Tuesday, November 9, 2010

All right, Day what? Where am I now???....Day 18_Sunday_November 7, 2010

Cold.  Windy.  Dark.  We had woken up at 4:45am (clocks had fallen back in time…)…and after 15 minutes decided to get up and get on the road.  We were going to go over Tioga Pass in Yosemite Park but we wanted to get over it before the snow fell and they closed the road.  Tioga Pass is 9,945 feet.  Very high.  Very cold.  Very windy.  And yes, snowing.  We’d been checking the weather online and knew the pass was open, that the severe winter watch would start Sunday at 10am, but thought we could get over before the weather got too bad. 
We were travelling on Hwy 120.  Man.  Some really desolate country.  Saw one sign that said, “Dips Next 5 Miles”.  Have you ever been on a roller-coaster?  A really up and down roller-coaster?  Yeah, 5 miles of up and down.  Our stomachs were about where our throats were located.  Country was pretty.  We didn’t see any other living or non-living thing.  Just us, the road, and the wind.  The sun was out, the temperature was about 50, so we thought Tioga Pass might be ok.  As we got to Lee Vinning (the town just at the east entrance to Yosemite, the wind got more fierce, the sky was dark and forbidding, and we started to see little spatters of rain.  But, Tioga Pass was only 12 miles up this little windy highway.  We took it.  Our plan was to turn back to Lee Vinning and go north to Reno if we could not get over the pass.  We did.

It started snowing and we started climbing up.  Neither of us had been to Yosemite, my goodness!  It’s beautiful!  Big rugged dome-like rocks (heck, mountains), trees, lakes, lots of lakes!  Lots of hikes too, it was beautiful country.  There was blowing snow and heavy fog in places, or maybe that was just a wall of snow?  Whatever, we made it to the top and started heading down the other side of the pass.  Still snowing; we were travelling across the mountains at 8,000 feet for quite awhile.  We felt like we were on top of the world. 

Came through a little town, saw a café so we stopped for breakfast.  Good.  The snow had turned to rain and it was coming down like nobody’s business.  We headed to Manteca; stopped to old friend from college, Pete Selmeczki.  Visited and then off to Aunt Ellen and Uncle Frank Pinto’s home also in Manteca. 

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