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Published: October 24th 2005
Sorry this has taken so long to post, we are experiencing computer difficulties, first we couldn't access the website, then we couldn't upload photos.
05/10/05 Lone Pine
We spent the morning in Bishop sorting out Hospital paperwork and checking e-mail in the library. When we left the library I had a parking ticket for "parking more than 18 inches from the kerb" since I was parked on the left side of the road facing in the wrong direction. We went to the Police station to see if we could pay the fine (and also to check if there were any other laws which we might inadvertantly break), and after a brief discussion the nice police officer let us off the ticket on the grounds that we Brits drive on the wrong side of the road anyway - sometimes it's best just to smile and nod.
We headed to Lone Pine and took a detour to the Bristle Cone Forest on the way, but by the time we got to 9000 feet we figured that was high enough for my head and so we headed back down again. Dinner was in the Mount Witney Restaurant, where Vernon finished his
meal before me, so the waitress came and took our plates away along with half my meal. I suppose with the lack of exercise now I should be grateful for the removal of some calories! (Note to Portsmouth Uni Catering Crew - don't even think about it!!)
06-07/10/05 Lake Isabella and the Sequoia National Forest
Today we headed over the Sierra Nevada mountains to Visalia, the route was very quiet, just a few cars and no big lorries. We stopped at Lake Isabella to take some photos, the area is very pretty, but the lake was surrounded by dead fish and birds - we never found out why.
In the afternoon our route took us into Sequoia National Forest where we got our first look at the great trees. They are massive, we have seen Redwoods in Britain but they are nothing like these giants. Neither of the cameras can do them justice, I need a wide angle lens!
We spent two nights in Visalia, giving us a day off to sort photos onto CD, write another blog entry and generally relax for a while.
08-09/10/05 Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
This granite dome was in our view for miles as we drove into Sequoia National Park
drove into Sequoia National Park and followed the road towards Lodgepole Village. As we travelled there was a dome of granite which was constantly in our view, it slowly got bigger and bigger. We eventually reached a car park which identified it as Moro Rock. We then discovered that we could walk up this dome, in all 400 stairs coupled with some grooved paths. The views from the top were amazing, looking over the whole valley, but the walk up and down are best done with your eyes shut as the views include looking straight over the edge of the rock with knee high granite side walls in places.
We headed on to Lodgepole where we grabbed a late lunch, then drove on to the General Sherman Sequoia which is supposed to be the largest (by volume) living thing on earth. We debated whether there is a mould which is bigger, but decided that it would be impossible to sell that as a tourist attraction and that we need to stop being so scientific and just enjoy the sights.
We saw a black bear and cub today - sorry no photo because the cameras insisted on a flash and we
The view from Moro Rock
You can see for miles from here
didn't want to scare the animals, but they were in the National Park and were smaller than I expected.
Spent the 10th doing laundry and travelling to Mariposa, the nearest place to Yosemite with affordable accommodation. Very, very tired in the evening and my head was hurting a lot, pains in the forehead and eyes, hope this doesn't last!!
Head was much better by the next morning, so we travelled into Yosemite and went up to Glacier Point, the views were amazing and we could see two climbers on the Half Dome (as long as we were looking through 20X magnification binoculars). Once again America is astounding in it's bigness. After taking many photos of the views we headed into Yosemite Village, but the light was beginning to fade by then so we headed back out to Mariposa.
We returned to Yosemite on the 13th to look round the valley floor area, we were going to get the tour bus, but the driver was a miserable sod and at 20 bucks for the ride we decided against it and just made use of the (free) shuttle bus instead. We wandered around the Happy Isles
Vernon demonstrating the size of a (not very big) sequoia tree.
and then walked back to Curry Village along the edge of the river. We did consider hiring bikes and cycling along the very flat cycle paths, but they only hire out cruisers with one gear and coaster brakes (that's pedalling backwards to stop for the uninitiated!) and I wasn't sure I could get my head around that.
Neither of us can do justice to the views in words, so here's a collection of photos instead.
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