Stiff and sore today we head home having defeated Half Dome. Sara is headed the same way so we have breakfast together and head out together. Our plan is to cross the Sierras via the Tioga pass and enjoy the sights before dropping down the Eastern Sierras taking in the fall colors along the way.
Our first stop was Omsted Point, a lookout at the top of the Yosemite Valley around 8000ft up. From here we can see the cable side of Half Dome. A pair of I think Austrian fellows are looking at the dome with their binoculars and I ask if they can see the people going up the cables but they say they can’t, but offer to let me have a look. I can see a line going up the granite but can’t make out people. We tell them that we were up there yesterday and they ask us a bunch of questions about the hike like how long it took, how hard the cables were. We then walk around a bit, our legs stiff. It’s nice to get a break and stretch the legs though.
From there we make a quick stop at Tenaya Lake, sitting on a strip of granite rising out of the water, enjoying the view and the fresh air. I jokingly strike a yoga pose but it feels so good I can’t help but keep stretching. Before I know it Jenn and Sara and joining me in a quick bit of yoga as we laugh about ourselves and how “LA” it is to be doing this. Shit am I becoming a yuppie?
Onward we pass Tuolumne Meadows without stopping. All along the way taking note of the high camps. One day I’d like to return and go between the various high camps on horseback, spending spring nights sitting at the side of a lake.
Descending the far side of the mountains the geology markedly changes, but its no less dramatic, just in a different way.
Our next turn was to go around June lake hoping for fall colors. I didn’t have the best information though, and we didn’t see as much color as we’d hoped. Our lunch was at a cute little deli with 4 seats and only a handful of choices. At one point the owner runs out and down stairs and comes back with a head of lettuce and said “Sorry I had to get more lettuce from the garden”! The sandwiches were great, but the cold brisk wind and meat bees got us moving pretty quickly. A quick stop at Gull Lake to get pictures of what little color we saw and we were off again. The fall colors had been too disappointing to stop anywhere else along the way, and were already so late we decided to just head straight home. Sadly what I didn’t have at the time was the Sacramento Bee’s fall color guide and map that showed that June Lake had almost no color, but Sabrina Lake, a stop we had considered, was in peak color!