Alex woke to a colorful sunrise on the Nevada mountains
outside the car windows, and roused a sleepy Dave so that we could continue on
to Yosemite! The drive today was much
more pleasant with pretty views and
rolly hills that made Alex squeal as Dave drove over them.
Just inside California, we had to stop at an Agricultural
Inspection Station. We weren’t really
sure what to expect, and we were the only ones there. A uniformed lady asked us if we had any
produce in the car. “Ummm… some
apples.” She asked where they were
from…. “Hmmm… we bought them… in Utah….
Or hmm..…. OH yeah! In Laramie, WY!”
Her frown when we said Utah had us both prepared to eat the three
remaining apples. It turned out they
were Washington apples, so we could keep them.
The apples didn’t make it more than a few minutes down the road anyways!
Around 9:30/10:00 AM we arrived at the Mobile Station, just
outside of the Tioga Pass entrance to Yosemite.
We had heard of this place before, it is a gas station and so much
more! They serve legit, freshly made
food on REAL plates and have nice grassy areas to enjoy outside. Rumor is they even have live music on some
evenings. Though we were right outside
the park entrance, we took the time to eat a decent meal… delicious breakfast
burritos and coffee. We had lacked
quality coffee since we left Wisconsin, so this was exciting!
We drove into the park entrance, and drove you what seemed
like forever. Though the roads were
beautiful, we were full of eagerness and anticipation to see The Valley. We have been dreaming of seeing (and
climbing) those granite walls for so long.
The road began to drop in elevation.
We are getting close! OOOH!!! There’s Half Dome! A quick sneak peak appeared around a bend in
the road. We were giddy like children on
We drove through the
Valley getting quick glances of El Cap through the trees as we strained our
neck to see the tops of the walls surrounding us. Eventually we found a place to park in the
busy Valley floor. We made a stop at the
Visitor Center and Wilderness Center to buy some maps.
Next on our to do list was go touch El Cap and take some pictures in the meadow below it. We moved our car to a lot shaded by sequoias,
near a trail sign that read “0.3 miles to El Cap.” As we eagerly scurried towards the granite
face, we ran into another couple head the same way and struck up
“Are you going to El Cap?”
“Yep!...... Are you going to touch it?”
We made our way to the base of the wall, and touched it of
course! Then not satisfied that we had
not found the base of The Nose we scampered off to find it. After a little searching we found the spot
that looked right…. And we later confirmed with our guidebook that we had the
right spot. We took some pictures before
heading back to the car to find our camping area for the night.
We knew that dispersed camping was available outside the
park, but it is one of those things that is little spoken of. The key is knowing your camping and National
Forest regulations. After over two
hours of searching and driving in and out of a few park entrances we found our
spot! We relaxed for a while, looking
over guidebooks and making plans on where to climb the next morning, before
settling in to sleep for the night.