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Old September 20th, 2015, 02:48 PM   #1
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Crossing Tioga Pass - 9/19/2015

I noticed on my map that of my numerous trips over the Sierra this year, oddly I had not crossed Tioga. What? Why? Who knows, but let's fix that!

From Carson, the easiest way to reach Hwy 120 is to head south to Lee Vining where 120 connects into 395. Just a little over 100 miles away. Course I couldn't make it that boring. Instead I swung around through Markleeville to make a trip over Monitor Pass before the long straight of Hwy 395. The trees are just starting to get a hint of color to them, so maybe within the next few weeks, Ma Nature will have stirred up her paints and covered the mountains and valleys in bursts of reds and yellows!

Reaching Lee Vining, I pulled into the Tioga Market at the south end of town to fill up ($4.29!!) and grab a postcard to send to my friend FuzzyGalore. Then it was up the mountain!

Tioga is the highest pass around, so high it's usually the first to close as soon as winter shows up. That's the reason I wanted to ride it now. Last weekend had snow on a few of the higher mountains and the evenings are getting colder. Plus the forecast is for a massive El Nino this year, so hey! Why not?

First pass through the park was just a ride, very little stopping. Mostly wanted to just cruise and not focus on anything other than being on the bike in one of the most beautiful areas to ride. Traffic was okay, heavy in places, light in others. The only real slow down was when I got stuck behind a line that would speed up in straights and crawl in corners. Eventually hopscotched my way to the front where I found 4 cruisers doing the slow sight seeing tour. Ah, that explains it.

Once through the park, I made my way towards New Priest Grade past Groveland. Found this spot on my second visit to Yosemite and LOVE going there whenever I can.

There's a nifty cafe at the top that had a really really good pulled pork sandwich, plus an awesome view of the comings and goings along both New Priest Grade and Old Priest Grade.

Headed back towards the park for the photo op ride portion of my trip.

As I came back home through Minden, I noticed that the remodeled C.O.D. Casino was lit up and so made a u-turn to go check out what they've done. I was sad when they tore down the original canopy to the garage and very happy it's now back.

It was a great day, cool in the morning, cold over the summit, baking hot when I got down to about 1500 feet, cool back over the summit, and cold again coming home along 395.

About 400 miles in 13 hours, good way to spend a Saturday.

Sunday morning, headed back up the Sierra to meet the Blue Riders again for a short twisty ride. We rode north along the east shore of Tahoe, up and over Mt Rose summit, down towards the valley, up again to Virginia City on Geiger Grade, and down Six Mile Canyon to Dayton Valley. Fun twisty cruise with my Mom, Stepdad, Susan, and Darryl. Two Tigers, one Harley, one Honda, and a Kawasaki. I love random groups.

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Old September 20th, 2015, 02:57 PM   #2
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Old September 20th, 2015, 04:22 PM   #3
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Beautiful pictures !!!

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Old September 21st, 2015, 01:34 PM   #4
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Riding through Yosemite was one of my favorite parts of being in Cali. Wish I had more time there, I saw the right turn to take Tioga pass but didn't have the time to do it. We went in November last year, I think a week or 2 before it closed.

I just remember being at the bottom of the mountain in some town before going through mariposa (sp?) grove, nice and warm. Get into Yosemite and theres an inch of snow/slush on the ground as we ride in with the BMW. Just awesome. Took a little mile or so hike (had all our riding gear on and the lady didn't want to go far). We made it to the tunnel tree or whatever its really called, took a pic and headed back. Once we hit 4,000 feet all the snow was gone and it was nice out.

Awesome riding area Teri
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Old February 9th, 2021, 12:05 AM   #5
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I've done Tioga Pass many times, it's a great ride with lots of great scenery
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Old January 6th, 2022, 11:46 AM   #6
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The scenery part. Nature is just precious.
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