XT660R Heaven

XT660R Heaven
Life on the road is fab...

Friday, 18 July 2014

California - Yosemite Road Trip

So here we are, in one of the great climbing mecca's of the world & I have absolutely no climbing kit at all!! How ironic is that?...

Spot the Chicken!!

After we'd eventually picked up the hire car, been fleeced by an indian taxi driver, got lost heading east towards Yosemite, we finally crawled into a KOA campsite in a place called Mariposa on the edge of Yosemite NP. Motels in the area seemed to start at around $150, camping at the KOA was $40! We pitched our tents under a beautiful starry Californian sky, Geoff went to sleep, I found a rocking chair for half an hour & sat looking up into the stars, enjoying the peace & quiet before turning in for the night.

Once we were both up, we headed towards the NP entrance after a quick breakfast stop at the Mariposa shop for coffee & dried up stale breakfast buns, then wound our way upto the park gate, paid our $20 7 day entry fee & drove into a magical wonderland of rock scenery, pine forests & beautiful rivers.

This is a truly beautiful place. I can see why the likes of Ansel Adams devoted so much of his life to photographing this valley, it is nature at it's best & also most powerful in the way all of these rock faces were formed.

We did all the things normal tourists do, we drove round, took loads of pics, had really awful coffee at the Yosemite village cafe, then drove out again, heading to the Hetch Hetchy valley in the hopes of camping there, no chance, all of the camping is reserved for the hikers coming through on the Pacific Crest Trail, but it was another little gem of a place, a great road into the valley for bikes, a historic damned lake that nowadays fed water to San Francisco, a 167 miles away, all of it gravity fed... although at the time there was a major furore about building this & the likes of John Muir led the opposition to the necessary destruction this project did to the local ecology.

Fire damage to the nearby hillsides.
From here we returned back down the 120 & headed off to Tuolumne Meadows for a look for a campsite but also to see the area, all the campsites were full by now so we headed over the Tioga Pass & down to Lee Vinings, a small town right on the shore of a massive lake called Mono Lake. The thunderstorm that had been building let rip as we descended & the rain started to wash rocks own onto the road, we were so very glad we were in a car at this point!!

Now its a lazy evening in yet another motel, most likely a beer or two somewhere nearby & see what the morrow brings...

Have fun all.