Lunar Symmetry – Olmsted Point


Yashica 124 with Velvia100


The last day of my trip to Yosemite was mostly spent outside park. We had planned to spend the week exploring the park, then use the last day to drive east to the high sierra. There, we visited Mono Lake and Bodie State Park. To get to these places, we had to drive across the park via Tioga Pass road aka Route 120. The drive alone was unbelievable. It snakes around the edge of the valley, across Tuolumne Meadows, skirts Olmsted Point, and drops down an enormous decline to the town of Lee Vining. Not too mention, the elevation at the Tioga Pass Entrance to Yosemite is 9,943 feet! After a long day of wondering around a prehistoric lake and a well-preserved ghost town, we decided to begin the long drive back to the motel. While rolling through Lee Vining, it was decided that getting dinner earlier than later would be a great idea. Ironically, the best place for food in Lee Vining is a deli located inside a gas station. This does not mean that there are no other places to get a bite to eat in Lee Vining. There are plenty of choices, however none of them hold a candle to Whoa Nellie Deli. It is literally an oasis within the Tioga Pass Gas Mart. We actually ate lunch there and decided that if it ain’t broke, then buy dinner there too. It was at this point in our journey, we had a wonderful idea. We would get the meal to go, and race back up to Olmsted Point to watch the sun set while eating dinner. A wise man once told me: “There is no off-position on the genius switch”. With food in the back of the rental Prius, we ascended as quickly and as legally as our trusty hybrid would carry us. The timing was perfect. We parked, popped the hatchback, and dined while facing one of the most spectacular views of the entire trip. Shortly after eating my veggie-patty and fries, I took this photograph then went back to perch on the hatchback. This photograph will always remind me that some of my favorite photographs were taken with no previous planning at all. They just happen. It also reminds me that one of my favorite meals ever was purchased at a deli inside a gas station.