Towards Mono Lake

After a week of waking up at 4am, 5am, and 6am and going to bed at 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm, you’d think we would have spent our first weekend back from France just chilling. Nope. After work on Friday we picked up a Zipcar and started heading east. We made it to Groveland, about 140 miles west of San Francisco before stopping at a cheap motel for the night.

We got going early the next morning, on our way towards Mono Lake through Yosemite. Previously we’d entered the park from the south to visit Yosemite Valley, and from the west to go snowshoeing near Badger Pass, but we’d never driven across Yosemite through the Tioga Pass, California’s highest road at 9,945′ above sea level.

Though Mono Lake was our intended destination, it was impossible not to stop along the way in Yosemite. The weather was just perfect, in the high 80s, and the skies were absolutely clear. We saw Half Dome from Olmsted Point, the stunning Tenaya Lake, and of course the Tioga Pass. We made it to Mono Lake around lunchtime, so we stopped in at Bodie Mike’s BBQ in Lee Vining before heading out to explore further.

View along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
View from the Tioga Road in Yosemite
Half Dome from Olmsted Point
Half Dome from Olmsted Point
Sliver of Tenaya lake from Olmsted Point
Sliver of Tenaya Lake visible from Olmsted Point
Kayaker in Tenaya Lake
Kayaker paddling through Tenaya Lake
Eastern part of Tioga Road
Eastern part of Tioga Road, heading down towards Mono Lake
Looking back towards the Tioga Pass
Looking back towards the Tioga Pass
First sight of Mono Lake
First sight of Mono Lake

Note: I’m experimenting with adding larger versions of the photos on my blog. Each of the 380px wide images in this post links to an 800px wide version. If you’re viewing this post on my blog directly (as opposed to in a feedreader) clicking on the image should display the larger version with a sexy animated transition. Please let me know what you think.

Update: As of my Responsive Redesign in May 2015, I’m displaying the large version of photos in my posts, so I’ve removed the ability to click on the photo to enlarge it, which no longer had any purpose—and wasn’t very effective on touchscreen devices.


Steve Segedy

Hi Justin,

I’m a long-time reader, having stumbled on your site through our shared Chapel Hill/SILS connections. I like the new image transitions- do you mind sharing the script behind it?

Steve, thanks for reading. I used FancyBox, which is a jQuery “plugin” for doing lightbox-esque popup transitions. Last night I surveyed all manner of lightbox-clones, and this one seemed the most featureful and up to date.

It’s not perfect—I made a number of edits to the CSS file that ships with it, and I commented out some of the JavaScript to prevent a behavior I didn’t like.

Anyway, knowing me, once I finish getting the pictures up from Mono Lake, I’ll probably write a post with more details.


It seems as though you have many wonderful vacations during the year. I’m envious.

Craig, we’ve discovered that any weekend can feel like a vacation if you head out on Friday after work and come back Sunday. Gotta take advantage of our indian summer while we have it.

The photos are great and the transition as advertised: sexy. Seriously though, great pics and I especially like the last one!

Chris thanks. It’s interesting what a 52mm-e lens sees, compared to my Ricoh’s 28mm-e. But yeah, I really like this group of photos together. More coming, it’s just been a busy week.

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