Sunday, July 17, 2011

Yosemite - Day 3

After sitting in lots of traffic yesterday in Yosemite, we figured we’d have to deal with traffic again today… especially with it being July 4th.  Fortunately, traffic was non-existent.  I guess everybody had to head towards home after their long weekend.  So we got up early again and headed to Tioga Road and Tuolumne Meadows.  Tioga Road is a 39-mile scenic drive past forests, meadows, lakes, and granite domes.  We started at Tuolumne Grove and walked down one steep mile to the grove to see huge sequoias.  This trail had about 25 sequoias on a path that dropped 500 feet in one mile.  Unlike most trails, this one started at the top and went down.  The walk in was obviously much easier than the walk out.  The trees were enormous and were worth the hike. 

Sitting on a chunk of sequoia

 We spotted this chipmunk eating a napkin.
Within about 20 seconds, he had the whole thing in his jaw.

Much easier with walking sticks

I think somebody missed the turn.

Posing in front of a hollowed out sequoia

Inside a sequoia

This tree was growing on top of a rock.
Then we were off to Tuolomne Meadows, which provided a glimpse of the High Sierra.  We drove through the meadows and spotted some deer by the lake – another photo opp!   There was also an opportunity for a snowball fight!  Couldn't believe there was snow in July!  At this point we were getting hungry, so we drove until we made it to Tenaya Lake.  The really amazing thing is that along this drive there was still snow on the ground – in July!  So of course we had to get out and throw a few snowballs.  When we got to the lake, we pulled out the picnic and sat alongside the lake for lunch.  We had the lakee stretched out in front of us with snow-capped mountains on the other side of it.  Then behind us we had huge granite domes, and there just happened to be some climbers scaling to the top, which provided more entertainment for our meal.

Tuolomne Meadow
Deer taking a sip in the creek
Snowball fight in July!

Scott throwing a snowball at me!

Lunch at Tenaya Lake

Checking out the temperature of the water
Rock Climbers
Once we loaded back into the car, Scott had a thought that maybe we weren’t very far from a real grocery store, so he started working with the GPS to see what was nearby.  We were already about 90 minutes away from our hotel, and he found a Von’s Grocery Store at Mammoth Lake, which was about 45 more minutes down the road.  He got really excited when he found a 16-pc bucket of fried chicken for $8.99.  We loaded up on picnic supplies, soup, cereal, and drinks.  And when we got to the car, we had a fried chicken picnic on the drive back.

On our way to Mammoth Lake - that's ice on the water.

We were almost to the hotel when Scott spotted some deer in a turnout on the side of the road.  One of the deer was licking something off of the pavement in the middle of the parking lot.  There were no other cars in the turnout, so he eased in so I could get a picture.  The deer didn’t budge.  I’m thinking he must have been drinking some spilled Coke!

Another view on our drive back

Ashlee goofing off with a raccoon hat in the hotel gift shop

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