Trip Start Sep 25, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So from here on in to LA I am roadtripping it - there is some amazing scenery in California and I don't want to miss anything by being in a train, or worse, a plane. I picked up the car from near Pier 39 and drive, terrified back to the hostel to collect my stuff (so tempting to Starsky and Hutch it over the big hills though!) and then terrified again to the nearest Best Buy to purchase a Sat Nav. So needing that. I know that it is cheating a bit, but as I am doing most of this alone, I can't navigate as well as drive down eight lan freeways. So "Tim" is now my guide.
I decided since it was too close to justify missing that I would drive across to Yosemite for a couple of days. There is a hostel just on the outskirts of the park, so it was do-able. Set off out of San Francisco and as soon as I was out of the city the scenery just got better and better. There was a point where I came over a little crest of a hill and there was the road stretching straight as a die off into the mountains in the horizon. Proper America roadtrip scenery.
Managed to find the hostel without too much trouble even though "Tim" thought that it was 9 miles further than it was. But I did get an extra 18 miles of twisty mountain roads which I was fairly happy with - it was great to drive again after so long. And be able to sing along to my iPod. Can't do that on a train without people thinking that you are a crazy.
The hostel itself was amazing. A group of wooden cabins out in the woods grouped around a central wooden lodge with an open fire and a bar. I was in one of the dorms but they do private cabins as well. In the dorm I bumped into Karen and Natalie who I had met briefly in San Francisco. Another travellery coincidence! Nice to ahve some friendly faces though and someone to have a drink with. Quick mention for Blue Moon - a Belgian blonde beer that was quite something.
Only having one whole day in the park and not having any suitable footwear (and being very out of shape and likely to die if I hiked) I decided to drive the park for the day. I can't even begin to put into words how beautiful Yosemite is. Even the photos are not going to do it justice. It is literally breathtaking. I can't count the times that I pulled the car over to step outside and just gaze at the view. There were tears in my eyes for most of the day.
I did do a little hike - I wanted to see some of the giant Sequoias that grow in the park so I went up to Tulemone Grove on Crane Flats and hiked down to the little glade of Sequoia that they have there. Only a mile down and a mile back but it drops 400ft in that mile and the hike back up was a little steep! Made me realise how unfit I am!
I went back to the lodge for the evening and had a few drinks with Natalie and Karen and since they had not set plans we decided that they should join me on the roadtrip so I have some company which is really great. Next stop Monterey.
Yosemite is quite the most beautiful place I have seen. I am hoping to come back some time and really spend some time exploring the park. I hope that the photos will do it some justice.
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mcraigclark on

Road trippin'
This makes me miss the West. Yosemite is extraordinary, and I'm glad you got to see some of it.

Mmm, Blue Moon and a slice of orange. Nice choice.

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