To the Tioga Pass and Tuolumne Meadows

August 8, 2004

This morning found us once again on the road before daylight, with the privilege of watching the sunrise over the Sierra ridge as we headed for the Tioga Pass.

We drove to an overlook which gave us a view of Halfdome in the Yosemite Valley area and then climbed to the top of this granite dome. Jeff, Ashleigh and Jordan have a great view of Tenaya Lake in the valley below them.

The distinctive shape of Halfdome over by the Yosemite Valley made this view notable. This location is a main stop for many tour groups - tour buses started pulling in regularly soon after we arrived. It was a very international group. We had gotten several views of Halfdome the day before in the Yosemite Valley.

Immediately across the highway from the overlook was this symmetric rock dome, like a miniature Stone Mountain. After riding for a while, Ashleigh and Jordan were anxious to climb on the rock, so we all headed for the top. That was where we got the nice viewpoint of Tenaya Lake above.

On the side of the dome were some magnificent old juniper trees. Ashleigh and Jordon climbed up on this rock at the base of one of them.

Darla by a pair of juniper on the side of the rock dome above. The juniper at left was the largest one I saw on the climb up the dome. The web reference I found said that some of them are around 2000 years old.

The wonderful view of Tenaya Lake from the top of the rock dome was a pleasant surprise. We had undertaken the climb just for exercise and because Ashleigh and Jordan wanted to climb a rock.

In the image at left, you can see the road as it skirts the edge of Tenaya Lake on the far side. We traveled down that road later in the day.

After an interesting climb to the top, Jeff, Ashleigh and Jordan start back along the top ridge in view of Halfdome at Yosemite Valley, some 55 miles away by road.

On the descent Jeff and the girls check out one of the ancient junipers.

Can you find the grasshopper?

We wouldn't have seen it if it hadn't moved. Pretty incredible camoflage!

When we returned to the overlook, Jeff set up the camera for a remote picture and got us all in with Halfdome in the background. Brenda and Rod holding Jordan, Darla, Jeff holding Ashleigh.

To Tenaya LakeTo Tuolomne Meadows

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