We made a trip to the Eastern California. We had planned the trip about 2 months earlier; before the wildfires. As we waited for the trip, we saw it threatened by the smoky conditions. We even pushed it back a week. As we traveled on Sunday, OCT 11 and even as we visited the Alabama Hills Monday morning, we enjoyed great skies and clear air. But, as we were leaving the Alabama Hills, we could see the smoke beginning to drift over the mountains. By Monday evening smoke from the Creek Fire had filled the mountains and the valleys. Returning to Mammoth Lakes on Monday, we often could not see the Inyo Mountains on our right; they rise tall and steeply just a few miles from the highway. Approaching Mammoth Lakes that evening, the surrounding forests were covered in a thick bank of smoke that looked like a blanket of fog in the late evening light. Tuesday morning the crescent moon and Venus were visible, but both were colored orange. Venus looked like a bright Mars.
We had planned several separate photo shoots, much of which we had to abandon. We salvaged Monday afternoon and Tuesday by travelling south into Death Valley. We left Wednesday cutting a day from our trip.
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