As Yosemite Valley emptied, we lingered: the beauty of the meadows un-trampled by
human feet; the trees starting to drape themselves in yellow and the pristine blue skies and fresh air along with an absence of noise (and a ton of cars) made one want to hide out in a tent and get missed for the final count.
We circled the various hotels and lodges, most of which were already shut, talked to a few other tourists who tarried and very much enjoyed a (brother Bob pulled out every time there was even one car behind us) leisurely exit from the park.
|Coyote at Tuolome Meadows|
|Tufas at Mono Lake|
Going down the other side we enjoyed seeing the Tufa’s ("Tufa is a variety of limestone, formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from ambient temperature water bodies." as per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tufa) of Mono Lake before traveling north only to turn around and go South when we realized that Mammoth was a lot closer than Tahoe. There we found a Westin hotel, off-season, probably not even half full where, for my joining the Starwood Group, we were able to obtain a two-bedroom, two-bath hotel suite. None of us could remember ever having stayed in such fine surroundings for a very reasonable price.
Never fear – reality will set in soon enough as I return home.