Flora & Fauna of the Eastern Sierras...

Wildflowers are just a few of my favorite things  ♫♪.







I had to include this Tent Caterpillar's home, because it was intriguing and ooky, all at the same time. Tent caterpillars are in the moth family Lasiocampidae and they are among the most social of all caterpillars and exhibit many noteworthy behaviors. They also build a single large tent which is typically occupied through the whole of the larval stage. This tent was teeming with caterpillars. Nature is so amazing.
The look on this butterfly's face was so interesting. Man, I love exploring new places and making discoveries.

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Ancient Bristlecones...

A must for us was to see these trees (Pinus longaeva) the oldest known living trees on earth. Here in the White Mountains, the ancient trees have survived more than 40 centuries.


At 10,000 feet, it was only 59° vs the 81° in Bishop. Perfect exploring weather.



These "old age" gnarled Bristlecones command complete attention, for there is a definite emotional impact up on meeting a 4,000+ year-old tree. The aged tree's tenacity to maintain life is impressive. While most of its wood is dead, growth barely continues through a thin ribbon of bark.
To wander among these ancients was a true unforgettable experience.
Each Bristlecone pine, from young seedling to ancient relic, has an individual character. Young trees are densely clad with glistening, soft, needle-covered branches that sway like foxtails in the wind. With their bristled cones dripping pine scented resin on a warm afternoon, they exude all the freshness of youth.

"While on the roughest ledges of crumbling limestone are lowly old giants, five or six feet in diameter that have braved the storms of more than a thousand years. But whether old or young, sheltered or exposed to the wildest gales, this tree is ever found to be irrepressibly and extravagantly picturesque, offering a richer and more varied series of forms to the artist than any other species I have yet seen."—John Muir
Exceptional...

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♪♫ Welcome to the Hostel California ♫♪

The wonderful town of Bishop, CA is equal distance from South Lake Tahoe and Tehachapi, thus a perfect rendezvous location for Leslie and me.


When looking for a home for three nights, we knew we found a winner when we arrived at Hostel CaliforniaWelcome to the most bad-ass housing option for climbers, hikers, and all those who hate hotels.

Originally built in 1885 by Inyo Register Founder William Chalfant, The Hostel California property has been transformed into a true luxury haven for climbers, hikers, and adventurers of all kinds. AND it had the coolest vibe ever!

Opened last June, the owner, Matt, has taken this previous B & B and turned it into a really awesome place to be. It is a mixture of old and new that just seemed to work.
The public places were welcoming and very international. Finnish, Italians, Germans... all climbers and all super friendly.
We booked into the "Happy" room, with our own queen sized beds, and a private bath. For $60 a night, there is nowhere else like it anywhere.
Another huge selling point was the kitchen privileges. We cooked most meals here. The camaraderie in the kitchen was awesome. 

Delicious food in a fantastic setting! Loved, loved, loved it all.

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The Actual Birthday...

Conveniently, our library book sale coincided with my true birthday, so my volunteering had me surrounded by a few of my favorite things... books and friends (everyone comes to this event).



Mom came by with birthday brownies and a dinner invitation for later.
Chris and Jan brought a huge, beautiful cake for me to share. Friends came by with birthday hugs, flowers and a song or two.
"Best friends are the people in your life that make you
laugh louder, smile brighter, and live better."
I ♥ my friends!

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Tahoe Chamber's Business Expo...

Tonight was a fine example of the most fun anyone can have (should have?) for $10 in Tahoe.

We pre-partied in an opulent suite in Harrah's and then it was off for the festivities. The annual Business EXPO is the most dynamic business event of the year and showcases Tahoe Chamber members raising the bar in business. 
Attendees were educated and pampered.

Tradition dictates that Steve and Bob get photographed with the lovelies.
The food and drinks were out-of-this world. The businesses really impressed.

Photo booths are some of my favorite things. 
Emily is the goddess that makes this event happen. I think she's amazing.

I think this photo sums up the night... completely. Enough said!

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Wild & Scenic Film Festival...

A tradition since moving to Tahoe, The Wild and Scenic Film Festival exhibits powerful environmental and adventure films, inspiring its audience to take further action regarding issues that impact our environment, ourselves and our world. The Sierra Nevada Alliance, its sponsor, has been protecting and restoring the Sierra’s majestic mountains, roaring rivers, still clear waters, rural communities and teeming wildlife since 1993.

Each film, while uniquely different, really did inspire. I had two favorites. The Ridge, aptly described: "Danny Macaskill is a very good bike rider. A very, very good bike rider. So he climbed a mountain near his home on the Isle of Skye and did something that will make you scream with joy and horror."

The other favorite was Sufferfest 2. "Less than a year after enchaining the fifteen tallest peaks in California, by bike, Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright have forgotten that it was their worst trip ever and for some reason…they are at it again. This time they attack an ambitious goal to climb 45 of the American Southwest’s most iconic Desert Towers, via their most difficult routes, in an epic and scenic bike journey that takes them through Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. This movie has it all: gale force winds, hard climbing, snow in the desert, loose rock, and a puppy. What more could you ask for?" I ask the same question when describing this film festival. Fun stuff.

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Waterfalls, 2 Lakes, 2 Concerts, Too Fun..

Wanting to show a different side of our Lake Tahoe Basin, we headed to Fallen Leaf Lake and beyond.

Stop #1: The Beautiful Glen Alpine Falls. These never fail to impress.

Lily Lake is my favorite of the small lakes that are easy to access. Gorgeous views and peacefulness.
A pause on the shore of Fallen Leaf Lake made the morning complete.
Our first magical music happened aboard the Tahoe Paradise for Ike & Martin's Pints and Paddles. When we saw they had a concert while Robby, Bob and Annie were in town, we knew this event was a must!
On the Lake with these two... spectacular!


While we were cruising, Jenny was birding. She took this photo of our boat through her bird scope using her cell phone. Pretty amazing!
The cruise ended as the sunset illuminated the sky and we were then off to our next venue.
Our friend, Robert, was performing as the semester final for his college music class. The entire Abbey Road album was played. What talent.


The perfect conclusion to an exceptional two day visit. Music, new friends, old friends and unforgettable memories. Outstanding Day #25.

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