Trip to Southern and Middle California:
Death Valley, Yosemite, Kingís Canyon and Sequoia National Parks 2016
Day 1. May 28, 2016, Saturday.
We flew from Newark, New Jersey at 5:55 a.m and arrived in Las Vegas, Nevada. Took the bus shuttle over to the rent-a-car center. We got a Toyota Camry and took off to drive to Death Valley.
9900 miles on the odometer.
Traveled on US 15 south for a while and got off the exit for Route 160 which takes us west to near the California-Nevada border at Pahrump, Nevada. Along the way Rosemary says she likes the Spring Mountains because they have multi- colors: white, dark green and gray bands.
They are doing construction up along Route 160.
We see a sign for Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area in Nevada, which we had visited on a previous trip.
9919 odo. Dark green and gray mountains.
9920. Took more mountain photos.
9922. Getting closer to the mountains. Lots of cacti. Orange flowers of the orange mallow flower.
Spring Mountains National Recreation Area.
9926. On the right are colorful mountains in the distance.
9932. Sandy Valley Road.
9942. Flat desert.
9944. Pahrump is 14 miles in the distance.
Pass by the Nye County Line.
9951. Welcome to Pahrump.
9957. Pahrump has a Best Western hotel.
9958. Stopped at Burger King. Go back a little way to pick up Route 372 that will take us into California.
9964. Sign saying Leaving Pahrump.
9966. Enter California via Route 178. No change in the vegetation.
Go through the mountains.
Passed through the Chicago Valley between the Resting Spring Range on the west side and the Nopah Range on the east side.
9981. Photos of brown mountains.
Come to a really wide open area.
We reach Shoshone with a right turn onto Route127.
9985. Rosemary takes a photo of the DV (probably for Death Valley) on a mountain.
9987. A sign says 25 miles to Death Valley Junction.
10011. Reach Death Valley Junction. Turn left to get onto Route 190 heading northwest.
We stop at Zabriskie Point again because Rosemary wants more photos of the place. Last time most of the pictures were taken under cloudy conditions and she wanted to see them in the sunlight.
30 miles away is Furnace Creek Ranch Resort.
10043. We reach Furnace Creek Ranch Resort.
We are dead tired. We register with the front desk. Then we go to out room.
We get sandwiches from the General Store and eat them in our room.
We nod off at 6:45 p.m. (Almost 10 oíclock New York time.)
Odometer reading 10043. The total distance for the day is 143 miles.
Driving From Las Vegas to Zabriske Point
Day 2. May 29, 2016, Sunday.
Up at 7 a.m.
10060. We know Scottyís Castle is closed, but we drive up there to see Ubehebe Crater.
10061. Photos of a pinkish mountain on the right and one on the left by the Stovepipe Wells area.
10075. Titus Canyon.
10092. Mesquite Spring.
10093. Grapevine Ranger Station. Road closed off. Scottyís Castle is only three miles away. Furnace Creek Ranch Resort is 50 miles away. Take photos of the surrounding area. Eureka sand dunes are 45 miles away but can be reached only by jeep.
On Route 190, we turn right and drive toward Ubehebe volcanic crater.
10098. We are nearing the Ubehebe crater. Take photos.
10099. Arrive at the crater. The crater is quite large and imposing. You can walk up on the right side to see the Little Hebe Crater. You continue on and complete the walk around the big crater. We return to Route190 going south.
10100. Return trip.
10102. Took photos of green clumps of vegetation in the desert terrain.
10137. Back on Rt. 190 heading to Stovepipe Wells.
10142. Stopped by Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes again.
10145. Close to Stovepipe Wells there is a left turn to go to visit Mosaic Canyon. The canyon is 2.4 miles in from Rt. 190. If you are going to do any real hiking, wear your hiking boots. The water going through the canyon polished the walls and in sections, you can easily slip on the polished surface and fall. And that hurts. I slipped on the polished surface and fell. Rosemary also fell. Neither of us had hiking boots.
The walls often look as if someone was working on mosaic patterns along the walls. We took pictures. Got some photos of Stovepipe Wells from the canyon. Since it was still early we decided to drive and see Alabama Hills, a site where Hollywood made hundreds of western films.
10158. Driving on Rt. 190 west toward Lone Pine on Rt. 395. We reach an elevation of 2000 feet. Rt. 190 become very winding. Rosemary got very excited when we stopped for a photo and she saw two dust devils which continued to spin while she took a picture. We head down from the mountains into the valley.
10179. We stopped at Panamint to check on the gift shop. Itís located at the gas station and did not have much of interest.
10185. Stopped at a pull-off after a horseshoe bend in the mountain. Cottonwood Mountains on the right. Inyo Mountains on the left. Go back down into another valley.
10187. Visit the Father Crowley Vista Point. I thought the canyon here was mostly brown, but Rosemary says she saw lots of different colors. Anyway, the name of the area is Rainbow Valley.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Father Crowley, a graduate of Holy Cross, worked to improve the lives of people in Owens Valley, California. Route 395 goes north through Owens Valley. [The Owens River runs through Owens Valley. On the west of the valley are the Sierra Nevada Mountains and to the east are the White Mountains and the Inyo Mountains. The now dried-up Owens Lake is the southern end of the Owens Valley.]
10192. We are coming out of Death Valley National Park and out of the mountains.
10209. A sign says itís 19 miles to Lone Pine. Later we pass by the road leading southwest to the town of Olancha on Rt. 395. We soon see the dried up Owens Lake on the left.
10214. Reach the town of Keeler on Rt. 136.
10219. We get a good view of the Sierra Mountain in the distance. Many of the mountain tops still have snow on them.
10224. Pass over the Owens River Bridge.
10226. Reach Rt. 395 north. A sign says that the town of Bishop is 57 miles away.
10227. Pass by a Best Western Hotel. Reach the town of Lone Pine. Filled up with gas: $41.25.
10229. We had to go back a short stretch to pick up the Whitney Portal Road. This leads one to the movie-famous Alabama Hills. This area is where Hollywood made between 400 and 500 movies. Most of the films were B Westerns. We learn that Lone Pine has a film museum that we will come back tomorrow to see.
We come up on an Alabama Hills sign. We know that Mount Whitney is one of those mountains in the Sierra Nevada Range near the Alabama Hills, but we donít know which one. There is no way to get up the mountains here, at least not in a car. Rosemary takes photos of this part of the 400 mile long Sierra Nevadas. The next day when we visited the film museum we found out that the only place to get a view of Mount Whitney on the east side was from Lone Pine. We took a photo behind the film museum, so now we know.
We see granite rocks in all kinds of weird and interesting shapes. They look like hoodoos, but hoodoos are found in very eroded mountains. The shapes here remind us of Rock City in New Mexico where we drove south to from Silver City, New Mexico last year. They have lots of these hoodoo-looking rocks, but this California rock city is much larger. There are rock clusters over a much bigger piece of land.
We drive over a small bridge. We then turn left onto Horseshoe Meadows Road. We enjoy examining the rock boulders.
10232. More boulders. Gunga Din was the 1939 movie filmed here at this location. A road goes down through the cluster of rocks, but Rosemary was scared to go down the narrow road and get stuck in the sand.
We investigate the area more. Rosemary takes a photo or two of a house in front of the boulders. There are many places where a house is built amongst the boulders. We tried to get pictures of the stream that runs between a valley of statue rocks, but the places are on private property. We do see a valley down below the area.
10244. At 3:00 pm we leave Alabama Hills and head back to Death Valley. We notice that Whitney Portal Road is just across from the restaurant Seasons.
Itís going to be a long ride back to Furnace Creek Ranch Resort.
10250. Going through the Inyo Mountains. Took pictures of the causeway over the valley by which we returned.
10280. Back at the Death Valley western border.
Took more pictures of mountains.
Before 10288 & 10289. Took photos of green and brown mountains.
Near Panamint Valley. Heading toward the Panamint Range.
10347. Finally arrive at Furnace Creek Ranch Resort. We ate at the 49'er Cafť. From the last time we were here, the menu was considerably shortened. Our waiter confirmed that. So we had burgers and french fries and then cheesecake for desert.
We killed three cockroaches in our room, only two of the three were huge fellows. They give me the willies.
Odometer was 10347 so the total distance traveled was 304 miles.
Panamint Valley - East & West on Route 190
Day 3. May 30, 2016, Sunday.
Odometer reads 10347.
We are going back to Lone Pine again. We take Rt. 190 to Rt. 135, then to Rt. 395 north to the town of Lee Vining near Yosemite National Park. We will stay in Lee Vining for the night.
Take more photos of Panamint Valley Causeway.
10431. Photos of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Salt flats in front of the mountains.
Lone Pine 19 miles away.
10450. In Lone Pine we found the Film Museum on the left side of Rt. 395. They showed us a documentary on the many cowboy movies made in Lone Pine. They liked the area because of its rugged location.
Some of the cowboys that came here to make movies were Tom Mix, Buck Jones, Ken Maynard, Tom Kane, John Wayne, Randolph Scott (who was in Lone Pine for some 30 years), Hopalong Cassidy (who made 66 feature movies, 30 around Lone Pine), Roy Rogers. Gene Autry, Tex Ritter, Cisco Kid, Audie Murphy, Jack Palance, Lone Ranger, Richard Boone, James Arness and Clint Eastwood.
10461. We are now at Manzanar, the Japanese-American internment camp. On our 10 trips in the southwest, we found only one other such camp, in Delta, Utah. This Manzanar has the advantage of being located on its original location. The first thing we see is the guard tower looming over the land.
There is a big visitorís center. A volunteer speaks to us about the camp. He was here for 3.5 years, the time from his seventh year of life to his eleventh year of life.
The average age was 18 years. In the winter months, he learned a lot of card games to pass the time. He has only 1/16 Japanese blood in him.
The young boy would sneak out for a swim and to catch trout by hand. Today there are four structures on the camp. A good Samaritan and policeman named David Davidson helped his family out a lot, and the now old man is still beholden to the good man.
Then they showed us a documentary on the internment camps. Afterwards, we took photos of the two barrack at Block 14 and the messhall. We drove around back to the obelisk memorial. A young Japanese-American told us that she thanked God that none of her family were interned here.
We leave Manzanar.
10471. Reach the town of Independence on Rt. 395.
10496. In Big Pine, we take a right to go up into the mountains via Rt. 168 to see the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. Itís 24 miles up there. 24 miles does not seem like much, but when you are twisting and turning sharply almost every minute it is quite a way.
10498. Go over Owens River bridge.
10503. Sign for Inyo National Forest.
10509. Turn left on White Mountain Road.
10512. Pinyon Nature Trail and picnic area.
10514. Grandview campground.
10517. Viewpoint. Left to right are the Inyo Mountains. We can see the road below us. Thereís a valley on the extreme left. Views of Inyo Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas.
Two miles more to go.
Beautiful green mountain tops here in the Inyo Mountains.
We went into the Visitorís Center.
From Wikipedia. A bristlecone pine can refer to one of three species of pine trees (family Pinaceae, genus Pinus, subsection Balfourianae). . . . Pinus longaeva, is among the longest-lived life forms on Earth. The oldest Pinus longaeva is more than 5,000 years old, making it the oldest known individual of any species.
We were going to go on the Discovery Trail of one mile, but it started to rain.
10542. We get back on Rt. 395. The round-trip took 46 miles.
10549. Finally, we see some cows.
10555. Reach the town of Bishop.
10574. Vista Point. Sierra Nevadas and Inyo Mountains.
10585. Crowley Lake. It really looks a beautiful dark blue at this time of the afternoon -- 5:46 pm.
10594. Mammoth Lakes.
10597. Inyo National Forest.
10604. Going uphill.
10609. June Lake Loop.
10611. We can see Mono Lake in the distance.
10613. Pass by turn for Mono Lake southside.
10618. Reach the town of Lee Vining. We stay at the El Mono Hotel. The room in the Mono Hotel was the smallest room we have ever stayed in. After we got over the shock, I said we will have a good story to tell. The room had no television. It did have a radio, but it just was not reliable, so we couldnít use it. There was no air conditioning, so we had to open the windows. We couldnít close the blinds the whole way, because we were counting on the breezes to be our air conditioning. There was no dead bolt on the door. Needless to say, but we did not feel safe and we felt open to the world and very vulnerable.
We ate at the BBQ around the corner from the hotel. They give you a great deal of food. Rosemary says the ribs were okay, I didnít really care for them.
Odometer was 10618 so we traveled 271 miles this day
Film Museum in Lone Pine
Manzanar - National Historic Site
Sierra Viewpoint & Bristlecone Pine Forest
Day 4. May 31, 2016, Tuesday.
Odometer reads 10618.
We go north a short distance on Rt. 395 to get to the northside of Mono Lake.
From Wikipedia: Mono Lake is a large, shallow saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago as a terminal lake in an endorheic basin. The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. These salts also make the lake water alkaline. (An endorheic basin is a closed drainage basin that retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water.)
There is a Visitorís Center there, but we came too early for access.
They have a nice garden area. Bitterbrush was in bloom with its yellow flowers in May and June.
Rabbitbrush with light green leaf stalks.
They also have a small geological display of boulders of: 1)granite; 2) rhyolite; 3) pumice Ė made of highly porous obsidian; 4) obsidian.
Among the grasses are wild rye, rice grass and bunchgrass.
10621. Leaving north Mono Lake.
10631. Reach southside of Mono Lake. This is where you really get to see the famous tufa.
From Wikipedia: Tufa is a variety of limestone (calcium carbonate), formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from ambient temperature water bodies.
We paid the $3.00 fee they asked for via an envelope.
What surprised me the most was that most of the tufa was up on dry land surrounded by desert plants. The water authorities cut the supply of water to Mono Lake, so the water levels fell and this left many of the tufa towers stranded on dry land. The water authorities now have to provide more water to Mono Lake.
Some of the tufa towers are three stories high.
The lake has a lot of brine shrimp and is the main foundation of the Mono Lake food chain.
From Mono Lake we get on Rt. 120 west into Yosemite National Park. Here we begin what is known as Tioga Pass. The first canyon is Lee Vining Canyon where people are camping in the valley.
10651. Our first lake, Ellery Lake, is surrounded by mountains.
10653. Tioga Lake still has ice.
10654. Yosemite National Park entrance station.
10657. Thereís a meadow on the left called Dana Meadows with Dana Fork River.
10660. We see a sign: Tuolumne Lodge Closed. We were disappointed to miss the seeing the Tuolumne Meadows, but we did get to see the Lembert Dome which is really big. In addition, we took photos of the Tuolumne River and Bridge.
10670. Tenaya Lake.
10673. Olmstead Point. Stopping here gives a great view of the Half-Dome granite rock. This is the dome that people hike up with help from cables.
10682. Yosemite Creek is really roaring along. Stopped for photos.
We decide to skip the Yosemite Valley area, the main hub, for this day as itís getting late and we have to get to our hotel in Oakhurst, California, south of the national park. We follow the signs for Rt. 41 and the road takes us south of the Merced River.
10734. Wawona Visitor Center. We stopped here. Itís the first visitorís center that the people see coming from south to north through the national park.
Also at Wawona is a golf course, a campground, and the Big Trees Lodge, formerly called the Wawona Hotel (registered as a National Historic Landmark).
10739. We are out of Yosemite National Park.
10752. Reach Oakhurst on Rt. 41 going south.
10753. Reach Best Western Hotel.
We ate nearby at Dennyís.
Odometer was 10754 so we drove 136 miles driven for the day.
Mono Lake near Visitor Center
Mono Lake South Tufa Area
Tioga Road Before Park Entrance Station
Tioga Road Park Entrance and Beyond
Day 5. June 1, 2016, Wednesday.
Odometer reads 10754.
10796. Just after a long tunnel, there is a famous parking area that gives a "tunnel view" of Yosemite Valley. You can see El Capitan, Bridal Falls and the Half-Dome. Unfortunately for us, the valley was covered in a terrible haze and a clear view of the valley was not available. We decided we would stop back on another day.
10798. Cathedral Rocks/Spires are a prominent collection of cliffs, buttresses and pinnacles located on the south side of the valley near its entrance. The valley stretches for 7.5 miles (11 km) in a roughly east-west direction, with an average width of about 1 mile (1.6 km).
Our next stop was at Bridal Vail Falls. Itís a beautiful waterfall and standing in front of it, you will get wet.
10802. We drive down the one-way Southside Drive. Yosemite Falls views and Yosemite Village. We wait for the shuttle bus to take us to Yosemite Village. We first go to the Visitorís Center which has a lot of information on the national park.
Itís a hot day, but itís not bad. We head for the Ansel Adams Gallery. They have some of his photographs and expensive artistic gifts.
Stopped at Dignanís Deli which was very busy. Ate and drank on the patio.
We bought souvenirs at the Yosemite Store.
Back in the car, we went onto the one-way exit road, the Northside Road. We wanted to get better photos of Yosemite Falls without going all the way around and back onto Southside Road again. Yosemite Falls is the tallest falls in the United States. We park at the Lower Yosemite fall parking area and then walk south through the meadow separating Northside and Southside Roads. We cross over the Sentinel Bridge. The Merced River is really overflowing its banks.
We reach the Chapel on Southside Road. Then we go to the north side of Southside Road and take photos of Yosemite Falls. The Falls are very pretty. Guidebooks had told us that from this point we would see all 3 levels of the falls.
And we now head for home at the Best Western Hotel in Oakhurst. The journey there is a very winding one and that gets tiresome to say the least.
Odometer was 10851 so we drove 97 miles driven for the day.
Wawona Tunnel & Bridalveil Falls
El Capitan & Merced River
Yosemite Falls & Cook's Meadow
Day 6. June 2, 2016, Thursday.
Odometer reads 10851.
10897. The trip from Oakhurst to Yosemite Valley is 46 miles.
10898. We stop to take photos of the building of the Sierra Club LeConte Memorial. Geologist Joseph LeConte and John Muir founded the Sierra Club in 1892.
10899. This is the end of the road for regular vehicles. There is a big parking area here. We took some photos of the area. These included photos of the Half-Dome. We also took photos of the meadow at the last campground at Half Dome Village.
10901. We are now at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. Earlier it was known as the Ahwahnee Hotel. It was opened in 1927. The name was changed in 2016 because of a legal dispute between the US Government, which owns the property, and the outgoing concessionaire, Delaware North, which claims rights to the trademarked name. The hotel was found by David and Jennie Curry, owners and operators of Curry Village, who were schoolteachers who arrived in Yosemite Valley in 1899.
Interiors of the Ahwahnee Hotel were adapted for Stanley Kubrick's horror film The Shining (1980), and the films Caine Mutiny (1954) and Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day (1996) include footage of the Ahwahnee hotel.
Rosemary and I were impressed by the hotel.
We also visited the store at Half-Dome Village, originally called Curry Village.
We stop near the Wawona Tunnel to get photos of the Tunnel View. This time, the weather was not hazy and we got some good photos of the valley.
We decided to go to Glacier Point, which overlooks Yosemite Valley. There were so many people already at Glacier Point, that the rangers stopped us and made us take a ride the rest of the way to Glacier Pointby bus. We had to wait for the bus. We got a ride on the third bus.
What glorious views from Glacier Point. We could see the Yosemite Lodge, Yosemite Village, the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, Yosemite Falls, the Merced River, and the Half-Dome. Behind the Half-Dome, you could see the Vernal Fall and the upper falls, known as the Nevada Falls.
10932. We are back on Route 51 headed for Oakhurst.
10963. We reach Oakhurst. Itís 31 miles from Oakhurst to Chinquapin where the road is that takes people to Glacier Point.
Odometer was 10966, so we drove 115 miles.
Yosemite Hotel & Half Dome Village
Views From Glacier Point
Day 7. June 3, 2016, Friday.
Odometer reads 10966.
10993. Heading into farmland.
10997. Pass a winery. Later we pass by Olive trees.
11001. We take Exit 128 off of Rt. 41. We get onto Rt. 180 east heading for Kingís Canyon National Park.
11009. Still on 180 east. Our side of the highway has three lanes.
11025. Itís 40 miles to Kingís Canyon from here.
11027. Crossing Kingís River.
11032. Two big hills. Later see some agricultural canals.
11035. Going into the mountains of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Rt. 180 enters the mountains, we are ascending and now the road is very winding.
11040. Squaw Valley.
11049. Going through Giant Sequoia National Moment.
11050. Lots of turn-outs from which to see the valley below on the right.
11053. Snowline Lodge. Lots of dead trees.
11058. Sequoia Lake.
11059. Tulare County Line. Elevation 6,000 feet.
11060. Kingís Canyon National Park.
11061. Kingís Canyon National Park entrance station, called the Big Stump Entrance Station. The ranger tells us that it is estimated that 40 million trees are dying because of drought, bark beetles and other stresses on the trees. Here also is the Big Stump Picnic Area.
11062. We reach the Grant Grove Village. There are quite a few buildings here. We go for the Visitorís Center as always on our trips. We spent $168 dollars there so they gave us a nice Kingís Canyon tote bag for free. Then we went to the Gift Shop but there was really not that much there.
We keep heading north on Rt. 180. We are now at the Grant Tree. It is the second largest tree in the world and is 1,650 years old. Itís a big tree alright. We donít see any trees that big in New York.
We see manzanita bushes. They have small, pink flowers, elliptical, pointed leaves and brown bark.
Rosemary takes pictures of a fallen sequoia tree that was once used as horse stables. Itís stump was burned and it was hollowed out for the horses.
Saw an Incense Cedar tree (Calocedrus decurrens). The bark is hard and rough.
White Fir (Abies concolor).
Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana), which is the largest pine tree with the longest cones of any conifer.
Begin the Kings Canyon Scenic Highway where we saw panels telling about the damage done by the 1955 McGee fire.
11070. Turn-out, but photos of a limited area.
Pass by the Princess Campground.
We start to take the route down to see Hume Lake. We didnít know how long the road was, so we turned around. We saw later that the distance was three miles. Should have kept going.
11077. Turn-out to see the mountains. Took photos. Saw white Yucca in bloom on long stems. See more valley views. See the South Fork of the Kingís River.
11080. At Vista Point. Here you can see the junction of two rivers. The Middle Fork meets the South Fork of the Kingís River.
11082. Kingís Lodge burned down.
11085. Take close up photos of the Yucca species we saw earlier.
11087. Sharp turn here with our car up against the mount on the right side.
11088. We are even with the river now. Before the rivers were set in deep canyons.
11092. Small water falls with lots of white water.
11093. The water is moving more slowly here. Pass Grizzly Falls Picnic Area. You can see the falls by just driving by the area. We didnít stop.
11094. Now the river is full of white water. This is Rt. 180 mile marker 136 miles.
11095. Water calmer again.
Pack Station Bridge.
11098. Reach Cedar Grove Village. We have something to drink while sitting on the porch of the Visitorís Center overlooking the river.
We now turn around to go back to our hotel in Oakhurst.
The rush hour traffic back to Oakhurst was brutal.
11225. Back in Oakhurst. Ate at Burger King.
Odometer was about 11225 so we traveled 259 miles driven for the day
General Grant Tree
Kings River Scenic Highway Rt. 180
Day 8. June 4, 2016, Saturday.
Odometer reads 11225.
We leave from Oakhurst headed for Sequoia National Park, which is just south of Kingís Canyon National Park.
11320. Driven 95 miles.
11321. Take the Generalís Highway (Rt. 128) going southeast.
11324. Viewpoint. Canít see much of the valley because of the trees.
11326. Kingís Canyon overlook. Left to right are: Spanish Mountains, Tombstone Ridge, Mt. Reinstein, Mt. Goddard, Kettle Dome, Buena Vista Trailhead.
11327. Valley view here.
11328. Big Baldy Trailhead.
11328. Montecito Lake and Montecito-Sequoia Resort.
11330. Organization Camps: San Joaquin and Far Horizons.
11332. Stony Creek Camping.
11333. Stony Creek Village and Stony Creek campground. We stopped here and bought some souvenirs.
11334. Leaving Sequoia National Monument. Sequoia National Park welcome sign.
11336. Cabin Creek.
11337. Dorst Creek.
11338. Dorst Creek Campground.
11339. Little Baldy Saddle.
11340. White flower bush, Long flower spikes, elliptical leaves.
11341. Suwanee Creek.
11342. Halsted Picnic area.
11345. Wuksachi Lodge.
11346. Clover Creek.
11347. Lodgepole Area Camping. Bridge over Marble Fork of Keweah River. Lodgepole Visitorís Center and Market.
11349. Wolverton. We turn left onto Wolveron Road in order to see the Sherman tree. The place was packed with people, but we did get a parking place. Rosemary couldnít walk all the way down to the Sherman Tree because of her back problems, so she showed me how to use the camera and I went down to the Sherman Tree to take some photos. The Sherman tree was well visited this day. Took some pictures and then came back.
11352. Leaving the Sherman Tree area.
11355. Pinewood Picnic Area.
11356. Giant Forest Musem. The place was so busy that we decided not to go to the museum. Itís a good museum they say.
11359. A horseshoe bend followed by winding roads. Then we ran into the Four Guardsmen: four sequoia trees in a row. Cars going back and forth can be driven right between a pair of two trees. Then came Crystal Cave.
11363. Took photos of Moro Rock.
11364. Big Fern Spring.
11368. Buckeye Flat followed by Hospital Rock.
11370. Potwisha Campground.
11371. Tunnel Rock. Cars used to travel under this rock set upon two rock stanchions. Now the vehicles are too big to do this, but they left the Tunnel Rock in its place. We took photos of the river below us.
11372. Stopped for more river photos.
11373. Foothills Visitorís Center and Park Headquarters. Then we leave Sequoia National Park.
11388. Lake Kaweah is huge. It is still going on. Pass by Lemon Hill Recreation Area, part of the lake area. Finally, we reach the damned area of the lake.
11390. Lemon Cove.
11399. Left turn for Exeter, California.
11400. Arrive in Exeter.
11401. Arrive at Best Western Hotel in Exeter.
Odometer was 11405, so we drove 180 miles driven for the day
Sequoia National Park I
Sequoia National Park II
Day 9. June 5, 2016, Sunday.
Odometer reads 11405.
11431. From Rt. 198 in Exeter, wed drive to Mineral King Road and turn right. This is before reaching the southern entrance gate at Sequoia National Park.
The road is a rough one. We can hear the river below us, but we canít see it.
11434. Finally, past 3.5 miles onto the road we see the river below us.
11435. Take river photos. This is the East Fork of the Keweah River.
11437. We go over a bridge over the river. The bridge was built in 1923. The water is running fast.
11438. We are now on the north side of the river, but we canít see it.
11439. Can see the river waters again. Find a lot of flowers we donít know. There is a cucumber vine with a very large cucumber fruit. Took river photos from a farm.
11440. See a small water fall ten mile into the trip. The water goes under the road and heads down the cliffs on the right side.
11440. Saw a purple-flowered bush, a plantain plant, a holly bush and the four-spot flower.
1140. Set the gate of the Sequoia National Park. Thereís a place to pay a fee for the park.
11443. Sweet pea type flower in bloom.
11444. St. Johnís wort flower in bloom. We canít see the river.
11445. Orange flower plant. Notice three Sequoia trees.
11447. See another park gate.
11448. The road is bigger here.
11449. Early cabin.
Atwell Mill Campground.
See horsetail plants.
Dirt road her.
11451. Paved road.
There are quite a few houses here.
Silver City Mountain Resort. Cabins for rent. They have Swiss Chalets, family cabins and historic cabins.
11452. Curvy roads again after Silver City Resort.
11454. Cold Springs Campground. Then comes the Mineral King Ranger Station.
Tar Gap Parking area. Photos of snow-capped mountains.
Sawtooth Parking area near the end of the road.
11456. We turn around.
11466. Stopped on the way for flower photos.
11486. Rosemary takes photos of Lake Kaweah.
11523. Back at the Best Western in Exeter.
Odometer was 11523. We drove 118 miles for the day
Mineral King Road I
Mineral King Road II
Day 10. June 6, 2016, Monday.
Odometer reads 11523.
Today is mostly a driving day from Exeter to Las Vegas, Nevada. We go from Exeter south to Lindsay, then west to Tulare and then south to Bakersfield.
From Bakersfield we go on Rt 58 to near Barstow to get onto US 15. US 15 takes us all the way to Las Vegas.
11645. Tehachapi Pass windmill farm.
11676. Exit 186. Edwards Air Force Base with its aviation background in breaking the sound barrier and with the space shuttle.
Exit 188 is North Edwards.
11679. Las Vegas is 204 miles away.
11693. We are down to a one lane highway for us.
11703. Divided and 4-lane highway.
11712. Back to one lane.
11721. Two lanes again.
11725. Pick up US 15.
11729. Stop at McDonalds.
11839. Primm, Nevada. Filled up with gas.
11881. Turn our rented Toyota Camry into Hertz.
Odometer was 11881, so we drove 358 miles driven for the day
Total distance was almost 2,000 - 1981 to be exact.
My Favorites 2016