Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Yosemite National Park

Do you see a theme with all these national parks?

On Memorial Day we moved to the Escapees park in Coarsegold, CA, just south of Yosemite. Besides belonging to WIN (Wondering Individuals Network), we also are lifetime members of Escapees RV Club.

Sierra Park is a co-op, created and run by volunteer Escapees. It’s one of many across the country, but of the ones we have visited, it’s the nicest. Built on rolling hills, the lots have a feeling of privacy not usually found in an RV park.
Although we did want to see the Escapees park, our main reason for visiting was its convenient location – about 20 miles south of Yosemite NP.

After checking weather.com, we picked the days with the least forecasted clouds for our drives into the park. First up was a drive to Glacier Point for the incredible views of Yosemite Valley. Luckily, the road had just opened for the season. I guess they get a ‘bit’ of snow there.

It’s a narrow, twisting road with a 25’ vehicle length limit. Unfortunately we had a bit of problem on the way. On one of the tight turns, we were sideswiped by an El Monte rental RV (that I think was over 25’.) We were on the inside of the turn and saw the rig coming. Ron moved over as far as he could, but the RV just got closer and closer. By the time it hit us, we were actually stopped. We thought sure the RV was going to take the whole side off our poor little Saturn. There really wasn’t as much damage as the grinding sounds would indicate and a park worker two cars behind the RV chased it down so we could get the insurance information.
The people in the RV were from the Netherlands, spoke perfect English and were very nice. They said they didn’t even know they had hit us – I guess it was only loud in our car. When Ron called El Monte the next day, they already knew about it and set us up with an adjuster. It could be much worst, but it’s still a hassle. I’m just glad that we hadn’t followed through on our idea to buy a new towed vehicle before this trip.

Anyway, we did finally make it to Glacier Point and were awed by the grand vistas. Here are Half Dome on the left and Nevada Fall flowing into Vernal Fall to the right.

Here I am in front of Upper Yosemite Fall.

There were the usual welfare squirrels.

Explorer Ron is pointing out Half Dome, one of the most recognizable features of Yosemite.

We also stopped at Mariposa Grove for one last look at the giant sequoias before we leave their limited habitat. This is the Grizzly Giant – not the largest or the oldest, but unique enough to have a name.
Many of the older sequoias lose their tops due to lightning and/or fire. I guess when you stand still for 2000 years, your chances of getting struck by lightning skyrocket.

Also interesting, that large branch on the right is nearly 7 feet in diameter, which is larger than the trunk of any other tree in the surrounding forest except another sequoia.

I had heard that the sequoia that cars used to drive through had fallen, but that must have been in Sequoia NP. This one is in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite. Attempting to heal itself, the bark of this tree is growing inward.

It’s amazing to me that a tree can survive and continue to grow after being carved out like that.

I don’t know what this is, but it was growing along the side of the trail.

And here was the surprise of the day. It seems those very same trees participate in the program to pick up trash along the highway. That must be a sight to see.


  1. Love the Yosemite pictures. We're in Yellowstone and still dealing with lots of snow too. Sorry about your car. I guess it could have been a lot worse. Gotta keep an eye out for those "1-800-RV4-RENTs." Be safe.

  2. OH glad the damage was not too bad--WOW cant beleive all that snow STILL...with us here meltttttinnngggg in the heat--Super landscape photos!! Love the big trees!!

  3. In the last picture you should have cloned out the guy and put in a tree! The pictures from Glacier Point are wonderful. I haven't been there in a long time and need to go back.

  4. A ding in your new car. How awful! Hope it is easy and quick to repair--or will you wait till you return to Arizona?

  5. Do we have a new club? Wondering Individual Network.

  6. The itch to travel to that part of the US grows with each of your postings. Glad to see the damage wasn't as bad as it sounded, but it's still a pain to have to deal with getting it fixed.

  7. I think the red flower is called a snow flower. I found it in Tahoe only in the very early summer. I think it is a fungus. The bloom dies very quickly.
    I was in Yosemite a few years ago in June and hiked from the valley floor up to Glacier Point and there was NO snow. It was very warm that day. Enjoy. It's a beautiful place.