Sunday, August 21, 2011

what I did on my summer vacation 2

The opportunities to enjoy being out in nature seem to be abundant here in the mountains, and we have been trying to make the most of it. We actually feel kind of guilty driving around when we see people running, biking and hiking everywhere we look. There are whole teams of runners who come here for training at an altitude, including Olympic team members. When you see these gas prices it kind of makes you want to walk or pedal even more!

Bob and I made the hike to Devil's Postpile Monument and Rainbow Falls. We rode a shuttle bus into the park, I love those buses loaded to the max and hardly any cars on the narrow, steep switchback roads.
Of course, I saw a quilt pattern in the rocks above the Postpile--

Naturally formed hexagons! Then we walked on to Rainbow Falls, which is still plenty full of water this August after the heavy snowfalls of the winter.

We took one morning for a drive up to Yosemite, it is less than an hour north of Mammoth Lakes. We went in the east side of the park via Lee Vining, which also required a stop at the Mobil station at that intersection and a visit to Whoa Nellie Deli. A place of local legend and excellent food. They have a great park-like picnic area for dining and outdoor music performances. Then onward and upward into the park--a beautiful drive when I'm not the one driving! Excuse the bugs on the windshield!

It's always a neat feeling for me to approach the peaks. We only drove as far as Tuolomne Meadows, and noticed that there were whole lot more people around than the last time we were there in the end of September 2 years ago. It actually was a challenge to find a parking spot. But we did get parked and out on the trails, quickly leaving behind the bulk of the people mass.

These pictures were taken along a section of the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails, and we saw many fully outfitted backcountry hikers in this area.

We did not do anything remotely like long distance backpacking, but I did always have a fascination with the idea of doing a trip like that. Then once Bob and I did a 3 day backpacking trip along the Superior Hiking Trail, and I learned that it is much harder than it looks! But walking the John Muir trail and sharing the path with the people who can do that was a treat, and now I can cross it off my bucket list!

Now I am being urged to get going so we can drive out the the hot springs, so I better get a move on!

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