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Nothing But Blue Skies Do I See

Dawn, Virginia Lakes (9/19/21) Clayton Peoples

Seeing nothing but blue skies following a month of smoke and haze, Eastern Sierra color spotter Clayton Peoples headed south on US 395 to explore the Virginia Lakes, Sagehen Summit, Rock Creek, and the Bishop Creek drainage. He reports:

  • Virginia Lakes (10-50% Patchy). It was blustery when Clayton began the day at Virginia Lakes, though the sunrise was great with fast-moving cumulus clouds turning orange with the first rays of sun. Aspen are at the lower end of “Patchy,” closer to 10% than 50%, but color is emerging, as advertised.
  • Sagehen Summit (10-50% Patchy). By 8 a.m. at Sagehen Summit, though windy, it was clear and is now on the low end of Patchy (15%). Should be great in a week.
  • Upper Rock Creek (10-50% Patchy). Rock Creek is one of Clayton’s favorite Eastern Sierra locations. Most of the aspen along Rock Creek Rd are Just Starting,. Rock Creek Lake and its surrounding trails warrant a low end of Patchy rating (10-15%). In fact, this is where I got the most beautiful views of the day (see attached photo)–a patch of aspens turning orange in the foreground with Bear Creek Spire and its companions towering in the distance. 
Lake Sabrina, M. Fork Bishop Creek (9/19/21) Clayton Peoples
  • Bishop Creek (10-50% Patchy). In Bishop Creek Canyon, lower elevations are Just Starting and higher up it’s just barely Patchy with some 10% starting to pop. The famous view above Cardinal Village Resort is still lime green, but along the road a little higher up the aspens are starting to turn. Same story at Lake Sabrina, where some stands of aspen are turning orange. 
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