Yosemite is in California but as we had so many beautiful photographs that we just simply could not narrow down enough, we decided it was worthy of it’s own separate entry in our diary!
Day 11 – Sunday 20th September
We left our sweet, quiet little campsite at Jerseydale and set of for the National Park which was just down the road.
Once again our “All National Parks membership card” proved to be worth every penny we had paid back in Teton as this was another site that required an entry fee. We are collecting a lot of maps and newspapers from these national parks too as they give you a set for every park you go to
no noisy neighbours here
The scenery we saw today was just stunning. We keep using that word but it is difficult to put into words just how beautiful it is. It is like you have walked into a film where everything is artificial and not real. Can anything that real be so beautiful? Well yes it quite clearly can.
Without doubt this is our favourite US National Park so far.
As you drive there and go in, the huge granite rocks tower over you a 1000 ft or so. The scale is enormous
And everywhere you go there are lakes and trees and grass which make it so picturesque.
One of the things we do like about the US National Parks, is that they have so many lay-bys. Sounds silly but around every bend is a stunning view and a lay-by to stop in to look at it and take pictures. It makes it safe too as everyone is driving slowly and wanting to stop and take pictures. The speed limit through the park is 35 miles an hour
not a lot grows in the desert
Sounds slow but nobody wants to drive any faster anyway!
We stopped at the Yosemite Village and got recharged with tea and food. We also picked up one or two souvenirs.
We drove on and to be honest, we really can’t say much more about it – the pictures will have to speak for themselves!
We shall remember Yosemite for sure and you really must add this to your itinerary if you ever get the chance to visit this part of the States – you really will not be disappointed. Promise.
Our destination for tonight though was a small town called Bishop.
The drive to Bishop was pretty stunning though. We drove through the mountains and climbed higher and higher – over 9000 ft at one point. Luckily Rosie just took it all in her stride and we went down the other side again.
Bishop sits on a volcanic plateau and as we drove nearer it get greener and greener
The Alien Centre
Read photo story!
We couldn’t really work out why as everything else for the drive through the mountains had been very beak with no trees or grass at all – just these bright yellow flowers which grew along the roads. In some places it looked as if the flowers had been planted especially in long roadside borders.
The campsite when we arrived was more of an open patch of ground. Not a campsite at all. We think when they say campsite here, they mean a place to park you holiday home not a tent. The ground was quite literally littered with a gazillion stones.
We drove around for a bit and it really was a beautiful spot – very open and wild – and found a small patch of ground about the size of our mattress we thought would be ok. As the sun was going down, we put up the tent and drove into town for dinner.
The town is quite nice actually and there were two Mexican restaurants side by side and as we stood outside pondering which one to go into, the lady seated in the window with her family saw us and started making hand gestures saying “don’t go in the one next door!”
Ok decision made and it was a good choice
beautiful Yosemite National Park
The portions were huge – which means we will take the rest home and eat it tomorrow – two meals for the price of one. And they even let Jody plug her camera battery in the wall as all those photos of Yosemite had just about drained it!
Day 12 – Monday 21st September
We actually slept very very well. The ground was a bit hard but we are getting nore used to that now. Luckily we had chosen well and there were no stones poking up under the mattress either.
Bryan made some calls, yes even though it’s so remote, we still had a phone signal – and then we were packed and on our way again.
Today’s destination – Vegas!
It’s still a long drive though so there’s no time to hang around.
We drove across the Californian border and into Nevada
beautiful Yosemite National Park
Again the scenery was so beautiful and as we got further into the desert the colours disappeared and it became very bleak. Bleak but stayed beautiful. The only thing that seemed to grow here was these strange plants that didn’t look like cactus – just weird plants.
We had to make a decision about whether to go through Death Valley or not. As it was nearing midday this time and as Rosie was ours – not a rental, we decided against it and took the alternative and continued on the 95. Soon after, we stopped at a remote petrol station as we didn’t have enough to get all the way to Las Vegas and thought we may not see another.
When Bryan was inside the building (you have to go in and prepay for your petrol here) Jody got chatting to two couples in their 60’s that were at the pump at the same time as us.
They were from Switzerland and all four had rented a Harley Davidson to drive across California. They were going in the opposite direction from us and had just come through Death Valley and were exhausted from the heat, Especially wearing all those leathers!
We were glad we had chosen not to go through it as we also heard on the TV later that night, temperatures had soared to almost 110 degrees there today
beautiful Yosemite National Park
The petrol station turned out to be another coincidental stop that you make and find yourself in a certain place you never expected to be.
It doubled as the Alien Centre for Area 51 (which of course we know doesn’t really exist….does it??). Inside was everything alien. There were posters, maps of sightings, pens, key-rings, fluffy aliens, alien tee shirts, alien drink holders – you name it they had it. And out the back – a Brothel. Makes you wonder if they had aliens in there too!
Well we got to the outskirts of Vegas and still with no idea where we were going to sleep tonight, we found a Starbucks (our friend Tannis will be so proud!) and got as drink so we could sit and abuse their wifi for a bit.
Now there are 100’s of hotels in Las Vegas. So if you are going to Vegas and on a tight budget, where do you stay?
The Venetian of course!
Yosemite National Park
One of the top hotels in the world and guess what? Bryan found a deal. We could book a motel for £30 a night, or with discounts applied, we could stay at the Venetian for £50 a night. What would you choose? Same as us probably.
So, excited now, we jumped back into Rosie and onto “The Strip” for a bath. Yes that’s what we were looking forward to most at this point – believe it or not.