We woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and things were going a little sideways. Things reached an impasse and we decided that the best thing for our disposition would be some exercise. Tolluch Lake boasts 55 miles of shoreline. I’m sure they are counting every inch of cove and mm of rock that pokes out into the water but it is a good sized body of water. The levels have clearly dropped as you can see where the lake used to be by the swim ladders along the wall leading to dry rock bottom and the waterline along the shore.
We launched out front and headed across the lake to the left to explore along the dam. We startled some cormorants that were relaxing on the pontoons that keep you away from the edge of the dam. There were some vacation homes along the south shore and as we came back around towards camp, there was the dock area with a few campers wetting a line.
We cruised past camp and around the bend where there was a larger urban area with a group of houses lining the lake. We paddled a ways further then found a small cove where we sat on the boards and enjoyed the sun. It is the warmest we have been in quite some time. We jumped in the water for a little cooling off then stroked it on home to pack it up and head for Yosemite Valley.
It was an easy drive along relatively quiet back lanes sprinkled with a few country towns of 200 or so inhabitants. Soon the road pointed uphill and the climbing began. “Turn off air conditioners” the signage implored. Tight curves and steep grades kept us on our toes. Some brave cyclists were bombing down the hill coming the other way dodging cars and barely squeaking around the sharp ess curves. One guy looked exhilarated and the others appeared downright terrified.
We reached the park and slid right through with our America the Beautiful passes. Before long we rounded a corner and there stood half dome gleaming in the afternoon sun. We stopped at a pull out and admired the awesome view. Wow! 😲 A kid was getting some aerial pictures with his little buzzing drone. Maybe a bit annoying, but nothing to get worked up over until Jane Righteousgreen, self appointed guardian of all that is right, arrived and started hurrumphing and making loud comments about idiots and jackasses flying drones. It ruined her pictures of half dome, she claimed belligerently. She may never be the same. Time to move on.
We stopped several more times. At Bridal Veil Falls and down at the meadow close to the village. Yosemite is the bomb, such a place of natural beauty. A fat and fluffy coyote ran across in front of me. Not the scruffy little Cali look alikes we have in Carlsbad. We still had a few moments of daylight when we arrived at North Pines, the only campground open for the winter hours. Don’t expect quiet and nature vistas in camp. Yosemite packs them in tight and you will get to know the idiosyncrasies of your neighbors really quickly. It is just a base to get out and explore everything around you.
We did a quick walk down over the bridge to the closed campground on the other side. It wasn’t but a few minutes before PJ spotted a bear moving among the trees near the shuttered up stables. I tried for a picture but, in my excitement, I blurred the photos. He didn’t hang long. He disappeared into the trees as quickly as he had appeared. A deer came by to say hello as the sun burned the very top of half dome with its final rays. We headed back to camp for a quiet night.