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Published: March 10th 2018
Finally we reached our must see bucket list item for this trip, Yosemite National Park. The 6-hour drive up from Monterey was uneventful, but a little nerve racking during some of the journey; like driving the RV on CA-120's steep switch-back turns up the mountain to Groveland, our 3-day RV home. The RV park sits upon a former gold rush mining encampment aptly named Second Garrote after making a habit of hanging its law breaking residents. The hangman's tree sort of remains in front of the park along with a state historic marker detailing its proud history. I can sure pick'em... Anyway history aside, the park is really nice, quiet, and remote enough to receive wildlife visitors like deer and wild turkeys. The former mining town of Groveland proudly houses California's longest continuously run tavern, The Iron Door Saloon which opened its iron doors in 1852 during the gold rush. The iron doors, brought from England, are ones originally fitted, and inside along with some bullet holes are several historic items from the area's mining past.
We could not have hoped for better weather for the trip or for our first afternoon in the park. Since we arrived and got
Beautiful El Capitan
El Capitan's sheer granite face rises more than 3,000 vertical feet from the floor of Yosemite Valley.
settled into the RV park by 2PM, we had plenty of time to travel the 48 miles down into Yosemite Valley. It turns out the bright afternoon sun was at a perfect angle for taking pictures of the parks major features; like Bridalveil Fall, El Capitan, Ribbon Fall, Sentinel Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome. Any one of them is probably worth the trip into the valley, but together they are amazing. Choosing winter/early spring for travel provided some advantages when seeing National Parks, like sparse crowds and beautiful snow, but some areas of the park are inaccessible until at least May. And there is always the risk of being completely snowed out of all the park, as happened the week before our visit, once again our timing has been great! All things considered, I think no crowds offset any park features we may have missed. I wish our pictures could better capture nature's beauty, but they will be good enough to remind us of the special time we spent visiting the nation's 3rd National Park. We planned time to visit the park twice during our stay and each time we enjoyed it a little more, but now its time
to prepare for the next leg of our journey, Sequoia National Park and the General Lee, the world's largest single trunk tree.
American's are so blessed that our country's past leaders carved out some of the planet's most beautiful landscapes for the enjoyment of people from all over the world. We thank them!
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