Does anybody read my blog? Yes, actually the WordPress statistics show 4300 visitors, so far, in 2020. A few years ago it was about 3 times that. I like the blog because I can pull-up photos and a short story quickly, using a Google search.
About a month ago I spent a few days camping off of Tioga Pass Road, outside the east gate of Yosemite. (Yosemite currently having heavily restricted capacity, requiring reservations.) I did a bike ride part way up Tioga Pass Road, followed the next day by a very nice day hike, with two friends, up to the Dana Plateau.
The below picture is mirror-flat Tioga Lake, at the beginning of our hike
Lotsa flowers, though we were not in the correct location to see the elusive Skypilot.
The western edge of the Dana Plateau has a big dropoff, and gorgeous views of Mono Lake. We rested for awhile, then headed back.
The Dana Plateau, at around 11,600 feet, is called a “sky island”, which means it was not under glaciers during the last Ice Age, as was most of the surrounding area. As a result, the geology is a little different, and there is a greater variety of plants.
Additionally, it’s relatively flat, vety high up, with year-round water from snow-melt.
…which so just happens to be perfect habitat for Ptarmigans! We stumbled-upon this pair, which we didn’t see until we were within 10 feet.
It turns out that we were in the best spot to see them on the West Coast! I did a bit of research, after I got home. They were introduced to the area a few decades ago. Colorado and Canada have quite a bit more of them.
That’s about it! Here is the Strava track, including our starting point at Tioga Lake https://www.strava.com/activities/3777382981