Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day Two in Yosemite - October 24-25

October 24.....On the second day in the park, we didn't go into the valley, but got a different perspective..... Several viewpoints from 3000 feet above it. We came in on Rt. 140 again, but right before we entered the valley area, we made a right on Rt. 41 toward Glacier Point. In my opinion , if you only could go to one place in Yosemite, go to Glacier Point. But, there was plenty to see before we got there. As soon as we made the turn onto 41, we began a major climb. I had heard about the Tunnel View pull out, and it was spectacular, but just a preview of what was to come. There was road construction in the quarter mile long tunnel itself, so one lane was closed, and there was major congestion in the pull out. The view moved us so much that we attempted a 'selfie' photo with Half Dome in the background. I know I haven't mentioned it, but Yosemite has been my favorite place on earth since I visited in 1981. When I was here before, I was young and was more interested in jumping off a bridge into the Merced River. I didn't see anything like I saw today. After the tunnel view we lost the valley for a while, until we turned onto Glacier Point Road. After about fourteen more miles of climbing, past trail heads, forests, and meadows, our elevation had to be about 7000 ft. We stopped at the Sentinel Mountain Trails. We picked one, the Rock Fissure branch of the trail, so we figured we were going to see some big rocks with fissures in them. We walked over a mile, and what we saw was not what we expected. There some twenty something aged kids that were doing some slack lining 3000 ft over the valley floor. Slack lining is like tightrope walking, only the rope is not so tight. They were tethered to their line, and it's a good thing, because we watched two of them fall off, and WAIT TILL YOU SEE THE VIDEO! Nick Walenda has nothing on these kids. When Walenda walked over the Grand Canyon this summer, he had a twenty foot balancing pole to carry. These kids didn't walk as far, but they were as high, and used no poles. It was fun to watch, and it made us forget that we were looking DOWN on El Capitan, which was directly across the valley. Beautiful. We used our binoculars to look down on climbers, unlike yesterday, when we were looking up, way up, at them. We spent quite a bit of time out there watching, which would cause us to run out of daylight before we finished our day. Two miles further out the road, we came to Glacier Point. We could see even more, including huge waterfalls, and more of the Yosemite wilderness. This is one of the places on earth where I could put out a lawn chair, and just sit there and look. Thank God it wasn't overcrowded, because from the size of the parking area, I bet it gets crazy, with people walking all over each other. But, it wasn't, and the peacefulness was really nice.
 Then it was back out to Rt. 41 south, towards Wiwona, or the south entrance of Yosemite, and the Mariposa Sequoia Grove, where there are over 500 giant redwoods. We were too late to take the tram tour that they use to reduce congestion, but we walked over a quarter of the trail before we had to turn back because of darkness. The most unexpected sight here was the fire scars on almost all the trees, from a thousand years of forest fires. Some of the fallen trees were pretty charcoaled, even though sequoias are very fire resistant, and just don't die in fires like other trees. We left the park after our quick tour of the redwoods, and went out of the south exit on Rt 41 to go home a different way. We drove about 30 miles to the town of Oakhurst, where we ate at a very understaffed Denny's. Another hour or so on Rt49, and we were back at the KOA.
Checking out the fish in the Merced River

Merced River

We stopped to read a sign about Teddy Roosevelt and this raven sat next to our Jeep and begged for food!

El Capitan

Half Dome
Yeah, we look pretty bad in this picture!

Sitting in line, waiting to go through the tunnel

In the tunnel

Some of the forests show remains of old forest fires.  We never saw remains from this year's Rim Fire

Hiking the Sentinel Mountain trails

This bright green fungus/mold/moss was growing on alot of the trees.

On the trail

This young lady is slack lining

This guy on the really long slack line is getting ready to climb back on 

Looking down into the valley

Rock fissures

Not sure if this is white granite or marble - they are both in the area

View from Glacier Point

Half Dome up close

Glacier Point

Roots of an old redwood

Think it made a noise when it fell?!

Old, burned redwoods

Redwood tree

Grizzly Giant - had to take from far away so we could get it from top to bottom!  Biggest giant sequoia in the park

Black is old fire burns - the tree will start to heal itself.  It's trying to "cover" the burn

Back in the "old days" , they didn't think about hurting the trees when they carved tunnels thru them.

Slack lining in Yosemite!  We don't know this girl, but she was awesome!

View from Sentinel Dome Overlook

Friday, October 25. Pam woke up feeling lousy, but we had to move because the KOA was closing for the season. We spent some time adjusting one of our front mirrors because a guy in a fifth wheel from Georgia banged it the other day when he was pulling into his space. Thank God it didn't break, because you can't drive a rig like this in places like Sacramento on a busy road like I-5 without mirrors. It would have created major problems. But all was well, and I hopped on my bike for a one  hour workout while Pam drove about ten miles to the Mariposa County Fairgrounds. The day was beautiful, 82 degrees, no wind, lots of sun, but we laid low and let Pam try to regroup. We did check out the California Mining Museum which we were parked right next to, in the fairgrounds, and we went into the old town of Mariposa to have something to eat.

Our campsite at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds - they had 200 sites!!!

A nice day to relax and sun ourselves!

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