Yosemite National Park

Trip Start May 21, 2008
Trip End Dec 31, 2008

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Where I stayed
Yosemite South Ranch RV Park

Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, July 31, 2008

We finally said good-bye to Bakersfield and started to head north. We made our first stay at Yosemite South Ranch RV Park. Their name is appropriate, as it is located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills, only 23 miles from the south entrance of the glorious Yosemite National Park. The resort is located at the 2,400 foot elevation just south of the Historical gold Mining town of Coarsegold: where you can visit the gold exhibits and try panning for some gold. Terry even bought a pan for gold panning, although, he has not used it yet. Gold is also what you will find at the spectacular Chukchansi Gold Casino located only 2.2 miles away form the resort...Terry did go there once.

One day we did the scenic drive up Hwy 41 to the south entrance of Yosemite. We drove around the main parts of the park including the Yosemite Valley (approximately 3,000 feet deep and less than a mile wide), that's known for its incredible rock formations with views of the famous:
Half Dome (8,842 ft.) among the most recognized natural features in Yosemite, its western face is a sheer cliff of Plutonic granite - the youngest in Yosemite.
Sentinel Rock (7,038 ft.) on the south side of Yosemite Valley, named for its likeness to a watchtower.
El Capitan (7,569 ft.) towering 3,593 ft. from the valley floor, rock climbers from around the world come to challenge their abilities on its granite face giving visitors an excellent opportunity to view this unique sport.

Unfortunately, the movie at the Visitor's Center wasn't operating due to a lack of consistent electrical power that was caused by all the many forest fires in California this year. However, we did walk through the good exhibit at the Center that showed some of the geological info and history of the Park.

We also took the free shuttle around the Valley, but I wish we had taken the tour bus that would have been more informative. We also stopped at Bridal Vail Falls, however, it was pretty small due to the drought conditions. Such a shame, I remember seeing it, on multiple trips many years ago, when it was full and really beautiful.

We left the park by a different route, taking Hwy 140 along the Merced River, then turning south onto Hwy 49 back to close to Course Gold and the RV Park. At one point along the river on Hwy 140, there had been a major landslide that covered the road, so they had built a couple of semi-temporary bridges and about a 1/2 mile detour around the slide.

The rest of our week there was uneventful, just relaxing.
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