2014 Western Road Trip Day 18, Thursday May 22nd

We checked out of our room at the Buckeye Tree Lodge to make our way back through Sequoia National Park. Unlike yesterday, today began and ended with sunshine and no fog.  Rather than stop for breakfast, we took the breakfast food, muffin & such, with us and ate it a little later while underway. The ride back through Sequoia National Park was still a ride with many 10 mph switch back curves but this time you could see where you we going. We saw scenery that we had not seen yesterday and the drive seemed to pass quickly. When we arrived at the junction where one turns to head into Kings Canyon National Park, we headed instead toward Fresno, CA and ultimately Yosemite National Park.

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Yesterday you couldn’t see the sign until you were on it

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Unusual tree

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We missed this yesterday

Our first stop was for gas at $4.17 a gallon which I thought  was bad until I again filled up tonight for tomorrow morning, $4.79 a gallon. When we arrived at Yosemite NP, our first stop was the visitor center where Babs got her passport book stamped. After restroom breaks and a stop at the gift shop to get Babs her Christmas ornament, we were off to the Glacier Point road.

The drive was very pretty and traffic moved along fairly well. That is at least until we got within 500 yards of the parking lot where traffic came to a halt. 45 minutes later we had made it to the parking lot, which had no vacant spaces of the 300 or so there.

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Why I love Yosemite and it’s not even “in season”

So we went out of the lot and headed to a spot Babs noticed on the way in where one could the same view as the area where the parking lot is located. That view is an unbelievably beautiful of Half Dome and the surrounding mountains.

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“Half Dome”

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The valley from Glacier Point road

Lunch was at a pull out along side of the road because we couldn’t find a picnic table. Babs enjoyed her sandwich on a piece of log.

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Heading back down the mountain, we entered Yosemite Valley with its views of Bridle Veil Falls, El Captain, and the Merced  River.

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Bridal Veil falls

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Upper and lower Yosemite falls

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Half Dome from the valley

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El Captain

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El Captain

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Longest tunnel in Yosemite

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We attempted to go to the visitors center there but traffic was once again an issue so we headed for Mariposa, CA and our hotel room at the Best Western Plus Yosemite Way Station which was another 45 minute drive from the park exit.

After checking into our room and relaxing we went to dinner. Dinner was Chinese at a restaurant across the street from the hotel and it was really pretty good. There were mostly Chinese people in the restaurant which made me ask Babs if Chinese people who were traveling sought out Chinese restaurants or was it coincidence?

Tomorrow, we will try to visit Devils Post pile National Monument but Babs just told me there seems to be a problem.

Babs Says:Windows were open all night because of the beautiful, cool weather. 5:15 A.M.- awoke to lovely sounds of a bird singing a wake up call. 5:30 A.M.-the soundtrack from “The Birds” occurring in stereo. Pillows over head. The end of sleep!

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