Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yosemite and the Sierras

Darn, I always mess up the order in which I upload my pictures. Since there are so many this time and my time on the computer is running out fast, I'll go backwards in time, hopefully you don't mind.

Anyway, I’ve been on the road now for just over a month and I truly can’t think of how life could be much better! Life is simple, beautiful, physical, and just plain lovely. It’s exactly what I want and need right now. Each day is new and exciting as I constantly take in the wonders around me. I keep wondering if/how things can get any better and yet they do; I continue to be amazed on a daily basis. I know I still have a long way to go on my journey and things likely won’t always work out as well as they have thus far, but if the rest of this year even comes close to this first month I can’t wait!

I'm in Bishop, CA right now and have been in the Sierras the past week or so which has been incredible. Yesterday I got my new rear wheel in Mammoth Lakes and was lucky to find a bike shop that still had some tools laying around as the mountain was opening for skiing this weekend! I love riding through the snow (since the roads are dry and it's sunny), right along the mountain's edge.

View from the June Lake Loop, awesome road, fierce headwinds!

I've been stopping quite a bit and doing so good exploring which is just what I want to be doing. Got some great recommendations from Roman (hopefully i'm spelling you're name right) who also reminded me to slow down. I've had this in my head the last few weeks but sometimes I need a little help to bring it to the surface. Although Utah was in my original plans, I'd kind of thrown it out recently, but Roman encouraged (or maybe guilted?) me into reconsidering. So, unless I'm way to cold and miserable in AZ or NV, I'll be getting into Utah at least for a little while.

South Tufa, at Mono Lake. Neat stuff.

Into the land of crazy insects, this guy was around 2 in long.

After I left Yosemite, I headed north for a little detour. To wait out the big storm that was coming (2 ft of snow in the mtns and at least 3 in of rain lower), I went to a hot springs. The day it rained I pretty much stayed in my tent all day long until I got way too antsy in the evening and went for an run.

The pass I went over and back on to the hot springs. Lots of snow!

The rain made some god ruts in the dirt road I was on.

Morning after the storm, rainbow and all!

Storm ready.

It's a lot more difficult to write going back in time...

Yosemite. This was fabulous, so much more grand then any pictures have ever conveyed to me. I had two days of camping and hiking in Yosemite Valley, then took two days to ride out of the park.

Up at Tioga Pass at nearly 10,000 ft and boy was it cold! I was racing against the coming storm for sure.

Tulomune Grove of Giant Sequoias, very neat. This is where I met Roman and wasn't going to go down to the grove but he guilted me into it and it was definitely worth it!

Roman, thanks for all the great suggestions!

El Capitan. So impressed with all the climbers (dad included) who do this and Half Dome!

View up the Valley from Eagle Peak

View from El Capitan.

Oh yeah, so I got on two very long day hikes while I was there. The first day I got a late start and hiked up Half Dome which was incredible. To get up the last portion this have a cable pathway which was tons of fun and gorgeous views from the top. The next day my legs were in a lot of pain, but I managed to get up El Capitan and Eagle Peak (though much more slowly). The trail work int his area is crazy, everything is rock pathways. walls, and stairs.

Looking at the cables from the top of Half Dome.

On the top on Half Dome looking up valley

Looking up at the cable and lines of people slowly making their way up and down.

Falls, forget name.

Sorry to be so short, five minutes left. It's wonderful to be in the mountains again. As much as I enjoyed the ocean and coastline, my heart will always belong to the mountains and rivers. I was so happy getting back in to the mountains that I was singing aloud while riding! For much of this month actually I've had a silly smile plastered to my face mile after mile. This trip is just amazing.

Now in the desert and into Death Valley in a day or two.

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