Monday, May 28, 2012

A day along the way..The WHOLE story!

Note to self:  Probably best not to post when tired, after a long day...and a glass of wine.  It's the Save tab not the Publish!  So back to our day...

Remember this is Memorial Day weekend, Saturday to be exact (for this outing).  We were up early and ready to experience the upper Yosemite NP, along Tioga Pass.  Not happening, after last night's snow, the pass is closed.  No problem, we'll just head over to Mammoth and Devil's Postpile Nat'l Monument.  Well,  Mammoth Mountain is the premier skiing destination for the Southern CA area and silly us forgot that this particular weekend would be the die-hards' last chance at killing the slopes.  The area was a traffic gridlock, plus snow falling and visibility chance of finding parking, much less the shuttle to ferry us to Devil's Postpile which, by the way, is closed due to major repairs after a severe windstorm last November!

Let's get going!

Stopped for coffee in Lee Vining after seeing Tioga Pass is closed

Mammoth..not an attractive prospect

Not to be deterred we decide to check out Bishop, about 50 miles south, for places to stay when we leave June Lake.  Never made it!  There were just too many side roads and black dotted tracks on our map that begged to be explored.  First was Convict Lake, just a 2 mile drive west of 395.  Very cold and windy day but the setting is breathtaking (literally).

At Convict Lake

Nice views along the way..

Continuing south, we notice Rock Creek road heading about 10 miles west into the mountains.  We set out to drive to the end of the's what we call our "end of road" compulsion.  The drive started out on a narrow 2-track and soon deteriorated to one lane with pull-outs for on-coming traffic.  There were numerous campgrounds all along the fast running Rock Creek, hence the road's name.  We couldn't believe the number of cars and people at road's end, hiking the Mosquito Flat trail which starts at an altitude of 10,300'.

At Mosquito Flat trailhead, 10,300'

The end of Rock Creek Road

Rock Creek flowing fast

We can handle a day in the snow!

Rock Creek Lake & Lodge

By the time we back-tracked to 395 it was time to start our return toward June Lake and  home.  But then we decided to continue on to the South Tufa section of Mono Lake, another 20 miles each way, in order to get our bearings for an early morning return for good light and photos.

The WHOLE day comprised 8 hours, 175 miles, wonderful scenery, and a lot of photos!  And a lesson learned....Now hitting Publish!
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