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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Lone Pine/Humphreys Basin, Sierra Nevada - "hammered us with hail stones"

(Photo credit: Ron Pinkerton)
 As the Sand Fire raged near our home I packed up the camper and my backpack and drove North to Lone Pine.  Some might question how I could leave our home with a wildfire raging only a few miles away. We now live in the city and our level of concern is much lower than at our former home in the hills. (Note: Our previous home in the hills was incinerated by a wildfire in October of 2008.)
Sunset on the road to Lone Pine.
 Dawn at our Lone Pine campsite. Clark and Jo Ann and I agreed to a leisurely start for our backpack to Humphreys Basin. After a half dozen setbacks during the day our leisurely start became ridiculously late. (No more mention of a Four Wheel Camper until the end of the post. Jan and I usually limit this blog to trips in our truck camper but the story does have FWC's as bookends. So, here are a few photos from a four day backpack.)
 Wild flowers were blooming along the trail.
Late afternoon at our Piute Lake camp.
 Looking West from Piute Pass.
 Panorama of Desolation Lake.
 Bosco and me relaxing at Desolation Lake.
 Clark, the goats and Jo Ann leading the way.
 Cooking dinner during a rainstorm is more comfortable in a FWC than a cramped backpacking tent.
 Bosco at Summit Lake.
 After an enjoyable four day back-country vacation below Mount Humphreys we packed up our camps and began the hike back to the vehicles.
We stopped at this lovely waterfall for lunch and that is when our little adventure began. A small dark cloud appeared over the peak in the center of the photo above. Clark and I expressed our concern about possible precipitation. Jo Ann confidently stated, "It is only a small cloud and it will blow over." About five minutes later a light sprinkle began and two minutes after that the hail began to fall. Jo Ann, Clark and I have been in many high country storms but this deluge lasted longer than a typical Sierra hail storm. For 90 minutes it hammered us with hail stones of many sizes.  It was almost like the little black cloud hovered over us for the entire time and emptied all of its frozen precipitation on our location. A friend who knows a lot more about meteorology than I do thinks that we might have been in a "hail shaft."
The moisture from the storm highlighted the color of Piute Crags.
 Bosco looked back as he crossed a slippery log bridge over the North Fork of Bishop Creek.
 Jo Ann, Clark and the goats led a soggy march back to the parking lot.
 To return this post to topic of Four Wheel Campers, we sighted one parked near our truck in the parking lot.

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