This morning I left Madera and headed north to Yosemite National Park. I had never been there but had visited Sequoia National Park a number of years ago, so I wasn't surprised by the size of the giant sequoias. My Daisy was too big so I took the shuttle to the Mariposa Grove, where I hiked some of the trails. I had failed to eat lunch or even carry a snack with me, so I was really tired and hungry by the time I got back to the shuttle stop.
The Giant Sequoia reaches full height in 800 years but continues to expand as long as it lives. The oldest is believed to be almost 3,000 years old. A sequoia shatters like a column of glass when it strikes the ground. The great expense and difficulty of logging sequoias and the brittle nature of the wood caused loggers to discontinue cutting them before 1900. If it hadn't been for that, we would no longer have any of them; the loggers would have gotten them all.
Then I drove along Glacier Point Road where I saw Inspiration Point and Glacier Point. By then it was very late and almost dark. I was surprised at the number of people at Glacier Point at that time of day. Many people were lined up along the overlook rails to photograph the view in the late evening light. Of course, I was among them.
I had erred in not making reservations for a camping space; the campgrounds were full. I was really tempted to spend the night in the park at a pull-out but decided against it. It was so dark I couldn't see anything. I looked up at the sky and was blown away by the view. WOW! I could see the Milky Way and all the other stars so clearly that it gave me chills. They looked huge. I didn't feel comfortable camping in such darkness, though, so I kept driving along the very curvy California highway 120 for about four hours until I finally reached Tioga Pass (elevation 9,945 feet). I was really disgusted with myself. However, if it hadn't been for this mistake, I wouldn't have seen the magnificent stars.
I dry camped in the Mobil service station and restaurant parking lot at Tioga Pass. It was very chilly so I put a blanket on my bed. During the night the temperature dropped to 40 degrees, so I got up in the wee hours to get another blanket. I woke up again around 5:00 and turned the furnace on. I finally got up for good around 7:30. That furnace heat felt wonderful.