November 14, 2012
Closed for the Season
The campground looked empty from the road. Rolling past the welcome sign, I cranked down my dirty window and stuck my head out, scanning for a dollar sign. $15 per night. I let off the clutch and continued on the dirt road. Avoiding the chilly breeze, I rolled up the window.
“Might as well be free,” I chuckled to myself. The afternoon sun was dropping quickly and the north side of the adjacent hills was already clocked in shade. Driving around the perimeter of the campground, I looked for familiar sights.
Sixteen years before, my family rented an RV and explored the eastern Sierra for a month in early fall. Although somewhat hazy, the trip stands out as a highlight of my childhood. Motivated by a sense of restlessness brought about by lack of surf and nostalgia, I cut out from the coast the week before and headed up 395 towards the Tioga Pass area.
Basing my plans on a few calls with my parents, I bounced around the Tioga Pass area for a week in late October. During the week, I headed over towards Yosemite, and as as the crowds picked up, I retreated back towards the Mono Lake area. In passing and without cause, some of the sights touched on memories from my first trip.
Boarded up for the winter.
Those dots in the middle of the wall are two groups of climbers bivvying for the night.
Home is where you park it! I also run a site called Vanlife.
Sunset at 9000 feet.
Looking back through Tioga Pass.
Half Dome, in Yosemite Valley.
I wonder if they will keep the sign in the spring?
Custom Camper on a 1967 Dodge PowerWagon. This baby has 600k miles on it, and has run over a cow.
These mountains are now covered in snow.
Wish you were here.
Looking east towards through Tioga Pass.
Traveling alone affords you the time and flexibility to linger in some areas and pass through others. The Tioga Pass region is one I advise lingering in, especially in the off season. My weeks spent there 16 years ago and last month are highlights of different eras of my life. Somethings don’t change.
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