The Sierra Nevadas are my favorite US mountains. They're not as majestic as their cousins the Rockies or as grand as uncle Mt Ranier but they have a playfulness I find compelling. Their young, spiky appearance echos the spunky attitude of my adopted state. I love to see the evidence from the random volcanic spew or the unexpected glacial dump- you can see and appreciate geologic movement in action when driving up the 395.
While hiking near Mammoth Lakes last weekend I was awed by their dramatic presentation. Pre-WW2, the US Parks service commissioned artists to capture the spirit of the Sierras; the images were a kind of advertisement for the West. Ansel Adams took the landscape and made it his own- it's hard not to feel as if you're trespassing in one of his photographs.