road trip

Yosemite

About a month ago Tim and I spent a few days exploring Yosemite. And, though I tried to capture the grandure of it all, I still don’t think the pictures completely do this place justice.

This is the view on the drive in. It was at about this point that we started to really get excited.

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El Capitan

El Capitan is the first really identifiable thing you see as you enter the park (the north side of Yosemite Valley). It is absolutely ginormous, and is probably my favorite of all the rock formations in the park. Made of granite, it is 3,000 feet tall from base to summit. It is, not surprisingly, a favorite destination for rock climbers and BASE Jumpers, though I can’t imagine doing either.
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Half Dome

Half Dome is agruably the most recognizable rock formation inside Yosemite (it was even depicted on the California state quarter). You need to obtain a permit to hike the cable rout up to the summit. I feel light headed just looking at the picture, so I don’t think I’ll be doing that any time soon.
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Yosemite Falls

At 2,425 feet from the top of the upper falls, to the base of the lower falls, Yosemite Falls is the highest measured falls in North America. I fully suggest going in mid to late spring when the water flow is at its peak.

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Tim taking a picture of Yosemite Falls.

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Camp Curry

We stayed at Camp Curry, one of the many lodging options inside Yosemite. We didn’t want to stay in a hotel, but it was still a bit too cold at night to stay in a tent (at least in my opinion), even though we would have preffered tent camping. These canvas tent cabins were the perfect compromise. They even have cabins you can rent that include heating units.

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Mirror Lake

Mirror lake is seriously rediculous. It’s one of the prettiest lakes I’ve ever been to. On a smaler scale, it actually reminded me a lot of Trillium Lake back home in Oregon, but that may just be because of the comparison between Mt. Hood reflecting in Trillium Lake, and Half Dome reflecting in Mirror Lake. It’s a must see/must photograph spot for sure.
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I loved how this tree on the shore of Mirror Lake managed to grow around that giant boulder. IMG_4500psHere’s the thing about the deer in Yosemite. They aren’t all that afraid of people. I guess that makes sense seeing as how many people are visiting the park at any given time. I have mixed feelings about this fact. On one hand I think it’s pretty sad that these wild animals have no real fear of people. On the other hand it was pretty cool getting so close to them. Now, I should clarify, I am in no way advocating getting “too” close to them, as they are still wild animals, and I certainly don’t recommend trying to pet them, etc. Let’s be smart people. But, there were a few occasions where my proximity was closer then I’ve been before to deer, and afforded some pretty cool experiences.

Walking back to camp from Mirror lake we found ourselves in a small deer stampede. Seriously. We were walking up the trail, saw one deer up on the side of the hill. Stopped to see if she would make another appearance so I could grab a pic. Then that one deer turned into five up on the hill, and suddenly the male of the pack was herding them our dirrection…at a full on run. We jumped out of the way, onto the opposite side of the trail, as all five deer darted within a foot or two from us. It was pretty awesome.

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Here are some other random pics from our adventures in Yosemite.

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Lazy Sunday Drives

I love a Sunday that unravels unplanned. Where you just jump in the car, with a general idea of direction, and see where you end up.  That’s how today started.  Tim had a general plan to head down Highway 1, prompted only by a colleagues recommendation that it was just a pretty drive.

About an hour into the drive we stopped at Alice’s Restaurant in Woodside (population 5000), and also, apparently, a major roadside attraction for motorcyclists. I got my standard pastrami on rye, Tim got his standard biscuits and gravy.  I like old cars. Here’s a random pic of an old Ford from the parking lot.

Next up, driving through the Coastal Redwoods we stumbled upon Castle Rock State Park. Sadly, unless funding comes through, the Gov. will close Castle Rock in July. Good thing we inadvertently visited when we did.

Then we headed towards Santa Cruise, not wanting to head back home the same way we came. Enticed by this sign:

I made Tim stop, turn around, and go back.  I just happened to have exactly $2 in my wallet that I can argue couldn’t have been better spent. I think Fambrini’s Farm Fresh Produce stand was one of my favorite stops of the day!

Naturally, Tim took advantage of a photo opp, and decided to become roadside fruit.

Full of organic strawberry’s we were back on the road again, ready for another detour. This time it was a left turn to Pigeon Point Lighthouse.

Final stop of the day? Well, you can’t expect us to drive up the coast and not stop at Sam’s Chowder House for chowder and fish and chips. We skipped the famous lobster rolls, but only this time.  They have a Chowdermobile food truck that parks at Golden Gate Park every weekend. We’ll grab lobster rolls another time.

And eight hours after we left we ended up back home.  I’d say that was a pretty good Sunday!