Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Dam Day

We left Las Vegas at 8 am and drove to Grand Canyon via the Hoover Dam. We drove for about 300 miles. I accidently reset my trip meter so I don't know how far we have come since June 3rd. We arrived at the hotel, a Best Western at Grand Canyon and checked it. After getting all settled, we found the A/C was only blowing air. The TV didn't work right either. I went to the office and they sent someone to fix it. He needs a part that has to be ordered, and they gave us another room. No problem for them except that it was 100 yards away in another building, and they didn't have any carts available. Now this is a big place and rather expensive. I complained and we will see what they do. After finally getting stuff moved and re-set up, I started this blog. Power has gone off the PC and then the pictures won't load. Imagine Hoover Dam - we were there. Imagine bleak looking mountains, very rocky hills, we were there. Imagine the biggest canyon - deep and wide. We were there. I can't publish tonight. I will try again tomorrow.
OK So now its working this morning. I put up a few before our tour this morning

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bakersfield to Las Vegas, via Barstow (another place we could not call home).

Left Bakersfield about 8:15. Had a long day yesterday so we slept in a little. Looking forward to driving through desert, as we had not done that before anywhere. Long lonesome stretches with few cars on the road, peaceful, silent,  ahhh -  just us and our Honda.
We stopped at a fruit stand not far from Bakersfield. Bought some Pink Ladies, and some white Peaches.
The flowers are beautful, as in so many places.

A few pictures of the terrain along the way.

It's a little hard to read, but the sign says "ZZYZX Rd."

It looked like rain, they have been saying rain for several days. Heard a local say, "I'll believe it when I see it" Seems she was right.

I thought we saw a lot of wind farms in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

There were no varmits in the hills waitin' to attack the train.

This looked like it was the background for a movie. It did not look real.

So much for a quiet ride, just us and our Honda

This place is a cousin to Pedro's "South of the Border" just at the Nevada border with California
Just the place to stay.

We stayed in one of his places in Wyoming- no thanks.

 Las Vegas - construction added to the crowds, confusion, and wind.
The wind has been blowing for a month longer than normal.

Took a drive through the main strip, and left for our hotel. Not for us. 
How long has she been here? As long as Paul Anka?

Tomorrow we go to Grand Canyon and spend 2 nights. A break afteer the last hectic weeks of driving and seeing and blogging.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sequoia, Kings Canyon - 12 hours, Twisting roads and 2- $5 ice cream bars

Jim in front of a giant Sequoia

I thought since everything was gigantic today I would make the pictures bigger. (Actually I just realized I could)

As we started up into the mountains, the Sierra Nevada chain, we came through miles of vineyards and orchards all neatly in rows and trimmed. When we left we came down another way and found more of the same. We drove 279 miles today and at least 50 was along orchards or vineyards.
One of many giant sequoias in the park.These and all in a grove of about 4 acres, with trails neatly placed, fencing of western cedar to protect the trees from varmits.

If you look closely there are people on the right side of the tree. This is General Grant tree, many of the trees are named, which is the largest in the area, third largest in the world. It is 1700 years old, 40 feet diameter at the base, 120 feet circumference, 1254 tons. These are all calculated, Luke based on downed trees which have been measured, weighed etc
The next few are in King's Canyon, a 32 mile deadend drive that took us about 4 hours. We have 170 pictures from today

The stream you see in the middle is about 20 feet across and totally white water.

Now for the flower part of our blog
Yucca flowers taller than a man, growing everywhere wild.
Yuccas and cactus
Little "blue bonnet" like flowers that grow wild in a lot of places we have seen
The roses are in the median of a 4 lane highway that we took for 60 miles from Versalia to Bakersfield
I was next to what looked like black eyed susans.

They warn people with signs everwhere about the bears."Lock up your stuff in special lockers" etc, then have a picnic area here. I think the bears added the picnic area part.

These are Grizzly Falls
This is Kings River, which you saw in the picture from the road higher up from the canyon floor. The road follows this along the floor for about 8 miles and it looks like this almost all the way. It may not be this rapid in late summer. There is still snow on the mountain tops.
BTW The $5 ice cream bars were at a station not far from where I took this picure. At least it was Haagen Daz

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thuffering thuckatacth, its about Yosemite, Sam

Bridal Falls from Tioga Pass

We left Gardnerville at 7:30 and drove to Yosemite, arriving at the Lee Vining Entrance at 9 am. The drive up was full of good pictures, but landscape unlike what we were about to see.
We did not see much wild life as we did in Yellowstone, but the terrain is totally different.
We have started to run into summer crowds which makes it tougher to see and do things.
We missed our mid morning coffee. There was one place I should have stopped. Gas prices in the area seem to average around $4.75. Yesterday in Nevada I paid $3.52.
The is part of the Sierra Nevada chain to the south-east of Yosemite
Mono Lake bowl after we came over the Tioga Pass alt 9538.

The large Mt, in right center is called Half Dome as it has a perfectly flat face. Vertical assault challenge.

Trees growing in rock
This pine sent out roots 14 feet in 2 directions over a solid rock and into a crevace.
This has a large root ball on the ground with roots encircling a rock

Horsetail Falls
Another view of Bridal Falls
We saw many falls as we drove through the park.

Two pictures of El Capitan. No climbers that we could see today. Barb wanted me to try it.

Some flowers growing out of crevaces in the rock

Tomorrow we head to Sequoia National Park