Bye, bye, California

Trip Start Aug 16, 2009
Trip End Oct 11, 2009

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Where I stayed
Crane Flats campground

Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, October 1, 2009

The drive back to San Francisco through miles of farmland and fruit orchards and vineyards was pleasant, and while sipping wine before dinner that evening we stepped out onto the sidewalk outside the apartment and finally had our first view of the city and the bay, bridges and all. Wednesday morning, after dropping Javier off at the Berkeley campus at noon, we headed east for the first time in weeks (we're on our way back now!), drove past groves of almonds and fruit trees, a vinegar distillery and stopped for lunch at Don Pedro Reservoir. Amazed by water system up in the hills for irrigating the crops below, we take a winding, steep road past old mining towns and arrive at Yosemite National Park to set up camp at Crane Flats.

First thing in the morning after closing up the camper we took a walk to see the sequoias at Tuolumne Grove, somehow going uphill the mile back was much longer! We visited the Yosemite Valley, so breathtakingly beautiful seen from the Tunnel View, and were awed by El Capitán, Half-Dome, and the Bridalveil Falls. Many thoughts of our rock-climbing offspring. We continued eastbound on the Tioga Road to the pass (9900 ft), particularly enchanted by Ellery Lake. Once on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada everything is drier, and the trees are gone. We camp in beautiful Mammoth Lakes, headed southward towards Death Valley.
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