Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dreaming of the Range of Light

No ... I wasn’t there, unfortunately.  Photo courtesy Ronn Koeppel, who was.
I have yet to meet a mountain range as beautiful as the Sierra Nevada of California, with its vast expanses of pale granitic rock, often polished smooth by glaciers.  It's one of the largest batholiths in the world -- 60 miles wide, almost 400 miles long, and composed of an unknown number of individual plutons, probably hundreds.  These igneous bodies formed far beneath the surface, but when the Sierra Nevada was uplifted, erosion went to work to expose the gorgeous mass of rock for all to enjoy.
The east face of the Sierra Nevada stands high above the Alabama Hills, near Lone Pine, California. 
It has been a long time since I was last in the Sierra Nevada, though I’ve come close enough recently to be awestruck by its remarkable landscapes.  A trip into the Range of Light is high on my list of Dreams.
High peaks of the Sierra Nevada in early morning light; view from the crest of the White Mountains.
"it seemed not clothed with light but wholly composed of it, like the wall of some celestial city ... Then it seemed to me that the Sierra should be called, not the Nevada or Snowy Range, but the Range of Light."  -- John Muir 
Celestial scenery of the Yosemite high country.  Photo by Ronn Koeppel.

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