Tuesday, October 4, 2011

XC Trip day 11

The ride on Rt6 from Tonopah to the California border was relatively short, and again we noticed a fairly abrupt and distinct change in the landscape once we crossed the state line. We got into some rolling hills, the road started to curve again, and then we came over a crest and saw snow-capped mountains on the western horizon. Beauty.

Turning north on to Rt 120 you go through a fun section of dips and rises up into some foothills, and then it brings you past Mono Lake before turning west again. The ride up to Yosemite is very pretty, climbing into the mountains towards Tioga Pass (9,960 ft) where you actually enter the park. We had to stop for about 15 minutes for road construction but luckily we were at the head of the line, so when they cleared us we had the road to ourselves up to the gate. I had purchased an annual National Park pass at Yellowstone, so we were cleared pretty quickly.

The first hour of the park was nice. Great views of the mountains, in fact I came to the conclusion early on that this place was all about the rock. Rock mountains. Huge rock faces that you could see were once liquid (igneous?). Rock all around, and some trees and lakes and streams thrown in. We caught up to traffic pretty quickly because the speed limit in the park is 35 MPH, and with no places to pass we had to putt along for quite a while. Like 4 hours.

The plan was to meet Uncle Richard in Oakhurst, where Sandy had booked us into a Best Western. We were a little late pulling into town, but found the hotel quickly, and Unc. Richard motored up shortly after. We had a great evening catching up on events over drinks and dinner at the hotel.

A lot of the highway signs were riddled with bullet holes...

Climbing the access road to the park.

This was as close as we got to Half Dome, unfortunately.

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