Friday, July 18, 2014 Yosemite National Park
We left Stallion Springs bright and early at 5:30. We are off to Yosemite.
Out of the Tehachape hills to the flat, seemingly endless valley, through Visalia through Fresno. It looks the same.
We get to the foothills with some trees and there are more trees all the time. Tall, blue, mountains are in the distance. Now windy, twisty, curvy road up, up we go. We are at 2,820 feet. There are more trees as thick as hair on an old dog’s back. The ground cover is non-existent in most of the forest. There are just downed trees and pine needles with a few bushes along the road.
We arrive at the Sierra National Forest first. Up we go and it becomes 3,400 feet and to 4,757 feet. Aha there is the splashing, flicker, flicker of the sunlight and shade playing on the car and my eyes. Reading the map become difficult so I gave up!
We get to Yosemite National Park entrance. We have a seniors card which cost us $10 at the first National Park we went to. We get into National Parks and Monuments free now. Yah! We are at 5,717 feet. There are tall, pointed trees standing guard over something. Maybe just the world of humans.
We stop for some suggestions of where to drive and where to take a walk.
We start out driving to Glacier Point. It was well worth the 16 miles of curvy roads. The beautiful drive had a cool breeze coming in the car window. I am looking for bears but I have not sighted any. It was tremendous! It had a high up view of the Yosemite Mountains and valley. The ½ Dome was huge and we were at 7,773 feet. It was a panoramic view and awesome. One felt airy like you could lift off and float over the mountains.
We talked briefly with a family with two teenage boys. They had climbed ½ Dome. It takes 10-12 hours. It starts with very steep switchbacks in the trees and then the bare rock had wires to hold on to climb to the top. That must have been some view.
Back in the car down, down we go to 5,614 feet. At the valley floor we are at 4,000 feet and there is still a nice breeze and just a little warmer.
Yosemite Falls is the tallest falls in the United States and the fifth tallest in the world. Yosemite Falls does not have much water going over it. A Park Ranger said the falls had been totally dried up and had just started up because they had some rain. He said in a few days it will be totally dry again. We were please to get to see water coming over it.
We walked in the meadow also. It had warmed up, especially in the sun. The wind had warmed up too but we got rejuvenated by the walk in the woods. This is the busiest, most crowded Park we have been in. There was no walking in the woods by ourselves like we have done before.
The mountains are very majestic and amazing.
As we drive out of the park a car had gone into the ditch. We had to sit for ½ hour for them to get the car out of the ditch. It was amazing how many cars going into the park had piled up waiting to go in. We could not see the start or the end of our side of the road. There were lots of cars waiting.
We passed through the Rim of the World in the Stanislaus Nation Forest as we left Yosemite.
We saw a big section of burned trees on the mountain we were on and across to another mountain. It must have been a huge fire.
Word of Wisdom: Carry Chains. Hmmmm we were remise and did not do that.
We are at 2,000 feet on a very curvy and steep road out of the mountains into the valley.
In the valley we are at 170 feet. What a change again. It is hot. I don’t know how hot but we ran the air conditioner while in the valley.
We stopped at Escalon Covenant Church where Pastor Brian had worked for about 25 years. Nice looking. The doors were locked so we could not get inside.
We have stopped at 6:00pm at Stockton. It was a long but fascinating day.