July 19th, 7:21pm

Confused that we’re writing about a gas station? Us too. But the Mobil in Lee Vining, CA, just outside the East entrance of Yosemite National Park is much more than a gas station. Sure, you can fuel up, buy a few snacks, pick up some gifts. But you can also grab a gourmet salad, or other excellent food from the Whoa Nellie Deli.

We had heard about a concert here, celebrating the 20th anniversary of this gas station slash music venue. Upon arriving, we found a lovely lawn concert space behind the store, with a lineup of three great local folk bands. Each band took the time to thank the owners of the Mobil, music venue and community hub, for their support over the past 20 years. If you’re staying in Yosemite Valley, the 2 hour trek may be too far just to see a gas station. But if you hear about a concert, then by all means, make the trip, and camp at one of the many campgrounds nearby. Or make it a day trip to visit the east side’s tufas at Mono Lake and the stunning beauty of Saddlebag Lake. It’s as unexpected as it is welcome for the weary traveler.