The Sierra: Whitney, Mammoth, & Yosemite
Day 1: Moorpark > Alabama Hills
We left John’s mom’s house in Moorpark around noon on May 21, 2016. “Let me get a really good look at you,” she told us while gazing at our forearms and big smiles. With bug hugs and waves from the driveway, we were off! Driving North, we arrived in Lone Pine just around sunset. Tired of driving we ducked into a saloon for a beer and to plan our next move. The bartender recommended that we head out into the Alabama Hills BLM land down Whitney Portal Road. That sounded like a pretty good plan to us, so we high-tailed it out into the desert. Not long after turning onto Whitney Portal, we saw another van parked just off the road. We met three travelers from the Netherlands, and invited them in to the van for a few beers. After they retired for the night, John and I took a long walk in the moonlight. The full moon in Sagittarius was high and bright.
Day 2: Alabama Hills > Mt. Whitney > Mammoth
Hiked 6 miles on Mt. Whitney trail to Lone Pine Lake. It was a perfect sunshine day, and we were happy to stretch our legs. We were exhausted when we got to the Mammoth house, and went straight to bed…but not before I could make a blueberry pie.
Day 3: Mammoth > Yosemite > Stanislaus
We made it out of Mammoth and into Tuolumne Meadows by early afternoon. Strapped on our snowshoes and took a short hike towards Cathedral Lake. We ate blueberry pie deep in the woods, but decided to turn back when we saw storm clouds brewing. It started snowing on our way back, and for the next few hours we felt like we had Yosemite to ourselves. Light flurries of snow gave the meadows an air of excitement and wonder. We decided to stay parked in front of Lembert Dome in our own little meadow, blasted cheesy 80’s music, and were just starting to play a rousing game of battleship when the rangers informed us that the roads were closing. “East or West?” they asked. For us, there was no going backwards, so we drove the three hours through a very snowy Yosemite at twilight. We made It to the Stanislaus National Forest area, and stealth camped in a motel parking lot.