Sunday, May 28, 2017

2017 CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP - 5-4-17 - 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 into 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. 



The 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 hi 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.


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 are 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!




54 comments:

  1. This burger joint has the best theme! I love the waterfalls, and the wind turbines. My favorite tonight is Mariposa! Also the sweet little church by the mountains with the beautiful trees all around.

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    1. Thanks Ginny, it was very different. You picked two favorites of mine too.

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  2. It's so nice to see all that water in Yosemite. Our drought is certainly over. Bridal Veil Falls looks so wonderful.

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    1. We were told how special this was and I'm glad your drought is over.

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  3. Dear Denise, this is going to be a post that I will come back to again, because there is so much here! I love the burgers and fries, they look great, the lodge, the falls...and the photos of you and Gregg. Wow, you both look fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing, so much to see here!

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    1. Hi Linda, I can well understand. I am trying to get through my travel posts as fast as I can, which means they will be much longer than usual. I have four more days to go. Of course, we have been home for a few weeks now :) Thanks for visiting and always appreciate your sweet comments.

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  4. Seven lanes on each side? Wowsers. I think three is our biggest. And it is more likely to be two.
    Yosemite looks absolutely gorgeous.

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    1. Hi EC, no I wouldn't want seven lanes here either. Three is enough.

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  5. Sounds like you are having fun on the road again. Enjoying your retirement. Way to go! Your beautiful photos reminded me of our trip therewith my cousins.

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    1. We had a wonderful time and now we are home our life is quieter but still fun. Glad you enjoyed the photos and that it brought back memories.

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  6. I just wrote a long comment which vanished and I was told DNS address could not be found!!!!
    Loving this virtual tour with you and the views are stunning. The minor’s lettuce is interesting.
    Seven lane highways you can keep, they terrified us with trucks passing on both sides, I have decided that we have now become country bumpkins!!
    Take care, Diane

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    1. Sorry to hear that Diane, very frustrating! Happy to hear you are enjoying our road trip. Nothing wrong with being a country bumpkin, I am one at heart :)

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  7. Spectacular scenery as you approached Yosemite and while in the park. I hope Bob and I one day see Yosemite in person!

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    1. Thanks Linda, I hope you and Bob get out there one day. It is spectacular!

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  8. Hello Denise, I read from the top right through the end of your post. I enjoyed all the photos posted and you are so blessed with all these beautiful sights and scenery. Yosemite Park is really beautiful. Looking forward to more photos from your tour. Have a wonderful day!

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    1. Thank you Nancy, glad you enjoyed it. You have a wonderful day also :)

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  9. Beautiful scenic images of Yosemite Denise.

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  10. What an action filled day! You can certainly crowd a lot in a day.

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    1. Hi Red, it always seems to work out that way :)

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  11. Hello, Denise! Your Yosemite images are awesome. The time we were there the waterfalls was almost dry. It is sad the parks are so crowded now and hard to get parking. Wonderful report on your trip, thanks for sharing. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!

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    1. Hello Eileen, we went at a good time for the falls but I think the fact that they were so magnificent, probably brought even more people in. Rainfall has worked its magic. Happy week to you :)

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  12. Yosemite is on my bucket list. Good grief, waiting hours to park. Such beautiful sights!

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    1. Thanks Yogi, maybe you can find a quieter time to go earlier in the season. Parking was hard to find where the restaurants were and near Yosemite Falls. We were always lucky in other areas. We may not have had 'the knowledge'. Maybe if we had pre-planned a bit. There's always next time :)

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  13. of all the photos today my favorites are those that include all those wondours trees you saw on your trip. so many different and beautiful trees. the log truck scares me silly and I will not ride past one or behind one.. beautiful pic of it... I like that arch rock entrance to...

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    1. Thanks Sandra, always happy you enjoy them. Those trees were awesome, I agree, so many different ones, all gorgeous. Not silly at all, log trucks we tend to try to get away from them as fast as possible.

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  14. Gorgeous shots of Yosemite! I imagine it would take knowing the right time of year to come when the visitors are fewer in number.

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  15. Thanks for another fine tour, I do love rivers and waterfalls, they are magical.

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    1. You are very welcome Christine, and thank you :)

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  16. Wow. You really saw some lovely sights. That river really is raging. There are a lot of raging rivers this year after the rain and snow and now the snow melt. Glad the roads were safe for you to travel. Yikes, I've been in Southern California for 6 days now and haven't had my In and Out burger yet!!

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    1. Thank you Ellen, and glad you are going to get to the In and Out burger.

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  17. With our big 5th Wheel we found we had to stay 50 miles or so away from the Park. But it was a lovely drive back and forth. We were there in April and it wasn't quite so crowded yet... we were able to find parking (for just the truck). Of course this was 10 years ago, so it has probably changed a lot.

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    1. That is interesting Sallie but I can attest to that drive, it's so scenic and so much to see along the way. April seems a good time to go there. We were visiting at the beginning of May.

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  18. Hi Denise and wow what a super post, you have passed through some wonderful countryside so far but I think this post has surpassed the previous, some stunning images especially the waterfalls and spectacular rivers and then finishing with Burger and fries. Really enjoyable read, all the best. John

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    1. Hi John, thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed Yosemite and yes it was a good finish. All the best, Denise :)

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  19. What a dream trip! What fantastic sites! What beautiful pictures and what a wonderful couple.
    Congratulations and thank you for sharing with us so much beauty of nature and
    So much beauty of your feelings.
    Have a good trip and may God accompany you on your way home

    Manuel

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    1. You are very welcome Manuel, and thank you for your sweet comments.

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  20. I thoroughly enjoyed riding along with you on your road trip. I haven't been to Yosemite but it's on our bucket list. Your photos are wonderful!

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    1. Thank you Jayne, so happy you are enjoying our travels. Hope you get to Yosemite, it truly is a spectacular place to visit.

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  21. I am not surprised you slept well having been up at 4.30am and with all that you crammed into one day. I remember a great family holiday in Yosemite back in the 1980's! The scenery is amazing and it is wonderful to see that things are still as I remember, we may even have had Macdonalds for breakfast back in the day too! I love the way you posted the timings so we could get a sense of how the day unfolded!
    Happy Hols and wonderful photo of you both!
    Wren x

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    1. Dear Wandering Wren, I'm happy these photos brought back some memories and that you've enjoyed my traveling posts. Thank you so much for the very nice comments. I have enjoyed them.

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  22. Love, love, love....so many places you have been that I have never been! Enjoyed it all so much. Great pics.

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    1. Thank you Pam, appreciate you saying so :)

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  23. i am having so much fun along with you...on this road trip. it is wonderful how you document everything with your narration and images. and i see you are still smiling, things must be going well!!! ;)

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    1. Thank you Debbie, that makes me happy.

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  24. Fantastic shots from your travels. I hope you had a happy memorial day!

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    1. Thank you Carver and I hope the same for you :)

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  25. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! I wish I could have been with you. I love that photo of you and Gregg. It's been such a long time since we've been at Yosemite.

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    1. Thank you Kay, so sweet of you to say. It had been a long time since we last visited also.

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  26. Yosemite is gorgeous. Wish I could visit some day.

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    1. Thank you Felicia, hope you get out there one day :)

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  27. I'd like to see Yosemite. Enjoyed your post.

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