Padinago's trip to the USA in 2013

Day 12 - Mono Lake and Yosemite National Park

Our planning for today is a drive through the Tioga Pass so we get up early. This is a breathtaking road with beautiful views. In the meadows we see deer but they are far away and close to the treeline. After 2 hours we passed the entire Pass and drive on to Mono Lake which is very close.

We are all alone and walk through the dunes and bushes to the stalagmites. Beautiful but a very difficult walk! Then we drive on to Mammoth Lakes National Park, first we drive to the top for a fantastic view of the Minarets and then we drive to the parking in order to see Devil's postpile (a small version of Devils Tower in Wyoming) and then we undertake the hike to Rainbow Falls, about 2 hours roundtrip, going up and down the whole way, it is a very difficult hike, especially due to the high temperature, but it is really worth it. Sadly enough we forgot our Neutral Density filter in the car....

Then we drive back through the Tioga Pass to our hotel and see several deer but we can not stop. On the way back to Yosemite, we see a fire on the mountain range. They are dealing with lots of fires here because of the heath. Hopefully we will be able to keep up with our planning for the following days...

We get back to our hotel and have a good shower. Afterwards we go back for dinner at the River Restaurant and tonight we take the fish and chips which is a very good choice, freshly made with huge pieces of fish! Of course we take again the red Zinfandel, one of our favourite wines.

The same family as yesterday is sitting in the restaurent and after dinner we stay for a long chat. While talking it seems that the man is working for the same company as we are! It is really a small world!

When we all leave the restaurant it is already 11pm - in fact they asked us nicely if we would mind leaving the restaurant so they can prepare everything for breakfast - outside the restaurant we see a raccoon with her two babies, so cute!!! Of course we do not have our camera's with us but we enjoy watching the small raskals playing!

Daytrip approx. 405 km

@ Tioga Pass @ Olmsted Point Tioga Lake Near Ellery Lake @ Mono Lake Near Postpile Lookout Road The Devil's Postpiles @ Rainbow Falls @ Tioga Lake Near Gaylor Lake Road