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Vicki’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 28 Sep 2011

Location: Bishop, USA

MapI left Yosemite national park yesterday and am now in the Owen Valley, going south on HY 395. Yosemite was brillient! I even got in on the free day so saved quite a lot of money. Because it was so busy I could only find a campsite high up, miles away from Yosemite Valley. It was at over 2100 m, down a 5 miles rough pot-holed road, and very cold at night! It also closed the following day, so I had to move and find another one for Sunday and Monday nights. There was a massive thunderstorm just as I arrived, so I sat in the car for one and a half hours waiting for the rain to stop so I could put up my tent. This was a pretty low time, and I started thinking about other options, especially as there were dire warnings about bears, I had to boil water from the creek, and I'd not actually put the tent up before. Anyway, I told myself to get a grip, girl, you've got an ML so don't be such a wimp! It all turned out Ok of course, although the tent turns out to be a summer one, with mesh only on 2 sides, so it was very cold at night. On Sunday and Monday nights I was camping at 2458m and the temp went down to 2C!
On Sunday I did the tourist thing and went into Yosemite valley - saw El Capitan, Half Dome and walked up to Upper Yosemite falls, as well as getting provisions. On Monday I walked up Cloud's Rest, which is 3008m high, and a 14 mile round trip. The views were awesome! (I don't use that word often). There was no chance of getting a permit for Half Dome but this was probably even better.
On Tuesday I went for a hike in the morning up to Lembert's Dome, again with absolutely spectacular views. The whole park is a mass of granite - you can walk up steep rocks as it's so grippy - and it looks amazing.
I left Yosemite on Tuesday afternoon and drove to a small town called Lee Vining. On the way I stopped at Saddlebag lake, which is in a volcanic crater - again, amazing views. After 3 nights on a very basic campsite in the cold, I decided to find a motel. I stayed at a place called Murphey's Motel, which was great. A big room, great shower, space to spread everything around, instead of having to hide food and cosmetics in the bear containers, and it was warm - hot actually when I got there. I then went to Mono lake, via Panum Crater, which is a 650 year old volcanic plug, with lots of obsidian around. Mono Lake was serene! There were tufa pinacles which give the whole place an air of Sci-fi. Apparently this was the place where one of Pink Floyd's album covers was shot (can't remeber which one).
Today I'm in Bishop. I decided to get the car serviced after all, especially as I'm heading to Death valley soon. I'm writing this in the library - which gives 2 X half an hour on the computer free, so I've also downloaded my photos onto a memory stick. If I'm not timed out I'll put them on this page, otherwise you'll have to wait!
I'll probably find a campsite next, then go swimming in the local hot springs.