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36 hours - Road Trip to Tenaya Lake Jan 14-15 2012
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Lisa Frugoli
(alfresco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
36 hours - Road Trip to Tenaya Lake Jan 14-15 2012 on 01/22/2012 13:49:29 MST Print View

Hearing the news that Tioga Pass was opened my husband Ron & I decided we had to go! According to the local newspaper, “This is the latest in winter that 9,943-foot Tioga Pass has been open since park officials started keeping records in 1933.” It also happened to be a free weekend at the National Parks.

We packed the van with sleeping bags, warm clothes, snacks and camera gear & left home before 5am on Saturday morning. The fog had settled in the central valley, making a great photo op. As usual, I drove and Ron shot photo after photo out the window.

Fog - Central Valley

Fog - Central Valley

We arrived at Tenaya Lake before 11am. People were already ice skating, picnicking and enjoying the blue skies and the magic of the High Sierra. It was weird to walk on 8-10 inches of ice on a frozen lake but see very little snow on the surrounding peaks. The ice made haunting whale-like sounds as it shifted and warmed as the day got warmer – some call this “singing ice”. It’s a eerie sound when you are standing on the ice, a sound we won’t forget.

As the day wore on, more & more people came to enjoy a hockey game, ice skating or just a quiet time on a frozen lake.

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake

Late in the afternoon, we headed east over Tioga Pass to Mono Lake. Ron took a few photos as the sun set and we chose a flat spot to park the van after dinner. We to a local diner in Lee Vining. Not much was opened as this is usually a sleepy and isolated place this time of year. After a so-so dinner and a couple glasses of wine, we drove back to our flat spot, donned our sleeping clothes, laid out the sleeping bags & crawled into the back of the van. The next morning temps were about 20 degrees which made for a chilly foray to brew up some coffee. Nothing like a good hot cup of coffee in your sleeping bag while watching the dark dissipate. We drove north on HWY 395 to the County Park and discovered a boardwalk out to the shore Mono Lake.

Mono Lake

Mono Lake

Heading north again on 395, Bridgeport was our next destination for breakfast. We fueled up both the van and ourselves and completed the circle by driving home along HWY 89 through Markleeville and finally to HWY 50. Just outside of Bridgeport, we saw one of our favorite views of the Sawtooth Range.

Sawtooth Range

Off 395

Our goal is to enjoy a “36 Hour” getaway once a month – whether it be to visit friends, a favorite place or somewhere new. It’s a great way for Ron & I to spend time together – either chatting or enjoying the silence as the scenery passes - we usually don’t even turn on the radio.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. This from the newspaper on Tues Jan 17: “After an unusual winter with very little snow, officials at Yosemite National Park are finally closing Tioga Road, the highest crossing of the Sierra Nevada.

Edited by alfresco on 01/22/2012 13:54:40 MST.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Great pictures on 01/22/2012 14:52:17 MST Print View

Wow. Great pictures, Lisa. Thanks!

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
36 Hr Tenaya Lake on 01/22/2012 15:30:36 MST Print View

Excellent,fun pictures and jealousy!

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: 36 hours - Road Trip to Tenaya Lake Jan 14-15 2012 on 01/22/2012 15:34:54 MST Print View

What a great setting, Lisa! Thank you for sharing.

And thanks to your other half, who took great shots!

Todd

Scott Pickard
(gon2srf)

Locale: Southern California
Cool on 01/22/2012 23:26:48 MST Print View

Great pics! And they say we don't have seasons in California.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: 36 hours - Road Trip to Tenaya Lake Jan 14-15 2012 on 01/24/2012 10:56:28 MST Print View

Very nice, thanks for sharing!
Tom

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
Tenaya on 01/27/2012 19:32:29 MST Print View

We must have been up there at the same time...we were up in Tuolumne Meadows climbing domes.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
tenaya on 01/27/2012 22:42:28 MST Print View

Cool -a lot of nice adventures were had on the ice. here's another one I found:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26EeBKVnWLE

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
Tenaya on 01/28/2012 07:44:57 MST Print View

Here's a link to our post here a few days ago:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=58217