2014 Western Road Trip Day 19, Friday May 23rd

Today’s crisis is that our National Park destination the Devils Postpile National Monument doesn’t open for the season until 3 p.m. The problem was that we couldn’t wait until 3 p.m. to enter the park and still get back to our hotel during daylight and in time for dinner. We had been there in 1992 before Babs started getting her National Park Passport Book stamped so we set  out on the three hour journey in quest of a place to get her book stamped.

Prior to entering the park the road was destroyed by a huge avalanche. The road follows the Merced river so to bypass the landslide two one lane bridges controlled by a traffic light was constructed.

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The drive through Yosemite across CA 120, Tioga Highway, is a narrow winding road that at time has side drops of several thousand feet and no guard rails. The maximum speed limit is 45 mph but it is almost impossible to safely do the speed limit. However, The scenery is often and breath taking! It has it all, mountains, lakes, rivers, water falls, and meadows.

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There is a neat lake tucked into the mountains valley

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One big rock!

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That line across the lower third of the photo is the road

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The lake is still mostly frozen

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Our GPS took us to the gates of the Devil’s Postpile ranger station, which was also not open. Fortunately, we did see a man who was working on the gate and gave us directions to the Ranger Station at Mammoth Lakes, CA. To get there we had to go through the Mammoth ski area. They are still skiing and the place was packed!

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Beginner’s slope

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John Claude Skily

We arrived at the Mammoth Lakes ranger station and at the visitors center met a nice guy named Brian who gave Babs the stamp and the NP brochure for the Devil’s Postpile, mission accomplished!

After a lunch at Mc Donald’s, the first of the trip, we headed back to Yosemite and on to our hotel. On the way back, we made many stops for photo opportunities, which I’ll bore you with.

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Rough rock mountain

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A bear cub track?

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Babs had to make a snow ball

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People were getting ready to climb this rock

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There’s a lone Sequoia atop that pinnacle

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All of the streams are loaded with water and beautiful

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The sign said this falls would be dry by summer. I doubt that.

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This big boy is hanging over the road

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Babs in a crevasse

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Same crevasse as above

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First gas outside of Yosemite, $.70 cheaper in town. By the way, those are cash prices

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We arrived back at the hotel around 9:45 p.m. after filling up with gas, a bargain $4.49 gal.  After a short relaxation we had a great dinner at a local restaurant called the Savoury’s. The food was great, as was the service. Babs said that  her Milbrandt Cabernet was good, I’m still not drinking in solidarity with my pregnant girls. After dinner Babs walked back to the hotel and snapped some photos on the way.

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911 Memorial

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Babs is missing her Stella

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Tomorrow we head to San Francisco to meet up with my sister Dolores and her husband Mel to continue our trip.

Babs Says: Asked our waitress if it was safe for me to walk back to our hotel by myself. I mentioned seeing some homeless. She said, “We used to have just Willard. Then someone else came. Last year it was like they brought in a busload, but there has never been any problems.”  I’m safely locked in our room after a nice evening walk!

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