Sunday, October 3, 2010

3 more national parks Yeah!!

ItalicDeath Valley a hole in the ground

sienna needed to cool down after the long drive to Death Valley

someone actually built this during the 1920's at a est. cost of 2 million now its part of the park

free camping just outside Death Valley

After leaving Las Vegas, we headed for Death Valley national park what a contrast of bright lights, loud sounds of Vegas to hot, desolate, big nothing of Death Valley. Not much to say about Death Valley other than, make sure you have a full tank of gas and don’t overheat the car. The park itself gets less than 2 inches of rain annual and is one of the hottest places in the world. We got lost in this huge valley but lucky our Sienna was up for the drive. Finally we found our way out and camped free just outside the park.

Sequoia national park is only 4 hours from Death Valley if you don’t get lost. Now we got a TomTom GPS and sometimes in it messes up, but after reviewing the map and a 3 hour detour we arrived at Sequoia NP and what a site it was. Home to the highest concentration of large trees in the world the sequoia and the redwood. At our camp site it was apparent bears visit often each site have look boxes for food and posters warnings. I talked to a couple from UK that saw 3 bears walking along the road side.

taller than the eye can see

Jieun, the tree lover "can't get my arms around"

these trees make me look small

Yosemite national park one of most visited parks in the nation. We arrived late Thursday and the camp sites were all full so we spent the night in the parking lot. Its not allowed but it was good, we took a shower, got some snakes and drinks from the general store and than relaxed in the lounge that had Wifi, not bad for a free nights sleep and better than some of the hotels we’ved stayed at.

Its 6:30 am and Ji, up waiting for me to wake up and tired of waiting she just wakes me up again. We decided to see it the register office was open and we noticed a line up already and its only after 7. About 10 people and it appears they have camped out all night some sleeping on the ground with mats and others setting on folding chairs reading books. Crazy we thought and plus it was freezing in morning, so we joined the line for the office that opens at 8. When it finally opened another 20 or so collected behind us waiting, the ranger came out said they only had 6 sites, but lucky we lined up because after the first six we got to sign up on a list to comeback at 3pm for a site. 3 o’clock rolls around and we are back 30 or so people, the ranger comes out and he says they have 10 sites available YES! we got one $20 for the night and we got a river side site which was a big plus.

Yosemite park was stunning the valley is surrounded by granite hills that seem to shoot straight up and its this reason why its so popular with rock climbers. Tones of tall trees at the base, and crystal clear rivers. Hiking has amazing views of the valley but too bad the famous Yosemite falls was bone dry when we hiked up 3.5 hours of steep hill and sandy rocky path for this dried up spring but the view would have been worth it alone if not for my allergies acting up again must be all these dam trees.

Its been 4 days of wild and now we are off again to the city San Francisco, I have been really looking forward to this keep you posted.

the famous Yosemite fall too bad it was bone dry when we saw it

view of the valley on our hike up Yosemite falls

the river right beside our camp site

one another crystal clear lake in Yosemite National park