mile hike from Devil’s Post Pile National Monument, over Donahue Pass in to Yosemite Valley. My stepfather joined us on this trip and that made it a blast! We saw tons of wildlife in the backcountry of the Sierra. So many Black Bears! One night, I recall my stepfather calling my name while I was fast asleep under the open sky, and all I remember was the black bear basically standing over me slobbering in to my backpack trying to get a bite to eat! There are many bear stories from my trips to the Sierra.
Later in life I had the pleasure of living near the Sierra and being able to spend countless days camping and trekking the various locations in the mountain range. During my time in Fresno, we went to Yosemite National Park several times a year. I also traveled to Sequoia and Kings Canyon quite a bit as well. I was usually after bugs as this was the peak of my bug-collecting period (although I NEVER collected in the parks), but I also went for the scenery and nature experience as well. Hiking the back country in the Sequoiadendron giganteum community is awesome to say the least.
After spending several years exploring the Sierra using Fresno as a jumping-off spot, I moved north to Sacramento with Lien. From Sactown, we would explore a very different part of the Sierra. Although we still made it to Yosemite from time to time, we spent most of our time camping and trekking the Sierra wilderness on or around the Ebbett’s and Sonora Passes on routes 4 and 8 respectively. These two roads transected the Sierra and crossed some of the most sublime wilderness remaining on the mountain range. We had a special spot at the peak of Ebbett’s Pass that we snuck away too regularly which was situated on an amazing overlook in a grove of ancient Sierra Juniper. I will always cherish the memories made there with Lien and our friends.
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Allow me to share some images of these very special mountains.