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USA Wanderings: Up in the Mountains

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Did you know that if you go up to 7000 feet the oxygen is thinner and it is harder to breathe. You also need to keep hydrated, or things start feeling wrong. We arrived up at Lake Tahoe late on Saturday night and then yesterday I started noticing how hard it was to breathe, then I got a headache. I didn’t want to believe it was altitude sickness, which I hadn’t heard about before until Anne was telling us how she had it once. In the end I realized I was dehydrated so once I started drinking more water, a lot more water, then I felt a lot better.

I really didn’t want to miss some gorgeous scenery by being sick.

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We went to Squaw Valley to see some big mountains. They were very big and nothing like I had seen before.  We took the tram up to the top to look around.

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This was taken in the tram as it was taking off up the mountain. You can see where we were headed.

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This is what we travelled in. They are small and there was a lot of people in it. It was hard to take photos with the glass and reflections.

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There are chairlifts everywhere for the snow season. I can understand why they are there, but it was hard getting photos without them in it.

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Here is the view from the top. Look at those mountains. It was breathtaking, literally breathtaking. It was so incredible to see all of these.

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Of course we had to take some photos of the small wildlife going about their business on the flowers. We don’t get bees like this in Australia, so I couldn’t help chasing them. A lot of fun.

I am acclimatizing to the area, and looking forward to exploring more as we travel. I’m really looking forward to today, but tomorrow is going to be amazing.

Here are the above photos and more of the mountains.  Don’t forget you can click on an image to see a bigger version of it.

56 Comments
  1. Great photos!! my wife and I took a very short hike the other day on our Mount Charleston at a bit over 9000 foot, gasp!!

    September 8, 2015
    • Thanks John, oh I know what you mean. We were going to go for a hike, but decided that I probably wouldn’t be up for it.

      September 8, 2015
  2. Keep hydrated, for sure!
    Beautiful scenery.

    September 8, 2015
    • Yes, I’m drinking a lot more. Thank you Ruth.

      September 8, 2015
  3. Sailing, then mountains, wonderful experiences for you Leanne, and some great photos.

    September 8, 2015
    • It has been Chris, I’ve loved it so much. Thank you.

      September 8, 2015
  4. Great shots – brings back memories of driving up Pikes Peak in Colorado – similar issues with blue fingernails at the top!

    September 8, 2015
    • The mountains here are so amazing, we don’t get mountains like it in Australia. Thanks Nexi.

      September 10, 2015
  5. Beautiful photographs. I have been up to 14500 feet but didn’t have to worry about acclimating as I jumped out of a plane soon after. Skydiving.

    September 8, 2015
    • Haha, I pissed myself laughing when I read this, love it. Thanks

      September 10, 2015
  6. Good to know. I have a trip to a mine in chile. It is 14000 ft above sea level. I have to take a physical in Chile before I’m allowed to climb. Will certainly keep hydrated. Great photos

    September 8, 2015
    • Oh yes, being dehydrated was not nice, so you have to drink a lot more than you normally would.

      September 10, 2015
  7. I love riding in cable cars but I agree with you. It’s difficult to take good photos through the glass. It’s a great way to enjoy the scenery though.

    September 8, 2015
    • They are fun, you can see some great things, the reflections are terrible though. Thanks Carol, did Marsha tell you we met up?

      September 10, 2015
      • Yes, she sent me a lovely photo of the two of you. Did you have a good time?

        September 10, 2015
      • I did, but I was so tired, not really sure I remember it much lol.

        September 10, 2015
  8. Like the lift photos, also of course the mountain shots. And the close ups 🙂 I like them all, good you recovered so you could focus on the photography

    September 8, 2015
    • Yes, I was really glad too, didn’t like that feeling, bad enough having trouble breathing. Thanks Anders.

      September 10, 2015
  9. Altitude+heat+dryness+flying=dehydration…glad you caught it in time, it can be most nasty (as well as debilitating)…don’t worry, NYC is just a smudge above sea level…

    September 8, 2015
    • I am too, it wasn’t good at the time, but as soon as I had a heap water, felt much better after that. Thanks Robert.

      September 10, 2015
  10. A small tram packed with people?
    Worrier that I am, I would have been wondering….what if there is too much weight…what if something breaks…so high….eeeek!
    But the trip to the top was well worth the ride. Beautiful photos.

    September 8, 2015
    • I think they are designed to take a lot more people than they can physically carry, and there would be a limit. It was really good Mary, though if you don’t like heights, probably best not to look out the windows. Thank you Mary.

      September 10, 2015
  11. I’m very pleased you’re going to some of the same areas that I enjoy. Are you getting any night shooting in? Squaw has some really good low light pollution levels. That is where I was shooting some images of the Milky Way with some light painting in the foreground. Lots of fun.
    I look forward to more images of your travels.

    September 8, 2015
    • I loved the mountains Tim, I would come back just to see them again. I tried some night shooting last night in Yosemite, but that’s all. It was a lot of fun, but didn’t really think of doing any until yesterday.
      Thanks Tim.

      September 10, 2015
  12. Anne Sandler #

    So sorry you had a reaction to the altitude. Bodie is even higher, so take care. Beautiful images.

    September 8, 2015
    • Once I filled up on lots of water I was fine Anne, thankfully, a bit breathless, but overall I think I did really well considering, I didn’t get sick, which I am so glad about. thanks Anne.

      September 10, 2015
  13. Beautiful shot!

    September 8, 2015
  14. love your US posts and seeing how much you are enjoying the trip! wonderful photos Leanne 🙂

    September 8, 2015
    • Thank you Debi, it has been so amazing so far, I’ve really had a great time.

      September 10, 2015
  15. Beautiful pictures Leanne. When we went to pikes peak in the Colorado Rocky Mountains it is 14, 114 feet tall and my eyes got blood shot were talking dark red and I was short of breath. I think it pretty much happens to everyone that does not live in higher elevations.

    September 8, 2015
    • Oh no, that sounds terrible, I got the short of breath, but I was pretty much okay as long as I kept drinking water. though the highest I got close to 10,000 feet so that was interesting. Thanks Sonya.

      September 10, 2015
  16. We loved the big mountains, and bumble bees, too -hope you “get” a hummingbird or two as well!:)

    September 8, 2015
    • I loved them too Sukie, I would love to come back to them, spend more time. How cool are the bumble bees, I don’t know about the hummingbird, but I will look out for them. Thanks Sukie.

      September 10, 2015
      • We saw two species, but there are more – and they are awesome! And they really hum, because their wings beat so fast.:0

        September 10, 2015
      • I want to see one now, maybe I should be on the lookout.

        September 10, 2015
  17. Ahhh the Sierra! One of my favorite playgrounds. The mountains are like nothing else, hard to describe and yes they literally take your breath away with that high elevation! Hope you are hydrated now and staying that way. It is hard to sleep at high elevation too, always find myself having a hard time getting into that deep sleep. Love seeing all that you are seeing. Thanks for taking time out of your trip to share! Enjoy more of this adventure.

    September 8, 2015
    • I think you are the only one that got what I was talking about Carrie, they really do take your breath away, I was struggling to breath, but it was so beautiful up there, really hope I can go another time. I was so tired that I did sleep, which was good. I made sure I drank lots of water, so that made me good. I am enjoying sharing and it gives my family an idea of where I am and what I am doing. Thanks Carrie.

      September 10, 2015
  18. You are near my stomping grounds. I’m only about 80 miles from Squaw Valley, CA. I’m in Nevada. I’m used to that altitude thing. I love your pictures.

    September 8, 2015
    • How amazing, are you near Reno? So amazing up there, I loved the mountains. I seemed to adapt rather quickly which is good. I didn’t have any real problems, the breathing was a bit laboured, but I coped. I am so glad I didn’t altitude sickness. Thank you Edith.

      September 10, 2015
  19. Gorgeous photos and scenery Leanne – sounds like you’re having a great time!

    September 8, 2015
    • Thanks Robyn, I am having a great time.

      September 10, 2015
  20. If you have not been acclimatized to high altitude, going from sea level to 7,000 feet will affect you. Much of it is just taking your time.

    September 9, 2015
    • I am happy to say that once I drank a heap of water I felt a lot better, the breathing thing only bothered me at night, I was usually too busy to worry about it. Thanks David, I think I did okay.

      September 10, 2015
  21. What a beautiful place, lovely photos!

    September 10, 2015
  22. Beautiful!
    Where else do you plan to visit while in the US?

    And – yes – definitely stay hydrated. 🙂

    September 11, 2015
    • Thanks RoSy, I’m in California until Tuesday then I fly to New York for ten days and then fly home.

      September 11, 2015
      • Exciting – Have fun in NY!
        I’ve been there once – quick trip. I hope to go there again one day. Only time will tell.

        September 11, 2015
      • Thank you, I’m sure I will have a great time.
        I hope you get to go again too, should be amazing.

        September 11, 2015
  23. Enjoy your time in the US! Waiting to see where the winds blew you in your travels 🙂

    September 14, 2015
    • I have been, it has been so incredible and I’ve seen so much. I’m off to New York on Tuesday, so that will be interesting. Actually I’m pretty excited about that. Thanks

      September 14, 2015

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