Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mount Whitney Fish Hatchery

Last night the weather forecasts looked promising for a hike to the Ashram.  But no, this morning our hopes were dashed by the sight of clouds hanging over the mountains exactly where we wanted to go. It's been raining and snowing up there, as well.

We decided to go out at look at the fish hatchery just north of Independence.  It's a stunning building.  It was built in 1915 out of 3,500 tons of local granite.  They didn't shape the stones, but rather collected them and sorted them to fit.  The stone work is just amazing.  California closed it as a fish hatchery in 1996.  It was kept open as a historical site.  Tragedy struck in July 2007 when a wildfire came up the slope and damaged several outbuildings.  A thunderstorm the following year resulted in flash flooding due to lack of vegetation to slow the water.  Money was raised and restoration was done.

The pond out front.

Unfortunately, they're closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Since we couldn't go in we wandered down to look at the defunct fish pens.

Further wandering lead us to an unrestored part of the flood plain.  This is a bulldozer that was taken by the water.  Critters are living in there now.

This a Western Tanager.  Note how red his head is.  The red coloration comes the insects they eat, who in turn derive the chemicals from what they're eating.

More wild life.  Isn't he cuute?  I love me some squirrels.

Here is the view from the back.  Interesting markings.

After the fish hatchery the weather was still unsettled in the mountains so we went over to Manzanar and walked the 3 mile driving loop.  We completed in 50 minutes, so I maintained a decent pace on level ground. 

The Inyo mountains with cloud cover as seen on the walk.

The forecast for the next couple of days is deteriorating.  I'm not sure what we're going to do with ourselves for the next two days.  We've pretty much sucked the entertainment value out of this end of the Owens Valley.


  1. Gee, your weather sounds like ours! We feel the same way about what we are to do for the next few days. So glad you made the three mile walk in such great time. That must have felt rewarding. Good luck filling the rainy days!

  2. Great catch on the Western Tanager! I'd never seen one until we arrived at the park we are staying at now. Pretty!

    Good luck keeping occupied for the next few days!

  3. Sure are some nice photos of those mountains. Not much anyone can do about the weather is there?