The Longest Drive

by on June 7, 2010

Sawtooth Peaks

I love the Mammoth Lakes area!

There are so many things to see and do. Just the thought of being there makes my heart sing.

One year we were going to go over on a Friday, this was 4th of July Weekend and we knew the roads were going to be packed so we took off at about 1 PM. We got about a 1/2 hour away and realized that we had forgotten our jackets which was not good as we were in the convertible and it would get chilly when we headed over Tioga Pass.

Needless to say, we headed back home for the parkas and decide that we should take the road over Pacheco Pass in Gilroy. Little did we know, this was a serious error as CalTrans was doing road work on Highway 152 and traffic was literally stopped. We actually got out of the car to stretch our legs and around 5 PM they open up the road again and we were on our way.

High Mountains-Yosemite

This was good. We stopped in Mariposa for a sumptuous burger and then headed up to the south entrance to Yosemite. The Ranger had more bad news for us. There had a been a head-on collision on the pass and all lanes were closed until the MediVac helicopter got in there to transported the unlucky people out. He did say that we could go to the Ahwanhee hotel to wait it out or just wait at the turn off at the base on the road and the sheriff would tell us when  could proceed up the mountain. We did a little of both, heading to the Ahwanhee hotel which was deader than a doornail (the best action there was at the dumpster, where a family of raccoons was dining on a feast of table scraps) then we went to the base of the turnoff on to the road to the pass.

The top was down and we watched the stars overhead as we waited for the sheriff to give us the ‘All Clear’ signal. That came at midnight. So away we went up into the mountains. There was lots of snow on the ground but it just appeared to be slightly whiter than the gray granite of the mountains all around us. It was cold! We were very happy about the parkas now. Even with the heater going full blast, we were cold but ‘What a Night!’

We straggled in to Mammoth at 2:30 PM and after getting the key to the Condo we were staying at we arrived at the Condo Complex at 3 AM, well over 12 hours later. A 5 hours drive became quite an adventure, one we still talk about to this day!

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