WARNING! - STUNNING SCENERY OVERLOAD!!
29.04.2011 - 01.05.2011 15 °C
The drive from Bakersfield to Yosemite was uneventful, apart from one point when the traffic coming to a complete stop for the longest time. It turned out that a motor-home (we're not talking about a Kiwi-style camper-van but something closer to the size of a bus) had caught fire and burned to a crisp. No doubt the occupants would have smelt the smoke and gotten out safely.
Yosemite is beautiful, which is apparently not a well-kept secret with close to the population of NZ visiting it each year. We got to spend a full day in Yosemite Valley - the relatively small part of Yosemite NP where the majority of people go (Yosemite Valley is 1% of Yosemite NP but it has 101% of easily accessible, jaw-dropping scenery).
We spent two nights in Yosemite about 7 miles from the Valley - on the first day there was a resident coyote less than 100 feet from where we were staying - the next day he was joined by another coyote. I suspect that they were hoping that someone would throw them something to eat - that is something that you are repeatedly told not to do.
There are lots of warnings about black bears and their incredible sense of smell – sunblock lotion, chewing gum and the smallest amounts of food left in a car can result in them ripping into a vehicle to get a snack.
A couple of roads, including a mountain pass that we would have loved to zip down are currently closed due to deep snow which is usual for this time of the year (spring). The spring melt means that the waterfalls are looking pretty impressive.
We left Yosemite for Lake Tahoe this morning - the way we went (there are many options) had us zipping along mountain passes and driving, for a large part, at alpine levels - and we are talking about a trip of around 290 km's. We passed frozen lakes and beautiful alpine meadows with lush spring growth.
Lake Tahoe is 6,300 feet above sea level, they say the water is so clear that you can see a white dinner plate 75 feet under water - I had a look - sure, the water is clear but I couldn't see any dinner plates.
We arrived at Lake Tahoe late in the afternoon -tomorrow will be explore time - including the obligatory 2-3 hour drive around the lake.
(Luckily for you that the wireless internet connection here is crap and the uploading of photos is so flakey that I have given up - for now)