Monday, August 4, 2008

Part 4 - Camping at Brown's Owens River Campground

We camped at the Owens River Campground for 6 nights. Initially, this campground appeared to be unappealing lying in a flat tree-less, windswept valley. But spending one night will convince you that this campground lies in a special place.

The campground sits in the Long Valley Caldera and surrounded by a string of 13,000+' high Sierra peaks to the west and the Glass Mountain range to the east. The White Mountain range lies further east beyond the Glass Mountains.

The sunrises and sunsets are glorious and the night sky brilliant. If the conditions are right, the night sky is a stargazers paradise. We were treated to seeing shooting stars, many constellations, bright planets, satellites, and the wide swath of the Milky Way painting the night sky.

Herb and I arrived early and set up camp with the spectacular Sierra Mountain range as our background. With warm temps and no trees, a shade canopy is a necessity.

This is what we woke up to every morning!

The Yosemite fires created some smokey days but the sunsets were amazing. This is a shot of the Minerets basking in the pink glow of sunset.

This is not the Moon. The wildfire smoke made the sun glow bright orange at sunset.

A close-up view of the orange sun

Later in the week, the Yosemite fires seemed to be subsiding and created only a wisp of a pink cloud

Fellow hikers and cyclists from Grass Valley and San Luis Obispo arrive and begin setting up their tents

Reza from San Luis Obispo sets up camp in the high wind

Dennis taking advantage of the shade canopy. Strong afternoon winds bellow the canvas canopy and towels.

It's quite windy in the evenings so Herb gets creative. He cooks in the back of his van using it as a windscreen.

We were treated to a night of amazing star-gazing by our camp neighbors Dave and his daughter Abbey. He brought along a computer tracking 12" mirrored telescope enabling us to zoom in on the planets, stars, moons, nebulas, and other heavenly bodies.

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