Yosemite: Tuolumne Meadows, Mono Lake, Yosemite Valley, and Glacier Point
June 17 - 20, 2013

Bob, Adele, Bill, & Jennifer

Tuolumne and Mono Lake

Bob, Adele, Jennifer, Bill on trail through Tuolumne Meadows

Adele near our campsite with stream in background

Click on Marmot for video of the guy not too far from our campsite.

Sitting around the campsite, which Jennifer arranged for us for two nights in an ideal location. Listened to the river flowing all the time. So peaceful.

A Steller's Jay joins us at the campsite and takes advantage of Bob. As this jay video shows, Bob provides an almond, the jay buries the almond, and then demands another almond, which Bob provides. Again and again. The video does not show the first almond burial, in which the jay buries the almond, then brings over a tiny pinecone and places it on top, to further hide the treasure.

Adele on a trail we took near the camp. Two groups of backpackers hiked by us on their way to Mammoth and Vogelsang, respectively. All very excited and upbeat.

Cathedral Peak from Tuolumne Meadows trail

Click on Tuolumne River for video of the river near our campsite.

View from Tuolumne Meadows

On the afternoon of the second day (Tuesday), we drove up to Olmstead Point - Bill stayed behind to get some rest and relaxation at the beautiful camp site. Here are Adele and Jennifer, along with some wildflowers in bloom. We were hoping for far more flowers than what we saw, but these were fairly abundant. Spring probably came earlier, particularly since it was a relatively dry winter. Below you see the view of Half Dome from Olmstead Point.

After leaving Olmstead Point, we decided to drive to the end of the Tioga Road to Lee Vining and Mono Lake. Below is a view along the way, followed by a shot of Mono Lake, with Adele and Jennifer.

The beauty of the lenticular cloud above Mono Lake was amazing. The photo is taken from a video, which you can access by clicking on Mono Lake.

Mono Lake with Jennifer and Adele

Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point

After spending Monday and Tuesday up in Tuolumne Meadows, Adele and Bob moved down to Yosemite Valley for another day, while Jennifer and Bill headed home

Bridal Veil Falls. Click on Bridal Veil Falls for video.

Adele with Bridal Veil Falls in the background and another photo of the falls. What is not captured in these photos or even the video is the incredible sweep of the falls at the top as winds spun the falling water into mists that rose high into the air above the falls, then brought them back around to re-join the falls. We had never seen such a sight before.

Bridal Veil Falls, followed by Yosemite Falls.

Adele and Bob on the way to the bottom of Yosemite Falls. At the bridge below the falls, 5 or 6 guys, probably in their late teens or twenties, got down on the rocks in the river, which was not too high. Bob's reaction was that these guys must be models or something, they were all in such incredible shape with pronounced abs, etc. In the end, rather than walk back to shore, they came to rock pillars that supported the bridge, and climbed up the rock. One of them said they were from Riverside.

Taking Bill and Jennifer's recommendation, Adele and Bob went up to Glacier Point at sunset, then attended a ranger led talk about constellations, which were clearly visible in the night sky, in spite of there being a bright moon out. At one point a satellite flew across the sky. Definitely a fascinating experience. Here you see Adele at Glacier Point with Half Dome, Nevada Falls, and Vernal Falls all visible in the background.

Before driving out Thursday, Bob and Adele take the shuttle bus to Happy Isles - above is Adele at the Happy Isles bridge - and hike up the trail to the bridge across the Merced just below Vernal Falls. This is a 0.8 mile trail with a 400 ft increase in elevation - like climbing up a 40 story building. Strenuous, but definitely worth it.

A couple of shots of the trail and Adele, followed by one taken from the Vernal Falls bridge and looking downstream. Click on Vernal Falls for video of the falls.

The final photo of the trip - Adele and Bob on the bridge with Vernal Falls in the background. After this, it was an easy, quick walk to Happy Isles shuttle bus stop. The shuttle bus arrived almost immediately and headed back to the Curry Village parking lot, where Bob's car was. The trip back was mostly uneventful (oh yeah, 3 motorcycles in a line which could not be passed went slower than the speed limit and would not pull off - however, it gave more time to enjoy the scenery).

And the trip was also incredibly lucky right to the very end:

Bob had neglected to check the oil in his 24 year old, Toyota Camry with 212,000 miles on it, before leaving Yosemite. When he did check it back in Santa Rosa, there was almost no oil left - but apparently enough to keep the car running until getting home. It took almost two quarts. Bob feels he has found a new, cheap way to get an oil change.

What an adventure this trip was!

Contact/Website Author:
Bob Phillips [phillips bob 27 at yahoo dot com - no spaces]
Santa Rosa, CA
June, 2013

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