The introduction pictures says it all, these parks are some of Gods greatest accomplishments. After our entry into the park we stayed at BenBow, a quiet spot along the way with a fantastic RV park but more important a wonderful restaurant, the Benbow Inn, which we had stopped and had dinner at on our tip to Alaska. While having a drink in the bar at the Inn late in the afternoon, we met a couple from Southern California, he was a golf pro and she was a kindergarten teacher. We started talking about golf and he gave us a list of courses we should play. She mentioned some restaurants we should not miss. We enjoyed a lovely dinner with them, each of us sharing a bottle of wine that we had bought with us. We then retired around 11pm to get ready for our trip through the forest.
We learned much while at the Redwood forest. Do you know how many years it takes to grow a Redwood tree that is 10 feet in diameter? Here was a piece of wood where the information was brought to life..wow..
As we drove through the various forests, there are National and State Parks along the way, the majesty of these trees is remarkable. The forest seemed to go forever and the redwoods were large with many smaller ones starting their life. An amazing thing about redwoods is their ability to stay alive even after a fire has partially hollowed out the main trunk.
Of course we could not miss the redwood you can drive through, of course our Roadtrek would not fit, so we walked up to the tree and watch normal cars drive on through. John represented our car and walked through the tree and stopped for a quick picture! The beauty of the redwoods cannot be caught in a photograph, one must travel here and walk through the forest. It is one of the great experiences we have enjoyed in our travels.
As we left the Redwood National Forest, we headed for the next overnight stop at Cache Creek, the golf pro we met at BenBow had recommended the golf course. Once we arrived we only waited about a hour and a half to play. It is a fabulous course, managed by Troon Golf. We played with another gentleman and had a great time, it was well worth the stop! Cache Creek also has a casino, well not really the Vegas type. Janice went to play roulette that evening and the way the Indians play it, the wheel has only red and black and when it lands on one of the colors, the dealer turns over a card which then is the number for the bet, ..YIKES..the good thing was she got a casino card which gave her $25 towards anything on the complex, including gas.
The next morning we left for Yosemite and drove in through the west gate to the park. What an entry through the two rocks that lean against each other!
The beauty is incredible and while we tried to capture the majesty, as you could see in the first photo, it just gets more and more spectacular. After passing through the entrance we headed into the park, we could not get over the vistas of the mountains and running streams. We had no idea this was only the beginning. We drove into a parking area where we could catch the shuttle to ride around the park. We stopped at the Lower Falls stop and took a short hike out to the Lower Falls, we briefly considered the upper falls until we realized we would need to climb to the top and decided to take a pass. Sitting at the base of the falls was a spectacular view of the lower and upper falls. The picture on the left is of the upper falls.
After hiking out we stopped at the visitor center and then at the store to get some items for dinner. We started our ride down to Oakhurst to camp and made a “must stop” at the Wawona Tunnel View, it was magnificent! The 36 mile drive to the campground took about 90 minutes. We arrived at the High Sierra Camp, a private camp just south of Yosemite, and made a quick dinner and started planning the next day.
In the morning, Saturday, we decided not to go back into the main section of Yosemite, but rather head to Glacier Point. What a great choice!! The fabulous views along with the history made for a glorious morning. Looking at the rock in the picture…………the glaciers spanned 1,000 feet above the rock!What beauty was carved for us to witness!!
What else can be said, we headed down the mountains planning on seeing the giant sequoia trees, but the area was closed to vehicles, other than shuttle buses since the parking areas were full. We would have to drive 20 miles back into the park for a shuttle, so we skipped. We left the south gate at 1:00 p.m., the line of vehicles to get into the park was 3 miles long. It was a Saturday so a lesson learned. Go to Yosemite early in the morning or on a weekday!
On to our next stop the Monterey Peninsula.