New guests, thunder and lightning, snow capped peaks

After a solid sleep we were woken by the alarm again at 7.00am and we rolled (not bounced) out of bed.  The bright light shining through the various windows of our cabin said: “It is another beautiful California day so get up and wrap it around you”.  So we did.

We checked out the fresh mountain air as we walked the short walk to breakfast and this morning we were greeted by three deer outside our door.  What a way to wake up!!

Some new guests had checked in to the B&B and we shared their travel stories over another light but tasty breakfast.  We also met Brenda (host) this morning.  The breakfast conversation was informative and fun and we slowed down our pace and enjoyed the moment.  In fact, we were the last ones to depart the “lobby” (common area).

The day was warming up (forecast for 31 degrees C) by the time we packed the car and headed toward Oakhurst.  The “compulsory” morning brew was purchased at …… you guessed it – Starbucks.  In addition to the caffeine favourites we shared a very tasty oatmeal cookie during the drive back into the mountains.

The traffic was light on the road but it would not have mattered if it was heavy.  We enjoy the slow driving pace up the mountain – it gives us time to take in the beauty and the morning brew.

Our first stop in Yosemite today was Sentinel Dome.  This is located on the southern high “range” of the park and it was recommended to us by John (host).  The drive to the dome took around 80 mins and by the time we arrived the weather was turning a bit sour.  Thunderstorms were building and the sky was turning various shades of black.  However, we were not going to succumb to the weather so after a quick comfort break we headed off on the short walk to the dome.

Light rain and distant thunder didn’t prevent us from taking pictures along the way however, by the time we approached the dome the temperature was dropping and the wind was picking up.  The altitude in the area rises to almost 9000 feet and there was quite a lot of snow (ice) on the ground in the area.

I am pleased to say that we stayed with the plan and completed the hike to the summit.  The views were worth the effort and we took quite a few photo’s.  The “eagle’s eye” view from above Yosemite was breathtaking and even a relatively close bolt of lightning couldn’t deter us from completing our morning hike.

During the return hike to the car the rain increased in intensity so we were quite happy to get out of the wind and rain and into the shelter and warmth of the car.

The Princess made a lovely lunch in the front seat of the car – tuna sandwiches.  The hike had used up quite a bit of energy so we were both rather happy to replace some of it with a simple but tasty lunch.

We continued up the road (along the high range area) from Sentinel Dome to Glacier Point.  Brenda (host) recommended that we take in the views from Glacier Point and we are glad we followed her advice.  The views were different to those from Sentinel Dome but they were equally impressive despite the inclement conditions that developed while we were there.

We had planned to return to the valley floor today so, after leaving Glacier Point we drove down the mountain to the valley area (around 60 mins) and took in Bridalveil Falls before parking at the eastern end of the park and walking to Mirror Lake.

Mirror Lake is an incredible place.  The reflections off the calm water are a photographer’s dream. Despite the plethora of mosquitoes we took advantage of the afternoon sunlight and the calm water and took a lot of photo’s.  We hope you enjoy them – we donated a pint of blood to get them.

The 15 minute walk back to the car was really enjoyable.  Squirrels scurried across the path and the afternoon sunlight through the trees provided some wonderful light for photo’s.  I battled the “mossies” in an attempt to capture my darling’s features in the soft lighting.

It was 6.30pm by the time we left Yosemite for the return trip to our B&B.  We drove back via a different route today – along the Merced River.  The road is much straighter and the drive along the river is outstanding.  Over hanging rocks, variation in the vegetation and higher speed limits made for a pleasant drive.  It took a little longer (due to the increase in distance) but it was worth the extra time.

After a short stop in the pretty town of Mariposa we arrived back at Sierra Mountain Lodge around 8.30pm – very early for us!

After a quick clean out of the car we enjoyed a port and coffee in the lobby and checked our emails before returning to the cabin and reheating last night’s leftovers for our supper.

It is now approaching 11.30pm and we are ready to retire for the night.  Our bellies are full, we have packed for our departure and we have written (and proof read) the blog.

Before wishing you all a goodnight I would like to ask you all to spare a thought and say a prayer for Vern, Claudia and their extended family.

You might remember that I mentioned Vern and Claudia in our Morro Bay blog.  Well, tonight we learnt that Vern passed away the day after we left Morro Bay.  He was unable to say goodbye to us when we departed because he was not feeling well.

We remember Vern as a tall, gentle man who met us on arrival at the Marina Street Inn and showed us our accommodation.  He was quietly spoken and clearly loved his role as host.  Indeed, he took our photo and proudly made a card up for us and left if for us before we departed.  He posted our picture on the card and also posted the picture in the guest book.  A lovely gesture.  Our own thoughts and prayers are with Claudia at this time.

From the beautiful Sierra region of California we bid you all goodnight wherever you are in this wonderful world we live in.

Roey and The Princess

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