Going north on highway 395, just past the turnoff to Mammoth, there’s a parking area with one of those "photo-op" icon signs. Mike never could see why this was designated as a photo-op, since the view to the east is of an uninteresting field. But now he understands. The photo-op is to be found by looking south! Here we find the Sierra crest (today, with a light dusting of snow from a recent storm) with pine forests in the foreground . . . tailor-made for a three-shot panorama.
Then, it’s a left turn just before the town of Lee Vining to begin the climb up Tioga Road into Yosemite. More snow on the mountains, and an almost artificial-looking cloudless blue sky.
Photos: Sierra Crest Near Mammoth—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Tioga Road—Sierra Nevada, 2009