Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

March 9, 2008

Continuing the Road Trip

After my dad and I left Lake Tahoe, and because I was driving, I chose a route out of the Tahoe area, that brought us along the eastern edge of the Sierras. At one point, we were tiptoeing the state line between Nevada and California, on Highway 395. It's extremely hot and arid on that side of the mountains. While my dad and I did make chit chat on our road trips, a lot of time was also spent in silence, as we drunk in the views that grew more breathtaking with each turn. I like it when it's quiet on long drives so that I can let my imagination roam. Of course in this part of the country, all I was thinking about were cowboys and Native Americans and pioneers.

As we got closer to Mono Lake and the town of Lee Vining, I kept seeing this spectacular mountain range in the distance to my right (west). I finally pulled over to take a picture of it. When we got to Lee Vining, we veered off to the highway on the right that took us into Yosemite's eastern entrance. Imagine my surprise to find myself driving right through that mountain range. It's called Tioga Pass. When we were in the Pass, I tried so hard to get a decent picture but it's simply impossible to put a frame around these cliffs and walls of rock. So I had to burn it into my brain. It's magnificent!!!

We entered Yosemite and traveled through the eastern Tuolumne Meadows. Yeah, I know, "how the hell do you say that word?" Too-AHL-um-knee. The views were amazing.

Looking west. Yosemite National Park, Tuolumne Meadows.

We cut through Yosemite that day in order to get to our hotel in Mariposa, which is about 30 miles west of the Park. It's smack in the middle of gold country and the small highway that runs b/t Mariposa and Yosemite winds it's way down through a canyon which is dotted with old mines and suspension bridges, like this one.

See the mine shaft on the hillside?

Here's a travel tip: Don't visit Yosemite in August, in a drought year, and expect to see stunning waterfalls. When Brian and I went in April of 1992 w/ my folks, they were much better with the snow runoff.

Yosemite Valley.

We spent the next day in the park and we drove up to Glacier Point, high above the valley. There are no words to describe the wonder that is this view.

It's a looooong way down, innit?!

As much as I enjoyed our road trip to Tahoe & Yosemite, I was eager to return to San Francisco for our next road trip down the coast. I really needed an ocean-fix after being in the hot & parched Sierra Nevada's. We came back to SF for one night before heading south down the Pacific Coast Highway and I'd selected the Seal Rock Inn as our hotel, as it is right on the water, above the Cliff House. It was an absolutely glorious evening and I shot TONS of pictures of the waves and the ruins of the old Sutro Baths. The Baths are a blog post in and of themselves so I didn't include any pictures of them here.
Dad and I ate dinner at Louis', then spent the next few hours just wandering around at the baths, on the beach, in the tunnels of the old baths, etc. It was an evening I'll never forget. The series of pictures I shot I call "The Estimated Prophet Pictures" b/c of the lyrics to the song and it being my inspiration to really make the move to SF.

When we visited in 1988, there was a small concrete walkway that you could take to climb onto this rock, where people would try to fish. Unfortunately, many people were swept away off the rock, and you can see here how easily that could happen. The Pacific was really churning the night we were there. After Brian and I moved to SF, the City decided to blow up the walkway because it was just getting too dangerous.

That greyish bumpy hill in the background is Mt. Tamalpais, in Marin County, a place Brian and I visited all the time. There are some great trails up there.

I was so hoping to capture that green from the sunlight and the mist blowing off the wave in the wind!SPLOOOOSH!!!!!

Beautiful sunset that night too.

And people wonder why I refuse to move back to the east coast.


  1. Anonymous9:19 PM

    Just beautiful...I want to go and have you be my tour guide. Guess I'll have to play the lottery to win big to afford the petrol!

  2. oh, do we need to compare yosemite and sierra notes...i've been to yosemite about 4 times and i want to go back. i just love that place. and i'v been up and down the pch from sf to sd...

  3. Good old Ess Eff!

  4. Oh, Jojo, that waterfall is absolutely breathtaking!!!! you are saying the west coast is prettier? What about Maine? Got any gorgeous pics for me of the fog and the trees?

  5. Axe - I'll do a Maine post just for you; I have TONS of photos taken up there over the years.

  6. you and millions of others.
    which has a lot to do with why this state is literally self-destructing.
    she can't take much more, and i look forward to leaving here one day. for good. it breaks my heart, watching it happen. it's so over.

  7. Annie - it's one of the reasons we moved to WA. Of course, WA is over developed and a traffic nightmare as well. Ideally we'd love to move to Juneau.

  8. Anonymous3:09 PM

    Beautiful photos Jojo, and thanks as always for the word-pictures that go so well with them

  9. Spectacular. You won't get me up those mountains, though! (I get dizzy just looking at the photos!)