I arrived at dusk in Bishop, CA. I decided I was going to enter Yosemite from that side, as my climber friend John, who I met in Vegas was free camping out there and invited me to join him. He also has his car set up to sleep in and I felt more secure with the thought of camping parked next to someone I knew. I found the rode and drove down it, as the sun set behind the mountains. I drove and drove and never found his car. I ended up finally getting ahold of him and I found out he had already left for his next stop. Disappointed and in the dark, I decided to try to find a place in town. Unfortunately the only place I found was the Super 8. I hated spending so much money on a bed! It was the only motel I’ve stayed at for this entire trip.
The next day I drove out to the free camping area and set up shop. In the daylight it was much less intimidating. The spots were wooded and a stream ran behind the sites. I mostly hung out in the coffee shop working while I was in Bishop, but I also walked down the road from my campsite to hike the Pine Creek Pass Trail in the Inyo National Forest. It was so beautiful, yet difficult. The environment changes so much with elevation. You start up walking through pine trees and flowers and then walking up switchbacks along the barren mountain. Water falls trickled down the side of the mountain to join the stream. The same stream I was camping beside. I got up as far as I could before I hit where the trail was too snowed over. I looked up at the sky and wondered if it was going to rain. It began to snow on me. I was thrilled. The weather most definitely made up for the fact that I was not going to be able to see the mountain lake above me without special gear and mountaineering skills.
My hopes to enter Yosemite from Bishop also were dashed. The Tioga Pass was seasonally closed. I had wanted to go up to Lake Tahoe anyway, so I packed up and headed North.