May 26, 2016
I was up early and on the road by 0800. With the Santa Cruz wine country in my rear view mirror I leave the Pacific Coast Highway and begin my journey to Yosemite National Park. This park is on my daughter Alexis’ bucket list and once I arrived and toured a part of it I could understand why. I almost think that this park is more impressive than Yellowstone National Park. Mary Eileen I wish you were here with me to see the grandeur of this park. There are no geysers like Old Faithful but there are a plethora of water falls and scenic views that challenge what is seen in Yellowstone. There was a fire here in the somewhat recent past as huge burned areas are seen on the mountainside.
The ride up to Yosemite was via back roads with much beauty in their own right. I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to capture some of the beauty of the flowers growing along the narrow and winding road climbing to 6,000+ elevations. For much of the drive I was following the John Muir route.
In this photo you can see the burned out trees on the mountaintop but look at the blooming roadside trees/bushes.
I couldn’t really capture the beauty of the flowers covering the mountainside. It appears as if they are mountain lilac or something similar. A beautiful purple blanket covering the steep roadside incline.
I arrived at the Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes RV Park, checked in and set up the RV before heading to Yosemite National Park and Forest. I was determined to see what I could as I only had reservations for one night and the young girl at the check-in told me that there were no openings for additional nights. So I encounter a Park Ranger trying to catch speeders near the intersection of highways 120 and 140. I was wearing my Vietnam Veteran hat and he lets me know that he was a Marine infantryman in Vietnam during 1967. I asked him what he would do if he only had one afternoon to enjoy Yosemite Park. He recommended the Valley route as there were more waterfalls and other sights to view. The pass had just been opened and not much was happening up there except that you were at 10,000+ elevation. So off to the Valley route I go as another park visitor begins to ask him questions also.
Oh, this RV park has no Cell service and WiFi only at the lodge. I’m ok with that as this RV park is like the places I remember going as a child. I’m sitting directly on the river with a full hook-up and enjoying the sounds of birds and the breeze whispering through the trees while I sit and watch the clear water laden with trout.
After I returned from my whirlwind trip to Yosemite Park I stopped and spoke with the team at the check in to see if I could obtain additional nights here at the park. Wouldn’t you know it, I am now staying here until the 31st. I had not thought before about driving with all those rushing to return home on Monday for work on Tuesday. But this is such a nice environment and the people I have next to me are so nice that I’m very pleased to have been able to get an extended stay. Now I’ll be able to get in some hiking and a trip to the highest elevation.
As you enter Yosemite you are first struck by the burned area. I can’t help but think a careless smoker caused this devastation by flicking their cigarette out the window. Sorry, just my thought.
The waterfall comes from very high up and just cascades down the different paths in the hard rock formations.
Before arriving at Yosemite I passed a small herd of deer grazing beside a dam. This deer has really fuzzy antlers.
The Yosemite Lodge. I think the best way to see these major national parks is to plan in advance to make reservations to stay in the National Park. I’m flying by the seat of my pants and being spontaneous as to where I am. But if I had someone else traveling with me a plan could be created and followed.
This lady was photographing something below the bridge and just wouldn’t move. Finally I took the photo anyway and then the next one is the other side of the bridge where the cascading waterfall continues.