Yosemite Fall Colors!

Yosemite Fall Colors!

Even a die hard gardener has to leave the flowers, veggies and chickens behind for a weekend now and then. Noticing a Facebook post about the fabulous fall colors in the high Sierras around Mono County and Yosemite National Park we took off early on Saturday morning and just five hours from home found ourselves in one of the most beautiful places on earth!

Just inside the park we spotted our first brilliant yellow foliage:IMG_2924adj


IMG_2949adj I was so excited to see this….it’s kind of laughable when you see what follows…to think I was excited about this little bush.Heading over Tioga Pass,  next up was Tenaya Lake. One of my favorite places. No color here but it’s beautiful and it was fun to watch the wind surfers!IMG_2961adjIMG_2965adj

As we headed down after driving over the Pass and  through Tuolumne Meadows color started popping up in the canyon!IMG_3018adjIMG_2989adj

And as we came down the pass, almost to the end, shortly before the turn to Lee Vining…oh did we find color! Just off the side of the road on the way to some campgrounds stood the most amazing group of Aspen trees…mixed with pines and all with a stream running by…oh my!IMG_3026adj IMG_3036adj IMG_3047adj IMG_3053adj IMG_3084adjIMG_3038adjIMG_3075adj IMG_3108adj

From Hwy 120 where it ends at Lee Vining we turned right to Hwy 395 looking for the turn to Hwy 158 where we would enter the June Lake Loop.  We didn’t travel far on Hwy158 when we saw Grant lake….a severe reminder that we are definitely in a drought. Seeing this made me glad I turned the sprinklers off before we left!IMG_3113adj

Once we began to travel around the loop we couldn’t go very far at all without stopping to photograph color…color….and more color!IMG_3127adj IMG_3126adj IMG_3129adj IMG_3147adj IMG_3153adj IMG_3162adj IMG_3184adj

After driving from 7 a.m. until about 5 p.m., photographing all along the way, we ended up in the town of June Lake where we found a room at the Boulder Lodge and rested up for an early start  to catch the color in the early morning light.  If there is anything that can improve gorgeous fall color, it’s gorgeous fall color in the right light! Back around the loop we re-photographed Silver Lake to get better light (I really want to go back and stay in one of their quaint cabins this summer!) and to capture more color in different light along the way:IMG_3296adj IMG_3328adj IMG_3341adj IMG_3344adj IMG_3352adjIMG_3121adj

Leaving the June Lake Loop, we drove back along Hwy. 395, back over Tioga Pass, along Hwy 120 and ended up back in Yosemite National Park were we decided to drive down to photograph the Yosemite Valley (not the best time of day for good light but it’s so beautiful there anyway):IMG_3369adj IMG_3377adj IMG_3387adj IMG_3390adj IMG_3397adj IMG_3389adj

After two hours on the Valley Floor we decided to head home by way of our favorite gold country stop: Jamestown. With at least six antique stores on Main Street it’s a fun stop and not far out of the way driving back to Sonoma County.IMG_3408adj IMG_3409adj IMG_3410adj IMG_3412adj

And speaking of Sonoma, dinner at Mary’s Pizza on the Sonoma Square is a perfect way to end a perfect weekend. After all, you have to go out to dinner when you’re celebrating your 30th wedding anniversary….right? This spontaneous trip was a wonderful way to celebrate! If you have a free weekend, Yosemite is a relaxing and beautiful place to spend it! We’re already planning a trip for next October’s spectacular color display!