06 Oct California Dreaming Part 4: Yosemite Day 1
Driving out West is so much different from driving out here on the East Coast. Man, the rugged beauty of the Sierra Nevadas really just takes your breath away and there’s no feeling like it when you’re driving through these mountains and seeing the beautiful vista. In fact, I don’t think there’s any place on the East Coast that I can properly use the term “vista”, IMHO.
Based on a recommendation from a number of people, we entered Yosemite via the Northeastern section via Tioga Pass. It was beyond stunning. We passed by the incredible Mono Lake, a saline soda lake formed at least 760,000 years ago. Right before the gates to Yosemite, we were rewarded by the most stunning view.
No words can describe this beauty. So let’s take a moment to appreciate it.
I felt such a surge of gratitude that we were able to go through the pass as it is closed for most of the year. I really just feel such a calming and transformative energy from the mountains.
We decided to go on a quick detour to see where we could camp anyway, despite the evacuation orders. Totally not legit, but we had to try. Found this cool spot.
But we were approached by the park ranger saying that the area is being evacuated and we had to leave or the cops actually have been arresting people. Yikes!
I cannot contain my excitement when we finally entered the park officially. As we drive through the park, you slowly notice the smoke starting to obscure the landscape and just keeps getting worse as you drive on.
There were no campsites remaining last minute so we opted for the closest hotel with availability just right outside the park called, Yosemite View Lodge, in El Portal. It was just ok, and you had to pay for Wi-fi but beggars can’t be choosers, and they had good pizza…
So we tucked in early because we had a looooooong day ahead. We had a 4am wake-up time.
Next up in Part 5, Yosemite Day 2: Half Dome!