Hike 8 – Western Drama: Volcanoes, Ghost Town and High Sierra Lakes, September 19-20, 2009
On a pleasant September Saturday we got in the car and headed East. A few hours later, rangers at Yosemite National Park waved three banditos through the North entrance. Since it was International Talk Like A Pirate Day, I was hoping the rangers would welcome us with something like, “Avast! Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” Not so. Even without an entertaining welcome, we were happy to be there.
The travel party consisted of my brother-in-law, my wife and myself. Our plans were to introduce some of the highlights of the Yosemite Valley to my brother-in-law on his maiden trip to this part of California. After that we’d head over to the less crowded Tioga Pass area, spend the night in the tiny and likable town of Lee Vining near Mono Lake, explore the areas along Highway 395, and head back Sunday. Somewhere in there we’d squeeze in a short hike or two.
Like all good journeys, our day began with a stop at the McDonald’s near home. Since I’m a mean, middle-aged, potbellied machine, I went for the safest item on the menu; a cup of decaf. The rest of the car devoured their dangerous and addictive mix of fat, high fructose corn syrup and salt, all neatly shaped to resemble items that vaguely qualify as food.