The Details in the Devil

July 24, 2016

Decided to head over the mountain to the east side today. After breakfast with…[fill in] we took off for a mellow day of lazy exploration.

We stopped at the famous Mobil station for gas and some miscellaneous supplies. Then headed to June Lake for a looksee:


I don’t think any of us had ever been around this 15-mile loop. It was pretty:


There were a few lakes to see, a pack station, some modest RV-type resorts, and toward the end of the loop (the southern end), was the town of June Lake, and the lake itself.  Also pretty:


(Shot in moving car, through windshield glass, avoiding Jim and the steering wheel.)

We next headed south to Mammoth. But missed. Here’s the view from a roadside pee stop, as we drove south and then north again on 395:


(I am partial to this nostalgia filter.)

We did a quick restaurant search and [one of us] ended up buying lunch from here [while the other two ended up next door]:


I had this, an “avocado bowl” (with sauteed kale, beets, feta, pickled onions, roasted peppers, carrots, balsamic reduction and brown rice, hold the edamame):


Peter wanted something a little less raw, and went with tacos from the diner next door. Jim ordered french toast from there, as well, and we all sat on the diner’s patio with a lovely mountain view.


We thought it’d be cool to visit Devils Post Pile.. a national monument that, again, none of us had seen. Good choice!

We were turned away at the gate, as they don’t permit private cars down the steep, narrow road, but bought tickets for a shuttle bus, which departs from the Mammoth Ski Resort, which was a better way to go anyway.

Here’s what Mammoth looks like during the summer…gondolas and lifts in operation everwhere, and full parking lots!



Here’s the view from the shuttle (that canyon off to the left is very deep)…


(Sitting on a luggage rack…)

When the shuttle drops you off at the DPP Ranger Station (elev. 7560), you have a half-mile walk to the title geological attraction. It’s a beautiful little hike:

The creek in this meadow eventually leads to the San Joaquin River:




Here is an explanation of the activity that leads to the formation of basaltic columns:


They say the Devils Postpile formation is one of the finest examples of visible basaltic columns in the world… and here it is:


Pieces have broken off and tumbled down the slope. Here is a close up of a piece of column:


Hexagonally shaped.

Here’s what it looks like as you walk around the far end… Peter poses for scale:


And whoa… here’s the top:


Kind of incredible. The detail is fabulous. (Like my blog title?)

After an hour of poking around the pile, we crossed a nice bridge over the creek…


…and hiked about a mile and a half back to Minaret Falls. The trail links up with the Pacific Crest and John Muir trails. Who knew…


Here’re the falls:


After this, we headed back to the shuttle, back to car, back up to Tuolumne Meadows and made it in time for our 7:15 reservation. Dinner was with some folks from….[fill in]






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