Sunday, August 21, 2011

Driving to Mammoth (Aug 20, 2011)

Today I'm starting my week vacation in Mammoth Mountain. I drove Hwy 120 across Yosemite and Tioga Pass. I've driven into Yosemite Valley many times, but I've never driven across Yosemite. The drive was beautiful and the scenery beckons you to just hang out and spend a day. But alas, I had to get to Mammoth and check in. I did the drive without stopping, except when I saw the view from Olmstead Point. Cloud's Rest was right there in front of me and I could partially see down to the valley and I was given an entirely new perspective of Half Dome. The Cloud's Rest hike has been on my to-do list for many years and after seeing this view, I must say it's moving to the top of the list. I must do this hike.

As I approached the park exit I could see Mt Dana which I hope to hike by the end of this trip. A steep canyon drops you down to Lee Vining with partial views of Mono Lake. Another 30 miles and I was at Mammoth Mountain Inn and my first restroom break since I left Sonoma! Yes, I drove 5 1/2 hours and drank 3 Gator Ades w/o stopping. After a nice burger and a pinot, I spend the evening in my room going over maps and deciding on tomorrow's hike. I might be crazy, but I think my first hike is going to be a big one! So much for my initial plan of an easy warm-up hike to start the week. Well, this hike has many turn-around points, so it doesn't need to be as long or hard as it could potentially be.

Also, during my drive, I continued to experiment with taking time lapse videos. I took one photo per second for about 4 hours. It's a nice video, but due to the fixed perspective in the car and the speed of the time lapse, much the drive's glory is lost, but it is still a cool video.

At Olmstead Point looking towards Tenaya Lake and Tresidder Peak.

Half Dome as seen from Olmstead Point on Hwy 120.

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