Orlando Bingles’ Western Adventure: Day 15

by Bingle on Jun.13, 2008, under Richard Bingle Family

Bear!! Baby Bear!!!!!

Last Look

We had decided to take a quick trip around the valley loop on our way through Yosemite on our way to the Tioga Pass just to see if any deer were hanging around waiting to get their picture taken. We were almost done with the loop when we noticed that a couple of cars were pulled over to the side of the road and people were piling out of their cars with cameras. It was at that point that Alyssa shouted out “Bear!! Baby Bear!!!!!”. Our rental van quickly joined the others abandoned on the side of the road as we grabbed our cameras and piled out. A mother bear and her cub were walking about 150 feet off the road through the trees with a stream of people mirroring their progress walking alongside of the road snapping pictures.

Bears Up A Tree

The pair quickly scampered up a tree hoping we’d all just go away. We took several pictures, but unfortunately, the bears were just too far away for our digital cameras although we did get some pretty good shots with the video camera. The bears eventually gave up on waiting for all of us to leave and climbed down and wandered farther back down the road and deeper into the trees. We made our way back to the van very happy that we’d decided to take that one last look.

We soon found ourselves on the Tioga Pass Road, and after some brief stops for pictures of various unnamed little waterfalls and a bathroom and souvenir stop, climbing steadily upwards. By the time we reached Olmsted Point (which would normally be a great view of Half-Dome) we were in the clouds and it began to snow. We had planned to hike the .5 mile trail at Olmsted Point, but after walking less than .25 miles gave up as the visibility had dropped to about 50 feet and the trail had disappeared into snow drifts.


We let the kids play a little in the snow before deciding we’d better head back up to the van as it was still snowing and were a bit concerned that the rocks on the trail would soon get too slippery. I don’t think we had gone more than a mile down the road when we passed out of the snow shower. We stopped a couple more times whenever there was a convenient turnout near a snow drift so the kids could play in the snow for a bit. We stopped one last time at a parking area near a snow covered wet meadow and the girls played for about 20 minutes in a drift, including making a snowman. It turned out that this had been a good place to stop as less than .5 mile down the road we passed the “Tioga Pass – Elevation 9954 Feet” sign and the snow banks on the sides of the road vanished as we passed to the other side of the range.


After leaving the park boundaries, we headed south towards Death Valley. We had originally planned to visit some of the sights in Death Valley before exiting on the other side and spending the night in Beatty, but by the time we made it to Stovepipe Wells in the middle of Death Valley (and around 96 or so degrees) we decided instead to just press on to Beatty and re-enter the valley the next day on our way back to Las Vegas (although we did stop to take some pictures of some interesting sand dunes that Ashley pointed out to us).

Next stop, Death Valley, Las Vegas, and home!

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