Back from Yosemite & other places, with pics! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-28-2013, 10:05 PM   #1
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Back from Yosemite & other places, with pics!

Iím back from my 20 day road trip to Yosemite, with stops along the way, and wow did I take a lot of pictures! Settle back in your chair and weíll relive the journey together.

Departing on July 6, after the usual dull, hot drive through the plains of western OK, my first night was spent at the Clayton NM KOA. I have been there before. Happily, it was cool enough for me to open the windows for the night (not always true).

From there I headed over the pass at Raton and into Colorado. At midafternoon I was at my next destination, Valley View Hot Springs. Located north of Alamosa, this place has several small soaking pools in the woods (mostly 95*-100* at this time of year) as well as a regular swimming pool (90*). Be warned, though, that most of the campsites are highly un-level. And expect to see very few swimsuits (itís clothing optional), which is nice if you hate the feel of soaking-wet fabric when you climb out. There were many patrons of both sexes and of about my own age (mid-50s) happily soaking and swimming, as was I. The workout in the swimming poolís warm mineral water seemed to help my shoulder, which had been bothering me lately.

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Old 07-28-2013, 10:13 PM   #2
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The next morning, after a final soak and swim, it was time to head toward the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Happily, I chose on the spur of the moment to travel CO 114 instead of US 50. While filling up with gas in Saguache, a passing motorist informed me that US 50 had been, and still was, blocked for hours by an overturned tractor-trailer rig. My drive was scenic and uneventful, and I spent a couple of hours stopping at turnouts along the south side of the Black Canyon for pictures. (The water photo was taken near Sapinero.)

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Returning to the highway, I made my way through Grand Junction and got a campsite at the James M. Robb state park in Fruita. Iíd thought to stay in the Colorado National Monumentís Saddlehorn CG, but it was later than Iíd expected, and once I saw the cliffs I didnít relish towing the trailer all the way up there and through the tunnel. Plus I spotted a BBQ restaurant and decided to eat dinner in Fruita (the stomach usually wins these decisions). The pulled pork was awfully saucy to me, but they traded it for some ribs which were excellent. After dinner I drove the north half of the Monument for some sunset photos.

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Old 07-28-2013, 10:29 PM   #3
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Here are a couple more evening photos from Colorado National Monument.

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More to follow........
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:01 PM   #4
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In the morning (day 4) I drove through the entire Monument and took more pictures.

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Then it was time for a dash through Utah. Again on the spur of the moment, I decided to nix the Great Basin. Instead I turned south a bit, stayed the night at an rv park in Cedar City UT, then before it got too hot the next morning (day 5) I was at Nevadaís Cathedral Gorge State Park for some sightseeing. Cathedral Gorge, I gather, was formed when volcanos spewed a deep layer of ash on the land, then a bunch of it got washed into a lake, then the lake disappeared and a river cut a deep channel through the (relatively) hardened, deeply piled ash.

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In addition to the wide main channel, water has sculpted many smaller channels. Some of them are like narrow little slot canyons that go back a hundred or a few hundred feet, usually culminating in dead ends. Here you can see the view at the end of a slot, looking straight up.

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Old 07-29-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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By the end of day 5, I had reached the eastern Sierra Mountains and found a campsite in the June Lake loop at Reversed Creek NF CG. It surprised me to see how busy the east Sierra CG’s were, even mid-week. I got the last campsite at Reversed Creek, after finding 2 other CG’s to be full.

Next morning seemed like a good time to visit the Devil’s Postpile Nat’l Monument. Fortunately the Devil did not seem to be at the Postpile while I was there. One must park in the concession area, perhaps 3/4 mile from the park entrance, and ride a bus (fee). I bought a bus ticket to cover the return ride, but decided to ride my bicycle to the Postpile. The first 3/4 mile entails an elevation gain (which was difficult for me) from 8900 to perhaps 9200 at the rangers’ entrance, then it’s a dramatic drop to 7700 feet over the course of perhaps 5 or 6 miles to the main lot. As you can imagine, I utilized my brakes repeatedly to avoid coasting at 30, 40, or even 50 mph! 25 is plenty fast for me!

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Once there, the actual Postpile is a fairly level 4/10 mile walk.

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I walked past the formation (smaller than I’d imagined from photos I’d seen) and hiked the trail up over the top, too.

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Then I hiked the 1.5 mile (each way) trail to Minaret Falls. Whew, enough exercise for a while!

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I also drove south almost to Bishop, then headed west up a canyon to the end of the road. Even outside Yosemite, the mountains are pretty.

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Old 07-29-2013, 12:47 PM   #6
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cool pictures, thanks
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:54 PM   #7
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Thank you. Whew, I had forgotten how long it takes to resize the photos and stuff. A little at a time, I'll get there.

After the second night at Reversed Creek, it was time (day 6) to head into Yosemite NP for my two nightsí reservations in the valley. These two campsites, one in North Pines and the second in Lower Pines, were secured just one to two weeks before departure.

North Pines site 401 appeared on the map to have a large open space on itís right side. Unfortunately that map was misleading; it turns out thereís a restroom in that open space. Oh well, it was nice enough. The large trees block much of the view of granite, but it still was pleasant and woodsy. I got the bike out and rode around the valley floor 3 times during my valley stay, and I must say that biking is far and away the best method to enjoy the scenery and the forest scents without much worry about the traffic. The valley is pretty level ground, so bicycling is much faster and far less tiring than walking the same ground.

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The Ahwahnee Bridge is an especially picturesque stone structure.

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There was time during the afternoon for a ride to Mirror Lake. Many kids were enjoying it there.

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Old 07-29-2013, 08:58 PM   #8
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I also took an evening walk to the Ahwahnee Hotel and took some pictures of it.

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Old 07-29-2013, 09:25 PM   #9
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Day 8: I got an early start on the Vernal/Nevada Falls trail, thinking if I felt really strong I might make it to the top of Nevada Falls. Ha! The trail almost immediately becomes a very steep uphill climb. By the time I got halfway up the stone steps at Vernal Falls and the mist started hitting me, my legs said theyíd had enough and I turned back.

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Returning very tired to the trailhead, I didnít have long to wait before it was noon and time to move into Lower Pines site 38. Site 38 turned out to be the best campsite in the entire valley! Check out the view. It felt great to lounge around the campsite and enjoy the perfect view of Half Dome for the rest of the day.

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The previous day Iíd seen a blue egg in North Pines, but I never went over to it. However, when turning into Lower Pines this day I had witnessed the blue egg moving into Upper Pines. So in the evening I rode my bike over there a couple of times, wanting to meet the owner. It turned out to be a Perris, and the family had it out for the first time. The owner was a nice lady who said she was a member here, but I thought she said her moniker was something like ďSusie IĒ and I havenít been able to find her on FGRV. But anyway it was great to meet the folks and to tour her Perris. She had found some interlocking foam pieces for the floor, and I swear they looked just like old barn wood... very cool! The Perris may have been previously used as a vending trailer, because it had Budweiser stickers all over it.

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Old 07-29-2013, 09:37 PM   #10
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Sunday, day 9, marked the end of my valley stay. I headed up the road to Yosemiteís Bridalveil Creek CG, a first-come CG at 7000 feet not far from Glacier Point. Glacier Point is really beautiful and I wanted to spend more time up there (nearly 8000 feet, with a view straight down into the valley 4000 feet below).

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So I settled in at Bridalveil CG for a total of 6 nights. (Hereís the campsite; you can just see my solar panel at far right, behind the Toyota.)

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This allowed a leisurely, relaxing pace. I could sit around the campsite and read (or pester the neighbors) , or when I got the urge I could drive someplace else for a while. This meant frequent, repeated 15-minute drives to Glacier Point where I could buy an ice cream and ponder the majestic granite peaks arrayed before me.

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Old 07-29-2013, 11:45 PM   #11
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Unbelievable pictures, WOW..........
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:33 AM   #12
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Beautiful pictures; thanks for sharing your trip!

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Old 07-30-2013, 01:47 AM   #13
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Thank you for sharing. I've been to Yosemite many times and still these pictures fill me with awe.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:51 AM   #14
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Thank you. I saw several other Scamps and a Casita around the park, plus on the way out of the valley I spotted a Trillium (green, as I recall) being towed by a jalopy... perhaps a Model T or Model A Ford, something like that. If anyone knows who that was, please chime in. It was a really cool looking rig.

On Monday I took a drive south to the Mariposa Grove of giant redwoods.

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And then I headed out of the park to see the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway. Unfortunately, they should have named it the Snaky Byway, because the road twists and coils worse than a snake! Every hundred yards or so was another tight, 25 mph curve. I did get a couple of nice pictures....

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....but by the time I was halfway along the byway Iíd had enough and took a shortcut on the Grizzly Road. The nice lady at the Oakhurst visitor center told me that this was a good, paved road but narrow: only one lane, with occasional wide spots in case two cars met, for about 18 miles. However, about 3/4 mile from the end, I got a flat tire and had to put on the spare! So I hurried back to Oakhurst to get the flat repaired. Arriving after 5 p.m, I found two tire stores that had just closed. One of them told me about a third store, which I reached right at their closing time of 5:30. The kind folks at Sullivanís agreed to stay late and fix me up. The Firestone tire turned out to be unrepairable and an exact replacement was not available on site or even in their supplier warehouse, so I ended up buying 4 new Cooper tires... reasonably priced and only 3 months sooner than Iíd planned.
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