Watch the Return of the Porpoise to San Francisco Bay video!

 

Help Us Stop Stephen Colbert's Cowardly Campaign Against Bears!

Watch Yellowstone's Bears Put Colbert On Notice on YouTube

ENJOY THIS SITE?

I enjoy sharing my adventures with you. This site is entirely volunteer and I pay all the expenses myself.

So if you enjoy gazing at photos of pika and frogs and elephant seals, consider donating to the National Wildlife Federation's California program to ensure our state's wonderful animals continue to thrive.

More About This Website

Welcome!

Join me in my adventures in California, Yosemite and beyond! I've spent over twenty years in environmental leadership roles--and in two of the largest national parks, Yosemite and Yellowstone.

Through my work as the California Director for the National Wildlife Federation (my dream job), I'll enjoy sharing my encounters with wildlife and my explorations of California's beautiful landscapes with you--especially my favorite place on earth: Tuolumne Meadows and the High Sierra.

_______________

"Life is a dog and then you die. No, no, life is a joyous dance through daffodils beneath cerulean blue skies. And then? I forget what happens next."                                        Edward Abbey

"Within National Parks is room--glorious room--room in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope, to dream and plan, to rest and resolve."   Enos Mills

"The animals of the planet are in desperate peril. Without free animal life I believe we will lose the spiritual equivalent of oxygen."                                         Alice Walker

"I have never been in a natural place and felt that was a waste of time. I never have. And it's a relief. If I'm walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile.”                                           Viggo Mortensen

WEATHER


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Login
Beth's Tweets
Must reads! Some good books I am reading or rereading.
  • Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (Speaker's Corner)
    Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (Speaker's Corner)
    by Larry J. Schweiger
  • The Golden Shore: California's Love Affair with the Sea
    The Golden Shore: California's Love Affair with the Sea
    by David Helvarg
  • Letters to a Young Scientist
    Letters to a Young Scientist
    by Edward O. Wilson
  • Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Revised Edition
    Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Revised Edition
    by Marc Reisner
  • The Future of Life
    The Future of Life
    by Edward O. Wilson
  • Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
    Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
    by Bill McKibben
  • Saving Homewaters: The Story of Montana's Streams and Rivers
    Saving Homewaters: The Story of Montana's Streams and Rivers
    by Gordon Sullivan
  • Pika: Life in the Rocks
    Pika: Life in the Rocks
    by Tannis Bill
  • The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One
    The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One
    by Sylvia Earle
  • Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone
    Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone
    by Douglas W. Smith, Gary Ferguson
  • Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone: A Mountaineering History & Guide
    Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone: A Mountaineering History & Guide
    by Thomas Turiano
  • The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies
    The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies
    by Richard Hamblyn
  • Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
    Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
    by James Hansen
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race
    The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race
    by Jon Stewart
  • The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean
    The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean
    by Susan Casey
  • Jane Goodall: 50 Years at Gombe
    Jane Goodall: 50 Years at Gombe
    by Jane Goodall
  • The Wolverine Way
    The Wolverine Way
    by Douglas Chadwick
  • Wolf: The Lives of Jack London
    Wolf: The Lives of Jack London
    by James L. Haley
  • Gloryland
    Gloryland
    by Shelton Johnson
  • Faith of Cranes: Finding Hope and Family in Alaska
    Faith of Cranes: Finding Hope and Family in Alaska
    by Hank Lentfer
  • State of Change, A: Forgotten Landscapes of California
    State of Change, A: Forgotten Landscapes of California
    by Laura Cunningham
« Photos of a spectacular, amazing, not enough adjectives to describe it, sunset over Tenaya Lake in Yosemite | Main | From Yellowstone to Yosemite: my top ten wildlife encounters of 2011 »
Monday
Jan022012

Heaven looks a lot like Tioga Pass in Yosemite: record breaking drive on January 2

Heaven looks a lot like Tioga Pass: record opening 01/02/12My idea of heaven is the high country in Yosemite near Tioga Pass. So when I made the drive up to Tioga Pass today-the latest the road has ever been open in its history-I paraphrased the line that Jon Bon Jovi used recently to debunk his reported demise. 

The previous record for Tioga Road occurred on January 1, 2000 when the National Park Service reopened it briefly on New Year's Day. Since 1933, the road has been open 6 times past December 1. I wrote a recent article detailing this rare occurrence for National Parks Traveler, spoke about the specialness on KQED, and CNN iReports even featured a video I made of people ice skating on Tenaya Lake from the top of Tenaya Peak. Bottom line: for a Yosemite and Sierra aficionado like me, having access this late is akin to winning the lottery. 

Of course when I have no drinking water next summer, I might feel differently. The lack of snow is alarming and the landscape is more reminiscent of spring than winter. Although it's difficult to associate any one weather event or season to climate change, welcome to the Sierra Nevada of the future. I have seen predictions under the best case warming scenarios of an 80% reduction in snowpack. The Sierra can often deliver a wallop of a storm anytime of year, and I have no doubt we'll recover at least some of the snow--this year at least. But this may be a warning from the ghost of the Sierra future.

Despite the threat of drought, let's celebrate this historic occasion--Tioga Road, you did it!

For those of you who couldn't drive Tioga Road today, I made a video and took some photos for you. Enjoy!

Tioga Pass is OPEN (photo by Beth Pratt)

On Tioga Pass on 1/2/2012

Ellery Lake and Mt Conness (photo by Beth Pratt)

Dana Meadows (photo by Beth Pratt)

Mono Lake (photo by Beth Pratt)

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: losing weight
    Beth's Excellent Adventures - Up and Down California - Heaven looks a lot like Tioga Pass in Yosemite: record breaking drive on January 2

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>