Thursday, September 29, 2016

First Snow!

 Last week on the first day of fall, we had a storm, the first storm in a long time (the monsoons kind of skipped us this year). I was doing a kid exchange and was up in Great Basin National Park when we saw a truck stopped at the bottom of the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive with snow on it. I pointed it out to the kids and asked if they wanted to go check out the snow. Desert Boy wasn't too enthusiastic, but Desert Girl thought it was a great idea. So we headed uphill and drove up to about 9,000 feet and started seeing snow on the trees above us. Fortunately not many other people wanted to drive up into the storm, so we could stop frequently and take lots of photos.

The fall colors were glorious, with many hues of yellows and oranges, and reds.

A little past 9,200 feet we reached our first snow. It was obvious that it had come down with some wind. Desert Girl put on a sweatshirt and went out to experience it.

Then she came after me with a snowball!

We kept going up, and the sun peeked out, showing snow-dusted mountains and limber pine silhouettes. I'm sure my pulse rate was up, I was so excited to be there, seeing this gorgeous scenery right in the moment.

I had thought that the wind might have knocked down many of the leaves, but they held on, now coated with a layer of white that made the fall colors even more vibrant.

The road was wet, but not slick. And I kept stopping to take more photos! The one below was one of my favorites.

At one stop, I caught Desert Girl eating some snow.

The snow balanced precariously on the leaves, some of it falling with each wind gust.

The fast moving clouds revealed some blue sky from time to time.

And I couldn't help but try for some artsy photos.

The scene at the Wheeler Peak summit trailhead was dramatic, with the trees drooping from the snow. No one was hiking the trail.

We could barely even see the mountains from there due to the clouds. It probably wouldn't have been that scenic of a hike, as you would be in the clouds most of the time.

We drove on to the Wheeler Peak campground, which was also coated in snow. We drove through to see if there were any campers.

We stopped at a campsite I've been wanting to camp at and found that the wind had knocked off more of the leaves here. As for campers? We didn't see any.

Heading back down, I still wasn't tired of taking photos. The mix of colors was entrancing.

And then we had some frosted vegetation and late afternoon shadows.

The view from Mather Overlook was a bit muted.

That spur-of-the-moment drive has to be one of the most beautiful drives I've ever taken. It was just magical. And the photos will let me remember it even longer. I sure was glad I had my good camera with me!
Hope you've enjoyed this eye candy. There are still lots of great fall colors and photogenic moments out there!

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