We are on another photography vacation, beginning with a workshop in the Mammoth Lakes area of California. It is known for Mono Lake with its famous Tufas (more on these another day), the spectacular Eastern Sierras (mountains), and now that it is fall, some fall foliage (colors). And let’s not forget, some “Moose abuse” (sorry Moose). Two years ago we joined Moose Peterson, a world renown wildlife photographer on a workshop in Yosemite. Thinking that we were decent photographers and looking to be pushed to the next level, we found that and more. Some of you may recall our post on “A Rude Awakening”.
Although painful, we enjoyed it enough to join Moose again on an African safari. So a glutton for more punishment, here we are again, for a third round.
There is no easy way to get to Mammoth Lakes. We opted to drive the eleven hours from Scottsdale with a brief detour through Death Valley, where we will spend the second part of our vacation. Death Valley is below sea level. This means it’s HOT (103 as we drove through). Being below sea level means the oxygen is plentiful, thus we can breathe well while being broiled. I mention this because Mammoth Lakes is the opposite at over 8000 feet above sea level. Here oxygen is limited and nightly autumn temperatures are in the 20’s. In just a few hours, our temperature dropped 80 degrees and someone took away our oxygen!
After a very long day in the car, we arrived tired and hungry at our hotel. While checking in, the attendant asked, “would you like some champagne?” Being my mother’s son, I never turn down a free drink. Never. So, we each starting sipping from our glass unaware of what could happen. After a couple of sips, we began to realize that begin tired, hungry and at 8000 feet above sea level produce some very nice side effects. By the time we finished one glass were well on our way to being drunk.
Somehow we made it to the restaurant. Feeling really good we decided a glass of wine would be perfect with dinner. The next thing we knew they were clearing the table and I was paying the bill. I believe the food was good.
Before the beginning of the workshop, we headed out for some practice. Getting up early for sunrise (yes, we managed to do so), we chose a place nearby called “Convict Lake.” A beautiful lake at the foot of the rugged Mt. Morrison.
Just as the sun started creeping over the mountaintops, caressing the water, a white pelican swam by. At first I got a bit agitated as it was ruining our reflections. Then we realized it was here to play. With the light being so beautiful and watching its antics, we changed our tactic and made it our main subject.
The Sierra’s in Autumn are quite beautiful, giving Vermont a serious run for it money.
Once again it’s all about the light and warming up for the weekend. Do you thing we are ready for more abuse?