Sunday, November 02, 2008
Further Through Yosemite
My road trip continued to the easterly side of the park, through high mountain passes, clearings with ancient meadows where the indigenous peoples used to farm and down into the valley beyond. Again i was fascinated by the amount of effort the pioneers went to to access such inhospitable land, building roads that must have taken years, countless effort and probably several lives. Mining, unknown incentives of discovery and the promise of fortune probably provided ample encouragement at the time. Evidence now hidden as the modern world seeks to preserve wilderness and open spaces, disused settlements and old mines removed or abandoned and swallowed up as nature returns as best it can.
It made for an amazing drive through a constantly changing landscapes of dense forest, towering mountains, scree, bare rock areas with the occasional tree clinging on for dear life, tranquil lakes and glimpses of earlier snow fall, clear blue skies and chilling of the air and then way off into the distance, a view down into the valley beyond.
Lake Mono lay at the foot of the road, miles off in the distance, and apart from the National Park Entrance booth and a couple of 'rest rooms' i had hardly seen a building since i left the hostel that morning. It was like entering another world and another hour or so before i arrived at Lee Vining, a little, once lakeside, settlement where i planned to stay that night. A small row of motels, tourist shops, an excellent visitors centre, general store and garage made up the main street. Out of season it was fairly closed, but with one all purpose diner open for food and a motel with a comfortable bed i was set for the night.