Friday, August 17, 2012

Yosemite National Park

At the end of July there was a sailboat regatta at Bethel Island.  A lot of them came from San Francisco and by the evening there was boats everywhere.  It was a sight seeing them all coming in, Mark and I got the lawn chairs and sat at the end of the dock and just watched them.

There has been high speed skiing races, archery fishing for carp, several fishing tournaments and weddings at the Sugar Barge.

This past week we took a bike ride to Mount Diablo State Park.  Mount Diablo can be seen up to 200 miles away on a clear day and has been used for navigation and mapping.  It is very popular with bicyclists, during October there is a race benefiting Mount Diablo where 1000 cyclists bike 10.8 miles and climb 3,249 feet.  We seen several of them the day we went but I liked being on the Harley passing them, now the ride down might have been great, maybe next time as it was 97 degrees the day we went.

Once at the top you will then walk to the look out point where you can see more land and water then can been seen from any US park in the lower 48 states.

                           The views were great and we were lucky that it was a pretty clear day.


The next day we went to Yosemite National Park

We left at 8am stopping for breakfast along the way as it was a 3 hour ride.  Once on route 120 we passed some beautiful lakes and house boats seem to be very popular because on our return trip there had to be 25 of the tied up together.  It would have been a nice place to kayak.

These lakes are fed by the Tuolumne River.

After this we entered the Stanislaus National Forest

                               You begin to climb in elevation then you pass by the Vista overlook.

Then you will enter Yosemite

There is no other word I can use to describe it other than "Awesome".  Everywhere you look it is beautiful.
                                                                      The Half Dome
There are several places to pull over to take in the sights if you can find a place to park.  That brings me to a point I need to mention.  We were told the best time to visit the National Parks was in the off season as they are packed during the summer and we found this to be very true, there was people everywhere.  All lodging was full with reservations that were made up to a year ago.

Looking down into the valley.

                                           Looking behind us, the cliff walls are breath taking.

Now we drop in elevation as we went the valley.

It would be amazing to have seen this spot the way President Roosevelt seen it.

We drove around in the valley stopping at the lodge checking on available rooms, like I said earlier there was nothing to be had.  No worries.  The temps were in the high 90's so we spent our time stopping at overviews as opposed to hiking.  Then we headed to Glacier Point stopping at this spot to have a picnic lunch.  I highly recommend bringing a lunch and drinks as it will save you a bundle.

Inspiration Point

As we travel to Glacier Point we climbed in elevation on winding twisting roads that carried us to Washburn Point with a good view of the Dome and the falls.  I will let the pictures do the talking but they don't do true justice to the beauty of this wonderful place.

The Dome

                                                       Vernal and Nevada Falls


Now let see just how high we can get. 
Traveling on we reach Glacier Point at 7214 ft.  At this point you are as close to the Dome as you can get and the views as just awesome.

That's a long way down!

What a great day we had.  We decided to headed back to the island and not stay over night outside the park as we probably wouldn't find lodging anyway.  I get spoiled sleeping in my own bed as it is much cheaper.  It would be nice to have more time and come back in the fall and do some hiking but we will be hitched up headed south by then. 

Thanks for following our travels and I will leave you with this: