Whilst I went up the mountain in the cable car, my friends were hiking the trails in the national park below. They camped at Minaret lake and saw the sunrise over the peaks.
The top of Mammoth mountain was windy and dusty with nowhere to sit and paint en plain air, so here’s another studio watercolour.
A perfect evening, the beach was quiet, just the sounds of the birds flying in for the evening low tide, looking for their catch.
The ocean was rolling gently now where earlier the breakers were high and white. As the sun began to set the waves turned an inky purple and the quieter water reflected a silvery lilac in the last rays. The birds were dark silhouettes against the orange sky and their loud squawking was softened by the breaking of the waves on the shore.
The painting needs some more work, more dark details in the water and if I dare risk it, a light pink wash over everything, (should have been done first of course).
Driving back from a day out in Julian, we were rushing, trying to get the best view of the sunset over the hills. We were maybe just a few minutes late but it was stunning nonetheless.
The last view of the Minarets rock formation from the cable car as they disappear behind the foothill of Mammoth Mountain.
The pine trees give way to deciduous species on the lower slopes, in a few weeks they will be wearing their glorious autumnal colour but so far only a tinge of red ochre showing.
Riding up and down Mammoth Mountain in the cable car, the parched ground below was sparsely populated by hardy hikers walking slowly up and masses of crazy mountain bikers riding very fast downhill.
Not all the lifts are running now, the Summer season has ended and there’s no sign of snow yet. The bikers are thrilled to get the lifts and the cable car to themselves and make several trips each day, gathering in teams at the top to race each other down.
Driving for 6 hours from San Diego to Mammoth Mountain. Somewhere just south of Lake Crowley heading north on HWY 395, the scorched plains at last gave way to greener pastures where numerous black grass-fed cattle eat to their hearts’ content. The sky so blue and the sloping hills touched with lilac, an idyllic scene after the endless miles of barren flatlands we passed through on the way.