Mono and Parker Passes

In the fifteen years I’ve been visiting Yosemite, I have never witnessed a more beautiful fall. Some combination of temperature and precipitation levels has produced an autumn show that is almost reminiscent of my native New England (but only almost).

For what may prove to be my last Tuolumne hike of the season, I ventured to Mono and Parker Passes and wandered around gazing at a landscape waiting to sleep for the winter. A light dusting of snow from the night before covered Koip Peak Pass, and I could see the steep trail zigzagging precipitously over the slopes. A thin, translucent layer of ice covered parts of Parker Pass Lake. And the shoulder of Mt. Lewis was a painting of yellow, red and brown hues. Fall had definitely arrived.

After my hike, I drove over Tioga Pass to see the aspens in their decorative yellow fall attire, and then reasoned that being so close to Lee Vining, it only made sense to make a trip to the Whoa Nellie Deli for an early dinner. Chef Matt Toomey commensurated with me about the Red Sox losing in the playoffs as I ate my fish tacos. I then headed over to the Latte Da Coffee Café and had Tessa make me a one last hot chocolate and a slice of the irresistible pumpkin spice cake for the road.

Let the snow arrive—I’ve made my proper farewells for the season!