Yosemite Autumn

Trip Start May 09, 2009
Trip End May 27, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, October 25, 2009

A recurring theme in these blogs is weather. We've had it all!  We were worried about what the weather would be for Yosemite and whether roads would be closed due to snow.  But we checked the weather online before leaving Tahoe and the forecast was good – sunny and high in 60s & low 70s.  Well, it was sunny, but our campground in the park was in the pines and felt colder.  The last few days there it got very cold at night.  We had no electricity and we stretched our battery’s life by staying five nights.  That turned out to be one night too many and the battery died before we went to bed that night.  That meant no heat since our propane-powered heater has electric ignition & blower powered by battery if we are not hooked up to electricity.  I went to bed in a wool cap and multiple layers of clothing.  Oh, how I missed being able to use the electric part of our electric blanket!!

But the cold at night was worth it for being able to experience Yosemite in autumn.  I’ve decided that I won't end up with a favorite national park from this trip – they are all unique and beautiful in their own way.  Yosemite is certainly one of the most spectacular.  One of the best views we had was driving to Glacier Point where you have panoramic views of gthe entire area – the valley below and the wonderful rock mountains and formations that are the highlight of the area.  If you go to Yosemite and stay only in the valley, you cannot fully appreciate the breadth and beauty of the park.  Glacier Point is a must-see.

That is not to say that the driving and hiking we did in the valley was not great, because it was.  Seeing El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Vernal and Nevada Falls and other famous Yosemite landmarks was a fantastic experience.  Fall is beautiful here, although someday we’d like to come back in early summer to see the wildflowers in the valley and the full strength of the waterfalls.

Our only disappointment was that we had planned to drive up Tioga Pass, the highest pass in the Sierras, and was supposed to be an amazing drive.  We waited one day too late and, although signs said that Tioga Road was open, when we got to the start of the road, it was closed.  A ranger explained that 3-4 inches of snow fell overnight and they were plowing, but unsure when it would be done.  So, we hiked the nearby Tuolumne Grove of sequoia and redwood trees and headed back to the valley.  Jim took a hike on his own to Vernal and Nevada Falls - more gorgeous sights.

After Yosemite, we headed west, closer to the coast.  We stayed a few days at a campground near the Deltas, a series of canals stemming from the Sacramento River that’s in the middle of farmland and power lines.  We weren’t there for the ambience, but to have electricity, hot showers and access to the internet.  Neither of our cell phones had worked in Yosemite, so we caught up with friends and family and got on the internet to do trip planning.  We are headed next to the coast north of San Francisco and then will head to San Fran itself.  Can’t wait!!
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