The Alabama Hills are one of my favorite places here in California and a usual stop anytime I head to the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Normally I avoid the area during summer as the temperature is often well above my level of tolerance, But I decided to check things out anyhow. On the way up as I was crossing the Antelope Valley before entering the high desert area, I knew I would be in trouble from the heat. I guess after too much time in Northern Europe, I had forgotten that I really don’t enjoy myself in 100˚ (37˚c) temperatures (yes, I’m spoiled living on the coast). Turning off in Lone Pine during the late afternoon I headed straight through the Alabama hills and up to the 8,000 (2500m) foot coolness of the Whitney Portal to get a bit of an escape from the heat. The light was pretty bad anyhow, so I sat around up there and got eaten by mosquitoes for an hour or two.
I have a couple favorite places to camp, but since there is so much to see, I usually do a little exploring to see if I can’t find some cool new place. The whole area is open for wild camping, so I like to look for a spot where I can roll out the back of my truck at dawn, walk about 10 feet or crawl up some rock and start shooting. Sure beats having to drive anywhere!
The sunset was actually one of the boring-er ones that I’ve witnessed, but what can you do. Took a few night photos, but a pretty good wind picked up around sundown which was blowing a lot of dust around. So after a five minute photo, I’d have to clean everything off again.
Dawn broke to a perfectly clear sky, again, nothing spectacular. Better weather for climbing than photography.
Lone Pine peak in the center of the photo, with Mount Whitney (14,505 feet – 4,421m, highest mountain in California and lower 48) on the very right of the photo in the pre-dawn light.
Mobius Arch, one of the more famous icons in the area.
By 7:00 am it was already getting hot and the light hazy and washed out. So I decided to some place higher and cooler for the day…