Sunday, May 28, 2017

2017 CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP - 5-3-17 - YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

We are on the road again as we left Gregg's sister's home at 8.06 a.m.  It was a wonderful week and we had a very special time with my sister-and-law and her husband, with some great experiences thanks to them.  


When I looked at the clock this morning, it was 4.30 a.m.  Gregg was also awake.  I think our inner clock was telling us it was time to move on. 


As we got ito the car and checked, our odometer reading was 53095.  So far on this road trip we have traveled 4,920 miles and now we are heading to Yosemite National Park.

(On our journey throughout we have passed the longest trains I have ever seen, they just seem to go on forever.  I remember them from our last cross country trip a few years ago.)


There are a lot of wind turbines out here.  This doesn't even show the amount that we have seen.


 I will always remember these beautiful rolling - and green - hills of California.  They had so much rain this year but none when we were there.  If you read my post of when we first came here, we tried to get along Big Sur, our favorite coastal road that would take us all the way into Monterey.  We learned that the road was closed due to a bridge being washed away, and also some mud slides blocking the road.  A few days after we were told this, they had an even more major mudslide.  You can read about that here.  I am not sure how long it will take to clear, I don't think they know either.


We stopped in Livermore at McDonalds for breakfast - back now in our early morning 'on-the-road' routine' - and also gas. 

We are heading to Yosemite using the freeway. Seven lanes on each side in this part!   

We are now in the northern end of what is called the Central Valley.

Altamont Pass.  More windmills! 



10.21 a.m. Passing through Modesto. Gregg says he came here back in his consulting days working with tire salesmen. 



We have been passing fields and orchards for miles now. 

10.50 a.m. We have now done 5,006 miles on our journey.   

25 miles east of Merced - more orchards

We passed a pretty barn in Cathey's Valley


11.40 a.m. passing through Mariposa. Cute little town.

 








11.50 a.m. Going through Midpines - 431 population. 



Beautiful views. 22 miles to go before we reach Yosemite.  Curving roads all the way. 



Mountains both sides of the road....



a wide river on our left, occasionally white water. 



Th beautiful views never seem to end.  Going by Crane Creek.

We were following a river on our right.  It was gorgeous and at the first pull-off we decided to stop.  



This is the Merced River.  We are on the El Portal Road.






These were placed at the pull-off.



After we had taken a while to stare at this amazing sight, we took a photo of each other with the river behind us.







A very nice tourist saw us and offered to take this photo.   We have been very lucky meeting nice people all along our road trip, who have offered to do the same.  There is a tripod in our car but before we have had a chance to even take it out of the boot, there has always been someone who has offered to take our photo.  We always appreciate these kindnesses and always offer to do the same.



The river is incredible and all the rain has made them even more spectacular.  


It was hard to tear ourselves away but we were eager to move further into the park.


The glacier is still melting. Roads up that way are still closed.






We are now in Yosemite National Park.  The last time we were here was when our son was three years' old, 34 years ago.


We entered the park at the Arch Rock entrance.




There is water on the road in parts, but it isn't deep enough to cause any concern.



This is the map we were using.  





We came across the partially flooded meadow with this amazing background.








And a closer look at this spectacular sight, Yosemite Waterfall.


People were still making their way across the flooded pathways.




Cute shoes!


This is the Yosemite Valley Chapel.  It was built in 1879.  It is the oldest structure in Yosemite Valley.



Parking was nigh on impossible to find here.  I have read that there is a three hour wait to get a spot.  We decided to keep moving after trying very hard to find a space with no luck.  We thought we had found that luck when Gregg spotted a space pulled in, only to find that it was for staff only and we would likely be towed if we stayed.  Next time, whenever that may be, we will book a long way in advance so that we can stay in the park for a few days.  We both said we would like to explore further so, one day we will be back.



This is Bridalveil Falls.  It is 620 feet high.   


According to this sign below, the first people who lived here were called Ahwahneechee, who called this waterfall 'Po-ho-no', or 'Puffing Wind'.


There were Dogwoods blooming near here.  I didn't think I was going to see any this year, as I would have missed them blooming near home in Virginia.  I didn't realize they grew in this area, and it was a very nice surprise.


We had had to park our car quite a ways up from the falls, and as we stopped and stepped aside to wait for this truck to pass by, the people in the back seating area all shouted high and waved.


It was heavily wooded and many of the trees looked like they had been burned.


I took the opportunity to take photos of pine cones...


and wildflowers.  This is called Miner's Lettuce.  I found its ID at this blog.  I scrolled down and there it was.  Lots of pretty wildflowers on this page, all identified.  Apparently it is edible which I read here.


I looked up and saw this beautiful sight.  


That is about it for our trip to Yosemite Park.  We drove back the way we came in, with that lovely river on our right this time.


We stopped in Mariposa on our way back to our intended route.


3.59 p.m. We decided to have a late lunch/early dinner at the Happy Burger Diner



Neat place, funky 50s/60s decor, just what we enjoy. There are old record albumn sleeves on the walls and ceilings, and lots of photographs of various people.  Whether they are celebrities or customers, I'm not sure which because I really didn't take a close look.






We had a burger and shared fries they were very good.



There were two samples of these books which gave me a chuckle.  No, I didn't buy either but had fun browsing through them while waiting for our meal.


A fun break, our food was good and now we hare heading to Fresno where we will stay the night.  

4.30 pm. Just passed Nipinnawasee.

4.40 p.m. Snow all across the top of the mountains on our left. It is gorgeous.


6.43 p.m. We are in the hotel for the night. We have been here for about 45 minutes.  The first thing I did when I saw the coffee pot was fix myself a cup.  Not exactly the right time of day for a cup but I can honestly say I slept well that night. 

Around 8.00 p.m. Gregg decided to walk over to the In-and-Out Burger and brought us back a strawberry milkshake. It was good!