From the Mountains to the Desert
After a delicious Degnan's pizza last night, and soft base camp thermarests, we enjoy a bit of  a lazy morning. We have to do a bit of sleuthing to find Jackie's purse and it all works out fine. While we're packing up, our new neighbor says hi and we get chatting about the Sierras.  Richard is all set with his bicycle, and is looking forward to nice weather and sunshine.  Happy Trails Richard!

Scrap Tyvek makes a great groundsheet.
This tent makes a neat "Typa House".
Here are a bunch of photos around camp that we shot before heading out.
Going Places (still)
An interesting dog house
Buses, buses, everywhere
This oughtta be a bus!
On the way out to the Tioga Road, you go past El Capitan. Early in the morning there aren't very many spectators but there soon will be.  Here's a head-on shot from the car. Can you see anything up there?
In the telephoto shot there are 5 people in the frame, moving very slowly.  In the olden days they would be prusiking up the rope with sliding knots and loops, but today they are probably using ascenders.
The Tioga Road winds up through the forests before coming out into clear sections at the upper end of Tenaya Canyon.
We stop at Olmstead Point to get a good view of the tourists.
Half Dome straight ahead, and Cloud's Rest on the left.
Remember, although you cannot see the valley floor from here, Half Dome rises from it almost a mile to the top.
The Tioga Road takes 20 miles to get from Crane Flat to here.
Glacial erratic's scattered about.
Further along, and out of the park, the road hugs the mountain. This looks a lot like roads and railways in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.
After stopping at the Whoa Nelly Deli for lunch, we head down the 395 toward Independence, Bishop, Big Pine and Lone Pine. We take a detour to Mammoth Lakes, which is a geothermally active area at the foot of the Sierras.
I wanted to show Jackie the beautiful ski and hiking resort area, and also the strange Carbon Dioxide zone. Here, next to a lake, CO2 has been coming up out of the ground and killing all the trees. It is also dangerous for people and pets if there is no wind. Dangerous means you lie down for a few seconds and don't get back up.
Lone Pine, Horseshoe Meadow, and the Alabama Hills
It's a gateway to the Eastern Sierras with lots of history.
Need anything? This is the place.
You can also ship UPS stuff.
The I.O.U Community Garden on the main street
This Las Vegas Limo is a Long Way From Home...
Just outside Lone Pine are the Alabama Hills - all sorts of fantastic shapes and four wheel drive roads to explore. Many westerns were filmed here, especially shoot outs with nasty cowboys in black hats.
A natural Henge. No Druids needed.
I wonder if this guy drives fast...
Next stop down the road is Tenaya Lake. Kayaks abound, and some adventurers are paddling along on a log.
Crawl-In Camper Anyone?
Munching Lunch at Mono Lake
A Jolly Day at Poison Park
Nice and quiet. Time for the locals to have a sunny snooze.
A little bunny outside its lair.
Monsters & Rattlesnakes Anyone?
Lloyd's of Lone Pine
Political Correctness: It's a Stallion
...but this limo is not going to Vegas
Our last stop before hitting the hotel tonight is gonna be Horseshoe Meadow.  It's 10,000 feet up mountain switchbacks...but the view of the valley is worth it, don't you think?
(And this is only part-way up).
At the Meadow itself, there are a few campers setting up. The number of cars tell us that many people are up in the mountains over Army Pass.

Coming down, we pass a very energetic cyclist, and a little later we stop for a minute to take in the views.  The switchbacks are steep and the biker soon catches up and passes us, going at a good clip. A few moments later he reappears far down the road. With this time exposure you can see his red taillight trail, and after turning the corner of the distant swtchback his headlight comes into view.
Lone Pine is in the distance, and you can see car taillights on the straight-away at the bottom.
Our last photograph of the night: a time exposure from the straightaway looking back up the road.
Our taillights cast a glow.
back to Snow Creek
onward to Death Valley
We climb out of the valley on the way to the desert, but remain in the park for some time yet.
Walking along the village paths from the Post Office back to the parking lot, we hear a rustling in the bushes near one of the buildings. It's breakfast time, and  a fairly young bear is in there trying to get some berries. He doesn't seem to care that he's 50 feet from a bus stop and a main pathway; he just wants the berries.
He's about 2 feet tall at the shoulder with a bit of weight on him, but all in all, displays pretty good balance. Sometimes the bear looks as if he's on a teeter totter!

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This is a dinky little video but it gives you the idea.