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Day 13: Yosemite

Scenic bridge in the Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite National Park.

After our Mono Lake sunrise we hopped back in the car for yet another trip to Yosemite. The Tioga Pass was open, and we were excited to see the parts of the park which had eluded us on all our previous trips.

Deer walk in the river in this view from Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park.

We started through the pass, but we were completely dismayed at how crowded it was EVERYWHERE. It was hard to find parking at every lookout and visitor’s center, and while driving there’s always someone who insists on going 15mph while taking photos out the window, making the driving experience miserable for everyone else.

Views from the scenic Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park.
A view of Yosemite’s Half Dome taken from Tioga Pass.

While we drove the Tioga Pass we found a couple vantage points that would work for sunset, but since it was early afternoon we thought we’d go dump stuff at the hotel and rest until sunset. This thought occurred to us before we realized how long it takes to get from the hotel to the vistas we liked on the Tioga Pass, especially with slow drivers. We ended up choosing to drive up to Glacier Point for sunset, which was similarly frustrating (got stuck behind slow driver(s) who only speed up in passing lanes). Sunset was meh and we slept through sunrise.

A late afternoon view of Half Dome taken from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park, California.

And… that was our road trip! After that we went to wine country for a few days, and I always fail at taking photos in wine country.

So to recap…

Day 1: Drive
Day 2-3: Great Sand Dunes
Day 3: Durango & the San Juan Skyway
Day 4: Mesa Verde National Park
Day 4-7: Arches National Park (also, Fisher Towers, La Sal Mountain Loop, Dead Horse Ranch State Park)
Day 7: Monument Valley
Day 7-9: Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Slot Canyons
Day 9-10: Bryce National Park
Day 10-12: Great Basin National Park
Day 13: Mono Lake; Yosemite National Park
Day 14-16: Paso Robles Wine Country

Fun. Productive. Tiring… But totally worth it.

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