Wednesday, October 3, 2012


The drive from Santa Rosa to Yosemite National Park goes through miles and miles of farms and farm towns until you start to climb the Sierra Mountains.

The road to Yosemite NP is steep, curvy,  and treacherous. Yet it is the easiest way into the park from the west.

Our first view of Yosemite valley.

Unfortunately, I didn't keep track of the names of all these peaks.

Yosemite Facelift is not a new plastic surgery service. It is an annual volunteer program to clean up the Park. The volunteers gather here to get assignments. They go to various parts of the park and pick up trash. Every year they remove tons, literally tons, of beer cans, bottles, paper, old car parts, camping gear, and the like.
Almost no food is found since the bears find that first.

Here are some items picked up in the past. These are also used to help train the
volunteers on the dangers involved, including the Hanta virus.

Yosemite Valley Visitors Center

This mock up of the valley shows the approximate angle of view of the photo above.

This view of Half Dome is the the view of Ansel Adams' iconic photograph.

One of our friends, and Debbie's personal physician, is Dr. Degnan.

This photo and the next several were taken from the floor of Yosemite Valley.

At our campsite, Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging, near
Groveland, CA, about 17 miles from the west entrance to the Park. We enjoyed our stay here. The is no grass and lots of dust, but that is the same everywhere around here. They had no snow last winter and almost no rain this summer.

Hi, Uncle Hal & Aunt Sandy!

There are at least 3 major groves of old huge redwood trees in the park. The most renowned is the Mariposa Grove. But this was 80 miles further from us than Merced Grove. We did not want to do the 160 mile round trip.
The trail to the Merced Grove is 1.5 miles and drops 600 feet in altitude.
Similar to the trail to Crater Lake but without the fabulous views at every turn

The exposed roots of this redwood were right on the trail.  I could have, and should have,
placed my backpack into one of those holes in the roots to show the scale.

Three thick trunks.

this made us think of a Star Trek episode.

Groveland, CA, is an entrance town for the Yosemite National Park. Our campsite was about 3 miles from the town. It was the only place we could get cell phone service. There was a quite nice grocery store and several good shops and restaurants.

Yosemite National Park is spectacular. Fantastic vistas. Unfortunately, there was a severe drought this year and everything was dry and brown. We were constantly worried about fires. It looked like one cigarette thrown out the window and the whole area would go up in smoke. I hope they get lots od snow this winter and tons of rain next spring and summer. They certainly need it.

We had been planning to leave Yosemite and head to the Grand Canyon via Bakersfield, Ca. But the forecast was 104 F for the whole of south central California and we saw that cooler weather was forecast for the central coastal area of California.  At our campground there was a couple from San Jose, Ca. They told us about the towns near Monterey and Carmel. We had been there 25 years ago and loved it. They told us about Marina Dunes RV Park about 10 miles from Monterey and about 50 miles from silicon valley and Apple. How could we resist.  We made reservations there for 6 days. Next post: Marina California and the Central Coast.


View Where we have been so far in a larger map


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Lets' try that comment again :) Beautiful pictures! Yosemite is on our list of places to go and we'll be looking for a campground with cell service (for work reasons). It was good to hear about the place where you stayed. Looks like a nice campground and with good proximity to the park. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Love your photos! I just can't make up my mind which photo I love most. Debbie's adoring look at Rosie or Rosie posing for her pic! What a gorgeous Jack Russell! Oh boy! You are going to love Monterey! Happy trails!

    1. Gris, let me tell you a little secret. Rosie was not actually "posing" for her picture. She was looking at a piece of ham I held next to the camera. :]

  3. That stretch of 120 up to Groveland is pretty interesting, especially with a trailer. Plus you got to up AND down it! Luckily they have the new Priest Grade section. We drove the old section with our car once and I cannot imagine do a trailer down it.

    120 out the east side of Yosemite is even MORE fun! Steep. My wife hates going down it.

    You will have fun in Monterey and possibly Santa Cruz.

  4. Roger that, Roger.
    The campground warned in its'webpage NOT to try to old section (I think it is called Priest Grade Road) as it was too dangerous with a trailer. After doing the new section, 120 E, I cannot imagine how it could be worse but I guess it is.

  5. Yosemite is on my bucket list. Pretty pics, even without rain to green things up.

    Now I have an idea where NOT to go with the trailer.


  6. What is happening with the bears at Yosmite. Beatiful pictures. continue to enjoy the trip with you two.