Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gold Country

Off on another photography road trip ... to the gold country of Sonora and above.  I'm looking for fall color to photograph and where better than at 9000 feet atop the Sierra Nevada mountains.  The BIG fuel tank comes into play here, in both a good and bad way!!!  Remember the 52 gallon tank??  I've got over a half a tank, so more than enough to make the trip up and back.

Unfortunately, my friend Diane and I didn't see any color until we were at about the 7500 foot mark.  These gorgeous trees on the river really stood out.
A little further up, almost to the top of the pass we found this creek.  You can see snow in the background, I'm guessing from a big storm a couple of weeks ago.
In the bottom of this little canyon was this very large dead tree.  It took me about 30 minutes of scrambling to get to the base of the tree for this image.  Little did I know how hard it would be to climb back up!!!
Finally we reached the top of the pass.
From here, the real story starts ... I have over a quarter tank of fuel, I'm good.  We start back down the pass, which is VERY steep, to stop at the places we passed on the way up.  After about a mile, bells start ringing in my truck!!  I'm OUT OF FUEL!!!  and we are 60 miles from nowhere.  It can't be!!!   I had over a quarter tank .... so we coasted the rest of the way down the pass till we hit a flat spot and after rolling for a few yards, the fuel tank came back up a little.  As we drove along not using the accelerator at all, it came up a little more.  On an uphill stretch, it came back up to a quarter tank and I breathed a huge sign of relief.  Having seen the tank before installation (it has two compartments with a flow through section), it dawned on me that the fuel had run to the front of the tank because it was so steep ... the intake is in the BACK of the tank.  By then, photography was the last thing on my mind.  I just wanted more fuel ... so we hit it back to Mi Wuk for a big drink of diesel.

Lesson learned ... big tank or not, don't drive in the mountains without a FULL tank.  We're planning another trip to get images of the places we missed .....  

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