Friday, September 01, 2006

New friends.

So, this is the first of many posts that will come out of my trip to Yosemite National Park. I had a lot of fun interactions with people and great visits to cool places up in the mountains.

First up: Mike and Janet Paden, a retired couple I met on Monday while visiting Glacier Point. This locale offers some of the most spectacular views of Yosemite Valley, including a "side shot" of Half Dome that you miss if you never leave the Valley floor.

Anyway, I got talking with Mike and Janet about their adventure as they're traveling across the country. I later learned that they've been on the road since April -- wow! -- and their trek has taken them from Illinois all the way to Florida and now way out west. From Yosemite, they (and their two dogs) planned to head north to Lake Tahoe, British Columbia, and maybe as far north as Calgary. It was fun talking about places they've visited and their planned sites along the way.

Remarkably, I ran into the Padens a day later while up in the High Country. I had decided to make a trek over to the east side of the mountains. There's a wonderfully steep route for Highway 120, and it leaders to Lee Vining and Mono Lake. After driving around a little while, I stopped by the "south shore" of Mono Lake and checked out the south tufa formations.

On the way back into Yosemite, I pulled off to get a nice view of Ellery Lake, and after snapping a couple of photos (with my PDA; I didn't bring a "real" camera on this trip), I saw a couple waving at me -- and I realized it was Mike and Janet! We talked for a few minutes about their plans to head to Route 395 and go up to Lake Tahoe for the next leg of their trip.

So, I promised them an email (to be sent in a few minutes) and I decided they should get the first "real" post from my Yosemite trip. I'm looking forward to hearing about their continuing adventures as they head north and then east.

And for the rest of you folks, I promise more posts about mountains and gas prices and deer signs and Saddleback and people from other countries and books I read while up in Yosemite and hikes I took and all kinds of other fun stuff. Enjoy.

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