I was so ready for this. We took a much-deserved and long-anticipated mini-jaunt up to the mountains just west of Bishop, California, where, despite the 110+ degree heat in Las Vegas, there is still plenty of snow left.
We cut out of town at almost midnight on Tuesday, hoping to avoid the oppressive and confrontational heat of the southern Nevada convergence of the Sonoran, Mojave, and Great Basin deserts. We stopped the van and took out the kayaks to make room to sleep at about 4am in the White Mountains (not the same ones in New Hampshire). Even though we stopped at about 7800 feet, it was still too hot to sleep past 8 in the morning.
We got to Bishop by 9. After a quick stop at the sporting goods store for flies and a climbing guide and a mocha from the Looney Bean, we headed up the mountains to South Lake.
I had been to South Lake a year before, but it was cold and miserably wet. Because we are occasionally given to flights of fancy that cause us to believe we are some kind of rugged mountain men, we figured we'd hike 4 miles to some other little lake up by Bishop Pass (we made it almost an hour before trotting back down to the car as quickly as possible). Needless to say, our day was approximately one thousand times better than the last. It was warm and sunny, with snow on the high slopes melting into cascading streams and waterfalls on the talus slopes on the far side of the lake.
We paddled across the lake, an easy, pleasant 45 minutes, and ate sandwiches and grapes on the beach. On the return trip, I got distracted by a marmot on the rocks and Tyson claims he saw a pair of 5-pound trout. He must have seen something, because I dozed on the shore for more than an hour waiting for him to fish. He had the fish bug bad, so we stopped for another hour and a half or so on Bishop Creek. I didn't mind--the day's sweat had washed sunscreen and insect repellent into my eyes so all I wanted to do was take out my contacts and sit somewhere shaded for a while.
Afterward, we drove up to Lake Sabrina, where the dam had just been rebuilt so the water was a little low, then we ate relatively decent barbecue at the joint in Bishop, then got a motel room (our very first since we bought the van!) because we really, really wanted showers. We checked out climbing info for the nearby Owens River Gorge, read, and finally fell asleep.