Road Trip, Part 7 – Yosemite NP and Bridgeport, CA, Sept. 28-29


One can zoom across the Sierras by I-80. But it’s way more soulful, as my son Ethan pointed out, to cross via Tioga Pass. Since we were in no real hurry and had designs on certain locales on the eastern side of the mountains, we chose the latter. It was cloudy as we left the Bay Area, and it began to rain as we passed through Groveland. Then, as we drove uphill into Yosemite we began to encounter the aftermath of last year’s Rim Fire. Wow. That was a BIG fire! We left the burned portion of the forest further on, arriving at our evening’s campsite at Porcupine Flat. It froze that night, and the forest steamed in the morning sun.

Porcupine Flat CG

Porcupine Flat CG, Kathy

Not many miles beyond our evening’s campsite, we came to the spectacular Olmsted Point. This is a spot that always deserves an unhurried visit. On this occasion, we climbed the low-angle slabs of a small dome that rises across from the parking area. And we saw that the upper elevations had been blanketed by snow the prior evening.

The Olmsted parking area and Half Dome

The Olmsted Point parking area and Half Dome

Olmsted Point

Olmsted Point roadside slabs

Olmsted Point

Olmsted Point boulders

Olmsted Point, view of Tenaya Lake and Mt. Conness. On the left is the climbing area known as the Stately Pleasure Dome and the small dome on the right, Pywiack Dome, is another climbing area

Olmsted Point, view of Tenaya Lake and Mt. Conness. On the left is the climbing area known as the Stately Pleasure Dome and the small dome to the right, Pywiack Dome, is another climbing area

Glacial polish

Glacial polish

Glacial polish

Glacial polish

Lizard on the slabs

Lizard on the slabs

OlmstedPineConesx1332

Pine cones oozing sap

OlmstedSierraJuniperx1334

A gorgeous specimen of a Sierra juniper.

OlmstedSPDGreatW.Book1348

Telephoto view of the Stately Pleasure Dome, featuring the Great White Book route. To the right are the friction slabs of Pywiack Dome.

OlmstedViewx1329

Tenaya Lake and Mt. Conness, from the slabs above the road

OlmstedWaterpocketsx1349

Waterpockets

From Olmsted Point,  we drove about a mile to the base of the Stately Pleasure Dome and watched some climbing action, which included a free solo ascent of the Great White Book, and two climbers on a route just to the left of the former.

To the left of the great White Book, two climbers on a route that here is protected by bolts

To the left of the Great White Book, two climbers on a friction pitch protected by bolts

Climber free solos the Great White Book, which is considered pretty easy and which, in any case, doesn't have any protection

Climber free solos the Great White Book, which is considered pretty easy and which, in any case, doesn’t have any protection

Cathedral Peak, from Tenaya Lake

Cathedral Peak, from Tenaya Lake

Cliff and trees opposite Tenaya lake

Cliff and trees opposite Tenaya Lake

A short ways further up the road is Tuolomne Meadows, another wonderful place. We climbed the low-angle slabs of Pt. 9163.

Tuolomne Meadows, at the base of Pt. 9163, a small low-angle dome located at the western end of the Meadows

Tuolomne Meadows, at the base of Pt. 9163, a small low-angle dome located at the western end of the Meadows

Pt. 9163

Pt. 9163

Pt. 9163

Pt. 9163

Telephoto view of Mt. Conness, from Pt. 9163

Telephoto view of Mt. Conness, from Pt. 9163

Pt. 9163, Kathy

Pt. 9163, Kathy

Glacier polish

Glacial polish

Glacier polish on a dome opposite Pt. 9163

Glacial polish on a dome opposite Pt. 9163

lacier polish

Glacial polish

Kuna Crest, view east from Pt. 9163

Kuna Crest and the Meadows, view east from Pt. 9163

360 deg. panorama from Pt. 9163, by Kathy Miller. Using my new Fuji HS50EXR, this was achieved by a simple turning of the camera in a full circle. And, this shot didn't employ a tripod, although a tripod would make it that much easier to get perfect horizontal tracking of the camera.

360 deg. panorama from Pt. 9163, by Kathy Miller. Using my new Fuji HS50EXR, this was achieved by a simple turning of the camera in a full circle. And, this shot didn’t employ a tripod, although a tripod would make it that much easier to get perfect horizontal tracking of the camera.

180 deg. or so panorama from Pt. 9163

180 deg. (or so) panorama from Pt. 9163, to the east

Pt. 9163, view to the west

Pt. 9163, view to the west

Pt. 9163, view to the east of Mts. Dana and Gibbs

Pt. 9163, view to the east of Mts. Dana and Gibbs

Lembert Dome, at the eastern end of the meadows

Lembert Dome, at the eastern end of the meadows

Pt. 9163, wide-angle view to the east

Pt. 9163, wide-angle view to the east

Mammoth Pk, at the western end of the Kuna Crest, from the Tioga Rd.

Mammoth Pk, at the northern end of the Kuna Crest, from the Tioga Rd.

Dana Meadows, on the Tioga Rd.

Dana Meadows area, on the Tioga Rd.

From Tioga Pass the road descends steeply to the east, and arrives at the village of Lee Vining and Mono Lake. When she was a child, Kathy and family boated on Mono Lake before it was robbed of much of its water by the City of Los Angeles.

View to the east, of the White Mountains

View to the east, of the White Mountains

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Mono Lake and the White Mountains

Tufa (calcium carbonate accretions) formations in Mono Lake

Tufa (calcium carbonate accretions) formations in Mono Lake

The story of saving Mono Lake

The story of saving Mono Lake

View to the south, of Mono Lake and the Sierras

View to the south, of Mono Lake and the Sierras, from Hwy 395 on the way to Bridgeport

Bridgeport is another wonderful place – a town that hasn’t visibly changed over the number of decades that I’ve known it (starting in the early 60s). It sits at the eastern edge of a well-watered valley that is full of good looking beeves, with a magnificent view to the west of the peaks of northern Yosemite NP. At higher elevation, adjacent to the western extremity of the valley is Twin Lakes and the private resort of Mono Village, located at the upper end of Upper Twin Lakes. Directly above Mono Village rise Matterhorn Peak and the Sawtooth Ridge, which form the northern boundary of Yosemite NP. I’ve spent a lot of time in those peaks, both on foot and on skis. Having discovered Albert’s Butcher Shop on a prior visit, we returned, to purchase steaks and other meats. The Porterhouse steaks we purchased there were of an almost obscene thickness and size. The meat was expensive, but we were on vacation, after all! We had no difficulty finding a campsite for the evening, at the lower Twin Lake CG. We had big plans for the morrow!

County courthouse, Bridgeport

County courthouse, Bridgeport

Bridgeport Inn

Bridgeport Inn

Bridgeport Inn sign

Bridgeport Inn sign

Bridgeport, Albert's Butcher Shop

Albert’s Butcher Shop, Bridgeport

Sawtooth Ridge, from Twin Lakes

Sawtooth Ridge, from Twin Lakes

Sawtooth Ridge, from Twin Lakes

Sawtooth Ridge, from Twin Lakes

Sawtooth Ridge, from Twin Lakes

Sawtooth Ridge, from Twin Lakes

Matterhorn Pk. and the Sawtooth Ridge, from the Bridgeport Valley

Matterhorn Peak (left),  and the Sawtooth Ridge, from the Bridgeport Valley

At our campsite at Twin Lakes

Our campsite at Twin Lakes, and a view of the Sawtooth Ridge

Part 8 is about fishing! It’s about the East Walker River and Pyramid Lake, NV. Don’t miss it!

About believesteve

I am a photographer and have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1
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One Response to Road Trip, Part 7 – Yosemite NP and Bridgeport, CA, Sept. 28-29

  1. Pingback: Road Trip, Part 6 – Alameda, Albany, Muir Woods, Muir Beach, Bolinas Lagoon and beach, CA, Sept. 21-28/14 | BelieveSteve (StevenRichardMiller)

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