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Day 55 – Reno, NV to Bishop, CA

August 26, 2017

I couldn’t sleep at all last night. I don’t know what the problem was, but I was only able to catch a half hour two or three times before I finally gave up around 4am. Since I was up anyway, and I didn’t want to hang around a Reno truck stop at four in the morning, I got back on the road and watched part of the sunrise at Lake Tahoe:

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There’s, like, a lot to do at Lake Tahoe, but I was still planning on covering the rest of 395 today, about 8 hours of drive time, and I had other stops in mind, so I got back to it.

After about three hours…

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…I got to the town of Lee Vining, which sits just east of the Sierras, on the western edge of Mono Lake Basin. The eastern entrance to Yosemite is just south of town.

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Overlooking Momo Basin

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The plan was to spend a few hours in the eastern section of Yosemite and stop by Mono Lake, continuing south by two or three o’clock.

I’ve only been through eastern Yosemite once, and I’ve never entered the park from the East, so this felt like going to a whole different park. If nothing else, it felt very strange to go to Yosemite without going to Yosemite Valley.

To get to the park from the East, you have to drive up Tioga Pass, which rises over 3,000 feet from the basin to top out at just under 10,000 feet at the park entrance.

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After getting into the park…

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…I drove out to Olmsted Point, which gives my favorite view of Half Dome you can get without hours of hiking.

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I still had time for a short hike, and after looking over a trail list, I took a short but sweet stroll along the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River.

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After that, it was back down Tioga Pass to Mono Lake.

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The main attraction of Mono Lake, and the only part I’ve been to, is the South Tufa area. I keep meaning to get up here some weekend and see more off the lake are it’s surrounding national forest area, but I’ve never gotten around to it, including today I guess.

I’ve been here several times, but never with the vivid afternoon light I had today.

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With that, I got back underway. It was 4:00 by then, so I knew I wasn’t going to see everything in daylight, but I still wanted to finish out 395 today.

Yeah, nope.

Within 10 minutes of getting back on the highway, I nodded off and woke up on the wrong side of the double yellow. Thank God I had the road to myself right then. I came by a parking area for some jeep trails soon after, got off the road, and slept for three hours. It was now after 7:00, and the sun was starting to set.

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I’m now in Bishop, on the north end of Owens Valley. I’ve still got a couple hundred miles of 395 ahead of me, which I’ll be seeing tomorrow morning.

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One comment

  1. So, Scotty beamed you to where? Mono Lake is on what planet?
    The ‘formations’ are not of Earth, imho.

    So when are ya comin’ back to update your trip (ha!)? Luv your blog!



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