The mountains are calling and I must go.
The Yosemite Valley was formed 30,000 years ago when glaciers scoured the landscape. When the glaciers receded 14,000 years ago they left behind granite cliffs, waterfalls, meadows and the Merced River.
We set up camp about an hour drive from the Valley. This meant getting up early so we could get into the park and secure a parking spot. Even in the off season this is a very busy park. On the upside, we did get drive down this spectacular canyon every morning.
The park is large and the Park Service provides a shuttle service for visitors. We brought our bikes to avoid wasting time waiting at shuttle stops.
Biking allowed us to get around the Valley and maximize our time there.
Upper Yosemite Fall
Lower Yosemite Fall
The trail to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls is a grueling 7.2 mile round trip hike. We opted not to go to the top but aimed for a more modest destination-Columbia Rock. The trail switchbacks up the face of the mountain for 2 miles and provides excellent views of the valley below from a rock ledge.
There are many ways to experience the Park. For those wishing to be pampered there is the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly The Ahwahanee). Built in the 1920’s the place oozes rustic elegance.
Not far from Half Dome is the trailhead for Vernal Fall.
The exceptional snowfall this winter has supplied a lot of water to the valley. Rivers and creeks rage and the waterfalls are roaring.
On our bikes we where able take in many of Yosemite’s iconic sites.
We left Yosemite and headed north to Chico to spend a few days with our friends Will and Carrie.
Chico is home to Sierra Nevada Brewing. The original micro brewery?
Carrie grooms and shows English Cocker Spaniels.
Photo courtesy of Will
Chico is not far from Paradise where the Camp Fire raged. We took a ride up to check out the recovery efforts.
The fire was 100% contained on November 25th 2018. The devastation was astounding. These few photos don’t come close to conveying the scope of the devastation. The cleanup has started but has a long way to go before they can start rebuilding Paradise.
We had a fun visit with Will and Carrie. They are wonderful hosts and it was nice to relax and chill for a few days-BUT-soon it was time to turn the Tincan toward home. The road beckoned us east on Route 50 through Nevada.