No room at the inn

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Oct 14, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I took my car in for its 15K service today.  I was hoping to leave the dealer early enough to visit Bodie, a ghost town on my way to Lee Vining, but it was around 5:00 when I got to the turnoff so I just kept heading south.  I got to Lee Vining well before sunset.  I first went to the Mono Lake Park and walked to the end of the boardwalk trail that goes down near the lake shore.  There aren't many tufa there and you can't leave the boardwalk to get different angles so it's not that good for photography.

Next I went to South Tufa Trail.  It's a great place for photography.  There are a lot more tufa there than at Mono Lake Park and you can walk around them and view them from many different angles.  Unfortunately, while it wasn't nearly as windy as the last time I visited when the forecast was for 90mph ridge line gusts, it was still much too windy to get reflections of the tufa in the water.  I took pictures until the sun dropped behind the Sierra Nevada's and then I headed back to my car.

I headed back to Lee Vining and tried to find a room but all the hotels were full.  It seems there are a lot of people on the road after visiting Burning Man.  There are also a lot of police out to get them.  They're pretty easy to spot; just look for the dusty cars.  I spoke to one group that had been stopped in Carson City.  The cop told the driver she had been doing 26 in a 15 zone.  She asked to see the radar unit.  It said 25, not 26.  Then she wanted to see the 15 mph speed limit sign.  The cop then "remembered" it's actually a 25 mph zone.  Then he gave her a ticket for doing 26 in a 25 mph zone even though the radar showed she had been doing the speed limit.  And he did this in front of the four other passengers in the car.  Unbelievable.

My next thought was to head for the Devil's Postpile National Monument and see if it had a campground.  I set my GPS to go there but I got to a road that was closed for some reason.  It wasn't clear to me from looking at the map on my GPS that there was another way to Devil's Postpile so I then set my GPS for Cedar Breaks National Monument.  The route there took me a bit further south; it also took me to a road to Devil's Postpile that was open so I changed back to that plan.  On my way to Devil's Postpile I found a hotel in Mammoth Lakes.  I got the last room.

I had planned on driving over the Tioga Pass into Yosemite tomorrow and visiting Devil's Postpile  the next morning before heading to Cedar Breaks but, since I'm almost there, I'll go to Devil's Postpile tomorrow instead.  I might skip Yosemite and start heading for Cedar Breaks tomorrow evening.  The route there is going to take me through Tonopah, NV.  It will be my second time there this trip.
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