Returning south from Crocuta, we made a little detour via the Sierra Trading Post store in Reno to see if we could find a few items that one cannot live without. For me, this was a new pair of boots. I tried on a bunch of pairs, and really these were the best fit right from the start. But, never having heard of "AKU" before, I was somewhat hesitant. In the end I figured that between the fit being good and the boots being made in Italy, it would be difficult to go wrong.
Naturally, after such a purchase, it would be impossible to go the rest of the day without actually trying them out. So we stopped (this really was a detour) at the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains for a hike through some really really old trees - over 4000 years old!
The trees were good and gnarly, and they were growing right out of sandy dolomitic rock, truly white, and the reason (I figured) for the name of the mountains themselves.
From the White Mountains, we were able to clearly see the Sierra Nevada to the east, and here in particular is the "Inconsolable Range" - which was (obvsiouly) why I had to photograph and mention them...
Rounding out the last 2 weeks at mostly high elevations, the trailhead started at 10 000' and from there we hiked UP - between this and virgin boots, taking breaks to photograph Indian Paintbrush was pretty easy to do. There was no shortage of spectacularness, making the return to Bakersfield even less inviting.