Robyn's Travelling Adventures travel blog

Flags

At the Bay park

The Golden Gate Bridge in the distance

Getting closer...

 

 

On the bridge

View from Bridge

Amused me...

 

 

View from other end of the bridge

I made it over!

Entering Yosemite National Park

Bridalveil Falls

 

El Capitan (It's a big rock...)

 

Yosemite Falls

Squirrel!

Giant Sequoia Tree with hole through it

Fallen Giant

 

Sunset on the way home from Yosemite


On Sunday I went to Golden Gate Park for a walk by the lake and some of the gardens. Then I headed back to Fisherman's Wharf to investigate some of the shops, it was pretty much a relaxing day. I had booked a trip to Yosemite National Park and the Giant Sequoia trees for Monday, however I got an email saying Monday was fully booked so I changed it to Tuesday.

So on Monday I headed back to Fisherman's Wharf to hire a bike so that I could ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was an enjoyable and scenic bike ride before getting to the bridge, you cycle past the marina and through Chrissy Field, by the beach, and all the time you are aware that the bridge is getting closer and closer. Then after a couple of hills you are at the start of the bridge, with amazing views across the bay to San Francisco and Alcatraz and Marin County on the opposite end of the bridge. Cycling across the bridge is interesting, you have to dodge other tourist cyclists, pedestrians who seem to think that walking 5 abreast is an excellent idea and then you get the cyclists who must use the bridge as training because they have all the professional cycling gear. After narrowly avoiding killing several pedestrians I made it to Vista Point on the other end. The bike hire company suggests cycling all the way to a town called Sausalito then coming back on the ferry, however seeing as the point of biking the bridge was not only because it would be fun, but also the cheapest way as I had a special offer through the hostel I decided not to Sausalito and turned around after a 10 minute rest to try and kill...I mean avoid more pedestrians! It was certainly a fun way of going across the bridge, and I also got a workout and realised that I've been getting unfit and eating too many free pancakes!

At 5.45am on Tuesday morning I got up and got ready for my adventure at Yosemite National Park. I got picked up by the tour van at 6.30am and we soon started on the 4 hour drive to the park. Our guide was very informative, telling us the history of the bridges in San Francisco and then some of the points of interest along the way to the park. We stopped to buy food for breakfast and a picnic lunch about half way to the park. As we entered the park we were told all about how it was found and that it was the first area that was declared protected, thus starting the formation of National Parks, although it was second park to be designated as a National Park after Yellowstone.

It feels like everything in Yosemite is big, well giant! All the trees tower metres above you, there are waterfalls falling from giant cliff faces and then you have El Capitan, the biggest granite monolith in the world! Yosemite is also home to the 5th tallest waterfall in the world, Bridalveil Falls, and this was our first stop, we had a short walk to the base of the falls, and even though you stand a fair way away you still get some of the spray on you, but as it was a very hot day, it was nice and refreshing!

After Bridalveil Falls we drove to Tunnel view, one of the postcard picture views across the park, which was awesome, we saw El Capitan and Bridalveil Falls from here. Our next stop was near the base of El Capitan itself so we could admire it's size and wonder how some people have managed to climb over 1000m in about 4 hours. Next was Sentinel Bridge and a view of Half Dome, another granite monolith but only half of the dome still stands. We then stopped for lunch after a walk to the base of Yosemite Falls. Whilst eating lunch we were visited by a squirrel. One lady said it was a chipmunk, but I looked at pictures of the native animals later and found out is was actually a squirrel, although I forget what kind now. We ended up seeing several of these squirrels after that.

After lunch we headed for the Giant Sequoia Grove, home to, obviously, Giant Sequoia Trees! There was about a mile walk down to the start of the grove, and you can't miss the first tree, it's the largest one they have there, although there may be bigger ones in other sequoia groves in the state. It is huge. And no photo can convey the size! They can grow up to 50m tall and 15m wide! There is also a Tunnel Tree, a now dead Sequoia tree with a tunnel cut through the trunk that you can walk through, in the past people used to drive through it apparently but they can't anymore. After this one is the Fallen Giant, this fell down in a storm about 25 years ago, and you can see its root system as it's been uprooted from the ground.

On our way back from the Sequoia Grove we stopped by a meadow as there seemed to be quite a crowd of tourists with cameras and our guide said that maybe there was a bear, so we stopped to investigate. And sure enough, there was a black bear going about looking for lunch and trying to avoid having his photograph taken! I did get a photo, but it looks like a brown smudge where his back was. Because even though he was a black bear, they can have brown fur. Just to confuse you I guess! But it was pretty cool to see a wild bear, especially as he soon disappeared so we were very lucky. There were also several birds that I saw, including an Acorn Woodpecker, a hummingbird (I think, as it was very small and had hummingbird type movements), I also think I saw some kind of bird of prey over a meadow at one point, but it was too far away to tell, but it had a large wingspan and was hovering and soaring rather than flapping its wings. But the bear was the best bit! And the Sequoia trees. And the waterfalls. Hehe. It was all brilliant, and I'm so glad I got to go to one of America's most famous National Parks.



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