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Town & An Alkali Lake


10/16 &10/17/12

10/16/12, Lone Pine, CA - I took Tuesday off with the horses in set of corrals, full of green grass, by the bank of the Owens River. With no shoeing to do, it was a day of relaxation and rest for the team and I.

10/17/12, Owens Lake, CA (Coord. N. 36 deg, 23.608 min; W. 118 deg, 01.679 min)

Well rested and full of zip, the lads and I hit the road and drove two miles back to the highway and the town of Lone Pine.  It was a beautiful clear morning, without a cloud in the sky.

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Heading back to the town of Lone Pine. A gorgeous morning for a drive in the country!

When faced with a fairly long leg between towns, I always try to be as fully provisioned as possible. With that in mind, I had a few stops to make in Lone Pine. My first stop was at a gas station to top off on fresh water.  While there, some workers came out to visit. They have been waiting for me to come through town and thought they had missed me. My second stop was at the hardware store, where I found a replacement propane heater for the one that was leaking. My third stop was at the grocery store for some more tucker.  Finally, I pulled into the feed store for a few bags of grain. 

Thanks to my friends Clayton and Donna, I had a full load of hay, so this left the wagon fully provisioned for the drive south to Barstow.

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Unfortunately, a lamp post has to substitute for a hitching post in most places (outside of Amish country). The Amigos waited patiently while I did my shopping. Of course, the two bags of carrots from the gals in the grocery store helped keep them on their best behavior.

Owen Lake dominated the afternoon travel, as I trekked southward along itís western shore. This was once a large alkali lake, but has shrunk in the recent past as the Owen River is now largely used for irrigation or as feed water for the aqueduct supplying water for the City of Los Angeles.

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Itís hard for the camera to capture the subtle changes in hues from the sands and alkali salts extending out into the lake bed.  About 90% of the lake bed is now dry.

I made camp several hundred yards off the road, near the Los Angeles aqueduct. Once I settled in, I realized what a nice place I had to spend the night.  The horses have plenty of water and a place to roll, the view is stunning and the surroundings are peaceful.

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My evening view from camp, looking across Owen lake as the sunís shadow creeps out into the lake bed.

Just after sundown, I sat outside and ate a great meal of trout and fried potatoes and watched the stars wink into existence. The great blaze of the Milkyway filled the sky directly overhead, as the constellations formed in the heavens.  It was with regret that I took my last sip of coffee and moved back into the wagon to write this blog.

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After spending two nights on the lush green banks of the river, this camp doesnít look like much, but itís pretty good.

The journey continues southward in the morning.

Following are a couple of photos, courtesy of Glenn Clark. I believe they were taken about a week ago as I was traveling in the June Lake region.