Spectacular cliffs

Trip Start Aug 25, 2012
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Trip End Sep 29, 2012


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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, September 5, 2012

This morning we drove what we thought would be an hour, to the national park, a few hours to get to Yosemite Valley with the all the stops in between of the scenery.   Before driving to the National Park we became aware of a Hantavirus outbreak that has entered the park.  This virus can be deadly if caught, so we wondered whether we should go, but thought we were staying out of
the park, and the outbreak was predominately in Curry Village we should be OK. I decided I would drive again as I get quite bored in the passenger seat.  To get to the valley we needed to get onto Tioga Pass, which would take us up to 9943 feet.  Tioga pass had some breathtaking views of the mountains.  The pass itself we thought overall wasnt as bad as Sonora Pass.  The roads seemed to be better maintained.  Half way through the way I said to Jason that this was nothing compared to Sonora Pass.  Not long after this statement I realised that we were going into familiar territory.   Roads were quite high with tight turns, steep slopes and drops with unguarded edges.  After about 30 minutes of driving I told Jason to drive as I couldn't handle it anymore.  This I think was the beginning of my anxiety attack that was to come... oh no!  Now Jason had not driven this car before, it was a 4wd, and an auto.  We got in the car, Jason got himself comfortable and started to drive.  Only problem was, without realising it, he had put the gear into tiptronic mode.  So we had entered the road again, however the car was not happy.  It was chugging along to the point where I started to laugh uncontrollable and asking what he was doing, until we got close to where Jason had to turn the car.  I saw a turnout and started telling him to get to the turnout, thats all he had to do.  At this point, my laughter turned into tears.  I was in such a state, I uncontrollably sobbed for a while after Jason pulled over.  Looking back I have no idea why I got into that state.  All I could think of was that I had been so tense driving that it had to come out somehow!?  Who knows.  All I knew after this, was that I had to drive as Jason driving made it worse.    Luckily the scenery was gorgeous and worth it!    On the drive we did see Olmsted Point, Tenaya Lake,  Half Dome, El Capitan, Cathedral Peak and Tuolumne Meadows to name a few.    We stayed a while in the village surrounds admiring what was around us, and saw deer and ground squirrels.  On the trip back, I asked Jason to drive, and still found I was more anxious with him driving so I had to drive back.   Close to the exit of the national park,  I was following a car in front of me and I knew we were speeding, and before long, the sheriff was behind me with his lights and siren on, and I thought, great, this is how we wanted to end the day ... NOT :)  I put my indicator on, to acknowledge the sheriff was behind me, but there was no where I could stop as there was no room on the side of the road, so I did what I could only do, which was continue driving.  After a few minutes, the sheriff overtakes me, and continues on.  The sheriff was actually wanting to pull over the car in front, yay, a win for me LOL!  Before too long its nightfall and I am still driving on the pass for what seemed like forever.  We eventually got on the main road and had approx another hour to drive.  Because of my anxiety, I was so tense, and although was off the pass, my brain couldnt comprehend that there were no drops on the edge of the road.  We eventually get to the outskirts of Mammoth Lakes, and I was driving along when I see something on the road.  I swerved, but to be honest, I think I overcompensated because of the day that I had, and managed to not hit a coyote on the road.  We eventually got home, and I couldn't have been more happy!

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