An Alpine Escape

Picture: Overlooking the Sierra Nevada near Sonora Pass, Tuolumne County, California

Picture: Overlooking the Sierra Nevada near Sonora Pass, Tuolumne County, California

This last weekend, my friend Michael Routh, a.k.a. the SmokeChaser and I made a trip up to the Sonora Pass region of the Sierra. This was the first of several trips to the region for my new book project. In scouting the area, not only did I come away with several nice images, but now I also have an idea of what to get next.

It’s such a lovely area, and relatively uncrowded compared to other parts of the Sierra. Sure, there were people around, but only the memory of one real idiot stands out. That would be the semi-tractor trailer truck driver standing outside his rig. Apparently he got it stuck in the middle of a hairpin curve as he was winding his way up the 25% grade toward Sonora Pass. I suppose he just missed all the warning signs and map indicators saying the road was not advised for vehicles over 24′ from kingpin to axle. The highway patrol officer that was guiding traffic around the stuck rig chuckled when I passed him, quipping, “This is wrong on so many levels.”

I really wanted to stop and take some photos, but there were no nearby pullouts, and the poor driver must already have been feeling lower than dirt. Even when they did get the truck pulled out with the semi-tow truck, I was still trying to imagine where on the road between there and the summit they would be able to get that thing turned around. I’m sure it’ll be a story shared around western truck-stops; “Hey, did you hear about that one idiot driver that tried to get his rig up and over Sonora Pass?”

Here’s another shot from our trip: Click on the photo to see a larger version.

Picture: Panorama overlooking the Emigrant Wilderness at sunset near Sonora Pass, Tuolumne County, California

Picture: Panorama overlooking the Emigrant Wilderness at sunset near Sonora Pass, Tuolumne County, California




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2 Comments on “An Alpine Escape”

  1. Richard Wong Says:

    Sonora Pass is amazing. I’ve been up there once and there was snow all over near the summit, it really looked out of this world.

    Great shots Gary.

  2. John Wall Says:

    Excellent images. I was just up there last week myself. During the wee hours I heard a couple big rigs jamming over the pass. (We were camped at the St. Mary’s Pass trailhead.) It must be a decent shortcut to deal with those hairpins — a couple on either side of the pass are really, really tight.



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