Monday, June 26, 2006

Tioga Pass to Mono Lake June 26, 2006

We had hoped to get over the pass last week, as close to opening day as possible. I always like to see the snow that delayed the opening. This year has much more snow around and to a far lower elevation than last year. I did not wack Victor in the head with a snow ball.

I enjoy the lakes the best. First there is Teneya Lake, from the approach we almost thought the lake had a layer of ice on it still is was so motionless. We were in rain for half an hour in both directions and it was easy to imagine the night temperatures reaching some fairly low lows, which is what must be keeping the snow on the ground still...it refreezes every night.

This year we left later in the day and had already eaten lunch and weren't hungry when we hit Whoa Nelli Deli inside the Mobile Station just above Lee Vining, but we stopped anyway. Same great menu, fair prices, quick service and that fantastic view overlooking Mono Lake. A must do if in the area.

We spent a little time at the Mono Lake visitors center, run by the National Forest Service. What a fabulous display. They have a great space, photography room, amplitheater, history, education and endless lake views. I am curious as to the source of the funding for all this. Such a huge project for a small area. Was it interest surrounding the restore Mono Lake activity roughly 15 years ago? I can say, it was far more "lunaresque" when the water levels were low. But that only matters for the pictures. The lake looks grand!

I will update the Hotel Charlotte website, Eastern Sierras itinerary to include my new Mono Lake pictures. We went to the lake, dipped a toe in the water and read about these odd flies that coat the last few inches of shoreline all around the lake. Harmless and strange. Check the website for updated photos later this week, www.Hotelcharlotte.com/mono.html.

On our return we stopped at the Tioga Pass Resort, just on the outside of the park boundary. Talk about a piece of heaven. Stunning views in every direction, gorgeous alpine lakes, lots of running water & snow...and the restaurant was putting out some perfectly delicious smells. The cafe is tiny, but very warm and charming. You could meet a new best friend here. Again, we were not yet hungry and Victor really did not want to get stuck driving the return trip in the dark and feeling sluggish from a super meal...so off we went, back into the park, over the pass and out again on the Groveland side.

Now we are hungry and are tempted by the treats awaiting us at Evergreen Lodge, but without reservations, fear getting a table quickly will be unlikely. We continued down the road with a brief stop in Buck Meadows. And so ends our adventure today!

2 comments:

jim said...

It's great to read your blog. I believe we met this past Spring, when we came in to buy a "I Survived" t-shirt.

We make an annual Yosemite pilgrimage from the Bay Area and have been smitten by the peace and majesty (especially away from the traffic) of the sheer granite cliffs and flowing water. The historic significance of the valley is palpable.

Will look forward to future postings and will probably see you for "49er days".

Hotel Charlotte said...

Jim,
Very likely. The 49er festival is right around the corner now, September 16. Stop in, say Hello!
Lynn