Blogs from Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California, United States, North America - page 5

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Well, that was the best sleep we've had for a while, we have a lovely home cooked breakfast and this this motel is great value for the money, for 1 nights stay with dinner and breakfast $160.00, you can't do better than that! We head out now to Yosemite National Park and stop off at Bodie to see the famous Bodie Ghost Town it's another dusty ride ahead as we head down the dusty winding road, it reminds me a little of Ballarat Gold fields and to imagine that this was once a town, with a school, bank, library, saloon and now nothing, just empty shacks of where people inhabited. When you look into the school rooms you can see where books still lay and a world globe is faded with age, but you can still ... read more
The Ghost town of Bodie
The Road
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Most people have encountered a thought experiment called the “deserted island game”. The experiment states “if you were stranded on a deserted island with survival supplies but little else, what few things would you want to have with you to pass the time until rescue appears?” I bring this up because a variant exists for wilderness hikes: If I could only hike one trail for the rest of my life, what should that trail be? I’m now sure I know the answer: The Panorama Trail in Yosemite National Park. I woke up this morning in a sea of pine trees and other tents. This is not special at all. I then went to get water for breakfast. I reached an open area in the pines, and had a perfect view of Half Dome towering over the ... read more
Half Dome from North Pines
North Dome from Upper Pines
Tunnel View


An early start saw us head deep into the Park for a hike to Nevada Falls, which is the half way mark for a longer hike up to Half Dome. The walk was extremely long and hard, especially when it is up hill first, on a zigzag climb, oh and the main path is shut as there were some volunteers further up the route, clearing some fallen trees. After waiting around for almost half an hour so on the first bridge, Todd decided to find an alternative route, finding a nearby ‘cargo’ route, used for mule trains to haul ‘freight’ up the mountain. Having kept out of sight of any wardens or fellow climbers, we made our way up the route, taking in the views making it all worthwhile. We eventually made it to the Nevada ... read more


Our leave time today was 8am, and so we got to introduce the new guys to the ritual that was struggling to get through breakfast, packing our gear and tents up, loading up and ready to go by the designated time. The day’s destination ws Yosemite National Park, which meant the journey again was a long one, broken up by the shopping and lunch in a very empty car park of the San Louis reservoir. But first we had a brief walk around Monterey, which offered a lovely looking view of the bay, but not a lot else, apart from an area full of Californian sea otters as well as some endangered species of sea bird that Monterey is home to. As Steve, Scott and I headed along the pier to get closer to the rocks ... read more


We started the day by tackling the Upper Yosemite Falls trail. This is classed as “strenuous” and I can verify that it is indeed strenuous. The complete route takes you from the valley floor up to the top of the lower falls, then continues right up to the top of the upper falls. We didn’t plan on doing the entire route as it can take 6 hours but we made it beyond the lower falls. It was a lot of climbing up at the start! That’s definitely my exercise for the week! It was also very hot which made it tough but thankfully it eased up a bit and also clouded over so it was much cooler later on. The views were fairly breathtaking and the way down was much quicker. We got down just in ... read more


Enjoyed breakfast on our balcony before driving into Yosemite National Park. There are so many great views, it’s hard not to keep taking photos! Being in a convertible is great for viewing while you drive as well. We snapped a few shots on the way in, then parked up in the valley for a walk around Yosemite Lower Falls, seeing the Lower and Upper Falls. It got pretty hot midday so we drove to Glacier point, which takes about an hour from the Valley. The views at the end point are spectacular as you can see Vernon Falls, Nevada Falls, Half Dome and various other landmarks of Yosemite. We also saw quite a few chipmunks running around and a deer (no bear sighting yet nor mountain lion, which apparently live here!). Many photos later and we ... read more


I normally like to start my day off with a cup of coffee, but three cups of coffee were in order on this particular day, 2 weeks ago. I woke up this morning to find that our van and trailer were stolen in the middle of the night. Gone. It’s one of those moments where you think to yourself, “Did that really just happen?” Now, I think in my past life I might have cried or at least sworn a few times to let the magnitude of this problem come to life. However, Backroads style, I considerately woke my boss up at 6:30am on a Saturday morning to inform him that I filed a police report, while simultaneously working out the details of Plan B with my calm and collective co-leaders. All said and done, we ... read more
Panorama Trail
Grizzly Giant
Panoramic View


This blog is dedicated to the 3 young people who lost their lives at Vernal Falls a couple of weeks before our visit and whose bodies have not yet been found, we hope that their families can find some kind of peace. We understand how it feels to lose a loved one who was simply exploring the beauty of nature. After another lot of driving we arrived in the beautiful but busy Yosemite; We went to the visitors centre to get camp site information and were told there were only spots left at one; we pulled into a campsite that said full just to try our luck and were just about to leave when Dim asked a guy who had stuff packed up and he was leaving and he had paid for the night and said ... read more
YOSEMITE man....
Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Upper and Lower Falls..


I think I may need to upgrade to a smart phone, because having a dumb phone is no help when you are lost or find yourself “making a U-ey” and a little nine point turn action to back that trailer up! Luckily, not all my passengers were back seat drivers as this was going on. My evaluations for van support in Wine Country ranged from “We love your sunny smile and enthusiasm and hope you’ll be our tour leader on a future trip” to “the girl had no idea what she was doing.” Ding ding, that is correct, because I have never been to Bodega Bay before and although I am van supporting this route, I have never driven it in my entire life. Backroads tries to schedule new leaders with a few days of familiarization ... read more


Unfortunately, when we headed out to explore Lake Tahoe the winds were still at full speed so a steam boat trip was out. Instead, we drove along the lakeside between Zephyr Cove and Emerald Bay, one of the most photographed parts of the lake. Whilst undeniably beautiful, I found Lake Tahoe to be bit of a tourist trap. And, like any place out of season, it had a somewhat deserted feel about it. But dinner that night did take the edge off our disappointment. We went to Tahoe Keys (a recommendation in one of the magazines in the room) and had a stunning meal at The Fresh Ketch. This little place overlooks the Marina and served us some of the best calamari and crab cakes we have ever tasted. The staff were incredibly friendly as were ... read more
Emerald Bay Steamboat
Yosemite Panorama
Yosemite Falls




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