We’ve packed our bags: town bags and backpacks, and head out the door. There is no quick way to catapult over the Sierras from the Monterey Bay without wings. So, we race across the Central Valley flatlands and climb into the foothills through Merced to Mariposa and then on through the gates of Yosemite, and then on through Tioga Pass. By the time we reached the high country of Tuolumne Meadows and Tioga Pass, the rain had begun, and came down in earnest as we drove south from Mono Lake to Mammoth Lakes.
It’s a five-hour drive, barring any construction, accidents, rock slides or slow-moving RVs.
We easily secured our permit from the ranger station for the next six days, and then drove to the Minarets Overlook to survey the landscape we were about to enter. But, the arriving rain forced us back into the car and obscured our view of the toothy landscape. What else to do, but take a nap.
Once the weather had cleared a bit, we started to think about dinner. A browse of TripAdvisor landed us at Tamarack Lodge for a tasty dinner at the Lakefront Restaurant. We dined on fresh fish and fresh vegetables – emphasis on fresh, since nothing in our backpacks would even come close to fresh for the next week.
We corked the remainder of our bottle of wine, and finished it off around the campfire at our creekside site at a USFS campground just outside of town.