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« Cali part 5: Sequoia and Kings Canyon | Main | Cali part 3: Angel Island, Alcatraz, and a reunion with friends »

Cali part 4: Yosemite

On Tuesday we hopped in the rental van and headed over the Coastals, through the valley, and into the Sierra Nevadas.

Our drive through the central valley was a serious eye opener. When you stop watering a field here it simply goes feral. Stop watering an orchard there and it goes bone dry dead. We saw both live and dead orchards on our drive, and a dammed lake at all-time low levels. I'd seen pictures of California's disappearing lakes and exposed bridges, but seeing it in person was far more heartbreaking.

Like San Francisco, Yosemite has long been on my bucket list. We arrived in the evening on the first day (after taking a side trip to a lunch spot that the Garmin was adamantly sure was located in thin air on the drop-off side of the winding mountain road), and enjoyed the stunning view from Glacier Point. Our one full day in the park we spent driving the valley floor and taking a couple of short hikes (walk really) to what were, of course, dry waterfalls.

We saw the many faces of Half Dome. We enjoyd drinks at the Ahwahnee and a picnic lunch in a valley floor meadow. With the waterfalls so low we climbed across boulders and into the stream beds. We may not have had time to hike, but the sights were certainly pleasing.

No bears, though.

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