Eastern Sierra Fall Colors
In October 2003 I went on another workshop with Steve Kossack. This time we went to the Eastern Sierra. I drove over through some real garden spots: Delta, Utah and Ely and Tonopah, Nevada. We stayed in Bishop, California. Each morning well before dawn we were on the road trying to be in place long before sunrise. We had a great group of people. The fun in these trips comes from a number of sources. First, Steve takes you to some wonderful places. Even if you forgot your camera it would be worthwhile. Second, you get to work closely with a bunch of people and share their ideas and experiences. Again, even without a camera it would be great. Third, you get to take pictures in all these wonderful spots then share the memories with others. Steve works very hard to help you get the best you can from the trip. I've not been disappointed in four trips with him now. I would highly recommend him if you are interested in going to some great photographic locations and giving your photography a big lift.
Canon EOS 1Ds, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L @ 68mm, ISO 400
Bishop Creek Canyon
Fall color is always a chancy thing. In spite of good planning, nature does not always cooperate. This trip, however, was fantastic. I think this was a result of Steve's good planning and some good luck.
Nineteen miles and almost 5,000 feet of altitude gets you to Lake Sabrina at the top of Bishop Creek Canyon. We had one sunrise shoot planned for Lake Sabrina. Several of us who were driving back on our own made a second trip up here on our last morning. The first was definitely the best.
Bodie is a well preserved (thanks to being made into a State Park) ghost town. It was built during the gold and silver mining boom in the early 19th century. It was a rough place with regular shootings. We spent several hours exploring the remains of the town.
Mono Lake used to be much deeper. Drawing off the water to send to LA resulted in dropping the level significantly. The attraction of the lake is the many calcium deposits that used to be below the surface, but now are exposed. They are called Tufa. There is currently an effort to restore the lake to nearer its original level. Most of the tufa will be drowned once again if that happens.
Bristlecone Pines grow in several locations, but the oldest trees (and oldest living things on the planet) are found in the White Mountains which are just to the east of Bishop and Big Pine. The oldest tree is 4,900 years old. These trees are in a protected area. The first grove is at about 10,500 feet altitude and they extend up to nearly 12,000 feet.