A bit of a last minute trip, but I went to Yosemite. It was a quick getaway for my travel partner’s birthday. It was a 5.5 hour drive each way,and we made the mistake of not sticking to our planned schedule, resulting in our afternoon arrival when the intent was to make it mid-morning. Oh well. It was our first time and we didn’t quite know what we were looking forward to. We chalked it all up to a learning experience to be better prepared for a future visit. We took the “back way” to get there. Heading up through the 395 to the 120. We started up in the Tioga Pass, but didn’t get too far before we realized we were in need of gas. The map provided to us at the entrance showed a gas station about 5-6 miles down the road. So we headed down the road, only to find that there was no gas station. We drove down to the visitor center to inquire as to where the gas station was and were told that it was no longer there. The next one was 40 miles away! Well, we needed gas so…we made our way hoping that we’d make it on the quarter tank we had left. We had initially intended to only drive through the park a couple miles, sightsee, then settle in for the evening (we had lodging reserved back down in Mammoth – a 45 minute ride south of Yosemite). We figured we could start anew in the morning and catch an earlier start and do a couple hikes at the west end of the park. Once again, our plans were altered due to poor planning on our part. Next time we know to fill up whenever we get the chance lol. So now we were going further into the park than we had initially planned. But we made the most of the drive. It took us about an hour to finally get to the gas station, and, once we did, we made our trek back to where we started. The drive down allowed us to see what spots we wanted stop at on the way back, so that was a plus. We hit up the lookouts that caught our attention, got these lovely pictures that are shared below, and left. We were pretty beat from the drive and looking forward to dinner and resting up for what we had planned for the next day. We stayed at the Mammoth Mountain Inn, which was just steps from the lifts that take you up the mountain. The accommodation were nice. You could tell it was an older facility from the rooms, but the lobby area was more updated and exactly what you’d expect for cabin-style lodging. I’d love to come back during snow season to really take in and enjoy the true mountain cabin vibe. It was little difficult at the time, being that it’s June and 85°F outside. But I digress. We grabbed pizza in the village and made our way back to our room. We ate and fell out lol. Before we knew it, it was morning and, once again, we were off to a bad start. We, lazily, decided to stay until check out time at 11a.m. We didn’t make it back to Yosemite until around 12:30p after getting gas and a bite to eat.
Sidenote: we ended up at a nice little spot called Stellar Cafe down on Main Street, next to the Chevron station. A good spot for those who are a little more health conscious. We both ended up getting açai bowls (very good, I might add). Sorry for the digression. Back to Yosemite.
Back we were at Tioga Pass. Since we had made all the pitstops we wanted on the east end the previous day, we headed straight for the west end toward Yosemite Village. So we drove and drove for another 1.5 hours. By the time we had made it to the other end it was already 2:30 and we knew we had another 6 hour drive to get us back home. There was no way we were going to be able to do any hikes and make it back at a decent enough time to get ready for work in the morning. So we decided to quit. We accepted our loss and took it as a teaching moment. Now, we know we must get as early a start as possible. Start at the west end of the park, as that is where most of the hiking trails are. And, if we’re going to do an overnight trip, plan to stay in the park. So we made our way back to LA.
The trip wasn’t a complete loss though. I enjoyed the drive (we didn’t hit any traffic there or back), got to spend quality time with someone I hold dear to my heart, went somewhere I had never gone before, was able to revel in the majestic beauty of nature and God’s great creations, and got some great pics to share and look back on. All in all, I had a great time and can’t wait to do it again (the right way, haha).