Deep Greens and Blues

 "Dude... I can't believe it. Do you see this?! We're actually here. We're in the Sierras."  " I know, man. This view never gets old... Let's put on our shoes and go hike to that one spot we scoped out" John said as we opened the backdoors of the van and began sorting through our fishing gear. We were finally in the Eastern Sierras, arguably one of our favorite places on earth. My cousin John and I, along with his brother, grew up camping in these mountains fishing creeks, skipping rocks, and causing trouble. However, our childhood days have been winding down as we begin making the trip by ourselves and leaving our family at home. At 5:20 AM on Saturday morning, we made our final adjustments to the van, grabbed some doughnuts, and got on the 14 heading north for the 395 in hopes of catching some big fish and reminiscing on past trips.  This particular trip was inspired from my recent western film kick.  There's something about the fantasy of riding horseback through the unexplored states, sleeping next to a fire by night and waking up with the sun every morning. A song that sings of this has been lingering on my mind and was played on repeat during the trip. James Taylor's    Sweet Baby James    has such vivid lyrics that it allows me to picture open fields of green and warm campfires, and that's exactly what John and I experienced during the trip. " Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose... Won't you let me go down in my dreams..."  We had first hand experience of this particular color palette James Taylor sings about.

"Dude... I can't believe it. Do you see this?! We're actually here. We're in the Sierras."

" I know, man. This view never gets old... Let's put on our shoes and go hike to that one spot we scoped out" John said as we opened the backdoors of the van and began sorting through our fishing gear. We were finally in the Eastern Sierras, arguably one of our favorite places on earth. My cousin John and I, along with his brother, grew up camping in these mountains fishing creeks, skipping rocks, and causing trouble. However, our childhood days have been winding down as we begin making the trip by ourselves and leaving our family at home. At 5:20 AM on Saturday morning, we made our final adjustments to the van, grabbed some doughnuts, and got on the 14 heading north for the 395 in hopes of catching some big fish and reminiscing on past trips.

This particular trip was inspired from my recent western film kick. There's something about the fantasy of riding horseback through the unexplored states, sleeping next to a fire by night and waking up with the sun every morning. A song that sings of this has been lingering on my mind and was played on repeat during the trip. James Taylor's Sweet Baby James has such vivid lyrics that it allows me to picture open fields of green and warm campfires, and that's exactly what John and I experienced during the trip. "Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose... Won't you let me go down in my dreams..." We had first hand experience of this particular color palette James Taylor sings about.

 Lone Pine, CA.

Lone Pine, CA.

 We spent the first night sleeping at the base of Mt. Whitney in the Alabama Hills, just outside of Lone Pine, CA. Due to the beating sun, we spent the day in the mountains trying to find pools to fish. Instead, we ended up hiking more than we expected and only managed to catch a few tiny ones. After spending an hour or two playing our knife throwing competition, we called it a day and headed down the mountain in hopes it cooled off. We were sorely wrong. It was summer in the desert. Until sundown, we spent the remaining afternoon laying on rocks and playing cards in the shade. After the sun went down, we made a fire, only to realize it was still too warm, so we ended up sitting a good 20 feet away from it. When we were finally ready for sleep, we folded out the bed and popped open the sunroof.  "I don't know if we're even gonna sleep tonight," John said nervously but somewhat comically.   "Come on, dude. It's not even that bad. We're so tired that we'll fall asleep no matter what," I stated, in hopes of getting up our spirit.  As I laid down on the leather sofa with the thinnest blanket I could find, my eyes stared at the ceiling and I began to break a sweat. "Yeah... This is gonna be a long night."

We spent the first night sleeping at the base of Mt. Whitney in the Alabama Hills, just outside of Lone Pine, CA. Due to the beating sun, we spent the day in the mountains trying to find pools to fish. Instead, we ended up hiking more than we expected and only managed to catch a few tiny ones. After spending an hour or two playing our knife throwing competition, we called it a day and headed down the mountain in hopes it cooled off. We were sorely wrong. It was summer in the desert. Until sundown, we spent the remaining afternoon laying on rocks and playing cards in the shade. After the sun went down, we made a fire, only to realize it was still too warm, so we ended up sitting a good 20 feet away from it. When we were finally ready for sleep, we folded out the bed and popped open the sunroof.

"I don't know if we're even gonna sleep tonight," John said nervously but somewhat comically. 

"Come on, dude. It's not even that bad. We're so tired that we'll fall asleep no matter what," I stated, in hopes of getting up our spirit.

As I laid down on the leather sofa with the thinnest blanket I could find, my eyes stared at the ceiling and I began to break a sweat. "Yeah... This is gonna be a long night."

 Sunrise the next morning. Still warm outside.

Sunrise the next morning. Still warm outside.

 That's John on the harmonica.

That's John on the harmonica.

 Dry wood.

Dry wood.

 Gear.

Gear.

 The next morning, we longed to escape the desert heat and head for higher elevation. After making our traditional stops in Bishop, we headed straight for the Owens Valley, dreaming of long green grass, good fishing, and cooler temperatures. We fished and explored all day long. However, we were wrong about the good fishing... 

The next morning, we longed to escape the desert heat and head for higher elevation. After making our traditional stops in Bishop, we headed straight for the Owens Valley, dreaming of long green grass, good fishing, and cooler temperatures. We fished and explored all day long. However, we were wrong about the good fishing... 

 Sunrise in the Sierras.

Sunrise in the Sierras.

 Target practice.

Target practice.

 John having a snack and watching the sun go down.

John having a snack and watching the sun go down.

 When John and I fish together, we spend a lot of time re-tying hooks. Growing up, we were like brothers, and I was the crazy brother that would do anything to make the other laugh and get themselves in the most mischief. We have some hilarious stories together. Years ago, when we got bored of not catching anything, I would put a ton of weights on the end of my line and we would see how far I could cast my line. One time I snapped the end of my rod.

When John and I fish together, we spend a lot of time re-tying hooks. Growing up, we were like brothers, and I was the crazy brother that would do anything to make the other laugh and get themselves in the most mischief. We have some hilarious stories together. Years ago, when we got bored of not catching anything, I would put a ton of weights on the end of my line and we would see how far I could cast my line. One time I snapped the end of my rod.

 21 years old.

21 years old.

 Breakfast goodies.

Breakfast goodies.

 Windy.

Windy.

 Glamping.

Glamping.

 A large part of our trip consisted of natural hot spring soaks. We camped within walking distance of one so we spent most of our time in the water, relaxing and enjoying the landscape. We soaked for hours that night and stayed in long enough to see the stars. The hot spring may have been the highlight of our trip. Here are some photos.

A large part of our trip consisted of natural hot spring soaks. We camped within walking distance of one so we spent most of our time in the water, relaxing and enjoying the landscape. We soaked for hours that night and stayed in long enough to see the stars. The hot spring may have been the highlight of our trip. Here are some photos.

 Natures jacuzzi.

Natures jacuzzi.

 Stoked.

Stoked.

 No this isn't a skunk, it's a mutt named Winston, Winny for short. He introduced himself by running full sprint at us and stomping all over our clean clothes. He was owned by a couple that worked in Mammoth and were frequent enjoyers of the hot spring. I don't think Winny stopped running the whole hour we were there.

No this isn't a skunk, it's a mutt named Winston, Winny for short. He introduced himself by running full sprint at us and stomping all over our clean clothes. He was owned by a couple that worked in Mammoth and were frequent enjoyers of the hot spring. I don't think Winny stopped running the whole hour we were there.

 We made plans to wake up a few minutes before sunrise so we could watch it from the water. I slept in my board shorts that night so I could expedite the mornings plans due to my excitement. John getting ready for yet another soak.

We made plans to wake up a few minutes before sunrise so we could watch it from the water. I slept in my board shorts that night so I could expedite the mornings plans due to my excitement. John getting ready for yet another soak.

 The tub was so hot it was fogging up my lens.

The tub was so hot it was fogging up my lens.

  "Waiting for summer, his pastures to change..."

"Waiting for summer, his pastures to change..."

 Deep greens and blues.

Deep greens and blues.

 Driving through the desert with no AC. 

Driving through the desert with no AC. 

 John is one companion I could always bring with me to this particular place. We know these mountains like the back of our hand and have shared some of the most memorable experiences together here. I just hope we can continue making the trip and eventually have our own kids follow in our footsteps, carrying on the love for the mountains.    "So goodnight, you moonlight ladies. Rock-a-bye sweet baby James. Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose, won't you let me go down in my dreams? And rock-a-bye sweet baby James."

John is one companion I could always bring with me to this particular place. We know these mountains like the back of our hand and have shared some of the most memorable experiences together here. I just hope we can continue making the trip and eventually have our own kids follow in our footsteps, carrying on the love for the mountains. 

"So goodnight, you moonlight ladies. Rock-a-bye sweet baby James. Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose, won't you let me go down in my dreams? And rock-a-bye sweet baby James."

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