The map showed a small side loop leading to Nelder Grove Historic Site which looked intriguing and not too out of the way. I found out later the grove was named after John A Nelder, who was called by John Muir the "Hermit of the Fresno Forest:. Muir wrote about Nelder in his book "Our National Parks and often walked with Nelder in the forest.
The loop off the By Way was a most pleasant surprise and off the beaten path. There is a short 1 mile loop trail called the Shadow of the Giants, which loops around willow creek. We decided to explore and languished in the quiet. There were no other humans on the trail and we had the forest all to ourselves. What a contrast from the day before at Mariposa Grove!
We completed the loop trail and head back towards the Scenic By Way catching this pretty fall.
Once back out on the main road we looked for a place to eat our picnic lunch. We came upon a large pull out with lots of parking and a trail which led to what looked like an overlook. At first I couldn't figure out why there was such an elaborate and trail but once I looked up, I saw the Fresno Dome. The pull out/parking area was obviously an abandoned vista point and stop for tour buses. The trees had grown up and were partially obscuring the view of Fresno Dome. Mystery solved.
We pressed on, and I was amazed at how little traffic there was. The map shows the Sierra Scenic
By-Way as a very long loop and it was getting late in the day but Joel wanted to press on because there was a boulder field he wanted to show me, but wouldn't describe it. There were plenty of large out croppings and boulders along the way, but he kept saying they weren't what he was looking for. Finally, Globe Rock showed up long the road. It kind of looks like something from out of space don't you think?
There are plenty of forest service primitive campgrounds along the by pass. We checked out Chiquipin, which is a mile or so off the main road and not too far from the Globe. It has a quiet setting along a small creek. It's not suitable for big rigs, but a small rig could easily get in there.
Next we headed over to El Cid's in Oakhurst to meet Maynard for good Mexican Food and Joe's Birthday dinner. Yumm. Not a bad day.