By nine thirty it had warmed enough to make a pleasant ride into the high country, so we saddled up and rode out of Glass Creek Campground (a free U.S. Forest Service Camp), turned left and headed up U.S. 395 toward the intersection with California 120 just below Lee Vining.
|*U.S. 395 near Lee Vining*|
Neither Heidi or I had ever been on the Tioga Road. It was either too early in the spring or too late in the fall and it was closed. This year it's opened considerably earlier after a dry winter so our opportunity was there!
|*California 120 just west of U.S. 395*|
The east side of the pass climbs fairly steeply to the top in Tuolumne Meadows. It's more open on that east side. Though it climbs fast it's mostly big wide sweepers that lets a miscreant puss gut biker wind it up a bit...
... But herself, tapping on my back kept me within bounds... so when I passed that Highway Patrolman I was bein' a good boy. ;)
Part way up I pulled into a wide spot for a photo op. When I lifted my face mask it came off! Oh $#$@ and @%##!! Too! :)
Having the thing come loose at speed could be a bit of a startling situation. For easily spooked fellers like me... it could get a bit western!
So... I fixed the brain bucket... and proceeded to catch the pics I'd pulled in there for...
Some guys don't much care to ride with me... They wanna just ride, and my stopping for pictures ever' couple of feet kind of aggravates 'em I guess. ;)
Past a couple of mostly still frozen lakes and on into Tuolumne Meadows... If you're like me you stumble on the sayin' of that place... so an "expert" told me it's "Too-Whahl-um-me" ... so now you can speak it like an Indian.
This is the perfect time for such travels. Fitting your visit into that short "Off Season" time before the hordes descend you get to see such places in a lot more pleasant circumstances.
Riding through that country with light traffic and blue skies made for a shining day!
There's sections of road... we didn't capture that on "film" so you'll have to go see it yourself ;) ... where it's like you're riding through a Cathedral... the trees tower over you... the sunlight filters down through... just an awesome soul filling ride... it truly is.
The country starts to change as you cross over and start dropping into the lower, and wetter country on the western side of Tioga Road.
You really enter those "Cathedral" pieces along that ribbon of highway when you enter into Yosemite Valley itself... just a gorgeous place...
For those that like a lil' "action" in their pictures...
I could just ride through the valley all day. At least in this season. Give it a few more weeks and it's all Toyotas and people. ;)
At the upper end of the valley we took a short lunch break at the Ahwahnee Hotel so herself could do a lil' "window shopping"... before we climbed back on for the return ride.
There's one nice thing about out-and-back rides, the road looks different coming from the other direction! :)
|*The Tunnels of Yosemite*|
|*Half Dome from Tioga Road*|
|*Heading West and Home on the Tioga Road*|
The day turned out to be right on 185 miles through country we'd never ever seen before, except in a few photographs. At the cost of less than four gallons of gas for the bike and the crackers and cheese we packed for lunch... as fine a day as a body could ask form.
Another example of how it don't matter one lil' bit how little cash you've got. That don' t get in the way of LIVING. Not one lil' bit! We rode out of our Free camp; Traveled over a gorgeous ribbon of highway; had lunch in a glorious valley and came back home to our sweet camp... on a pikers wages.
It don't get any better'n that!
Put one foot out in front of the other and find your own trail!