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Old 12-03-2011, 03:25 AM   #1
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Default while you were working (or whatever) part 3

November 24th to December 2nd

Background: After retiring last year, we bought a Roadtrek-Chevy van / camper / RV, planning to travel the US (and some of Canada). We took two month-long trips last winter (Gulf coast and Southern states) and spring (Southern Atlantic coast and Southern states), amounting to about 10,000 miles total. We spent the summer at home, away from the crowds, and making dozens of modifications to the van. We planned on leaving by mid-September for the Northwest (including Yellowstone, Glacier, Mount Rainier, etc.) and then down the Pacific coast and in-land California, then down to the Southwest and the Southeast as weather dictated, but one thing after another delayed us. Well, we finally left on Thanksgiving afternoon! We skipped the Northwest and traveling straight across the country due to weather concerns. Instead we hustled in a southwesterly direction to get west of all the mountains before any storms could get us, although we still hit a really nasty wind/rain storm from mid- to western-Oklahoma. We covered a lot of ground in the first four days, and just stayed each night in Wal-Mart parking lots or at rest stops along the road.

But along the way to California, we still managed to stop at Joplin MO to look at the tornado damage (terrible), Oklahoma City to look at the bombing memorial site (somber), Meteor Crater (big hole in the ground, but interesting) and The Grand Canyon (MUCH bigger hole in the ground, and very scenic) both in Arizona.

Once in CA, we could really slow down, and did. Much to our surprise, not much snow had fallen in the Sierra Nevada mountains on the Eastern side of the state, and the weather was quite good, so some of the places we had originally hoped to go to were still in our grasp.

We spent a day and a half in Kings Canyon - Sequoia National Park (they've sort of combined them), seeing the biggest/oldest trees on earth as well as some spectacular scenery. The size and magnificence of these trees is just unbelievable.

We rested part of a day in Fresno so we could catch up on shopping, laundry, etc. We also took a tour of another RV van converter factory (Sportsmobile)

Then on to the jewel, Yosemite National Park where we have spent 3 days so far. Some areas and roads are closed, but the neat thing about hitting all these National Parks in the “really off-season” is that there are very few other tourists and RV’s around, and you essentially have the place to yourself. The majority of campgrounds are closed, but we had an entire large one to ourselves one night. Yosemite is so busy in the summer that they sometimes have gridlock on the roads (really), and it must be a real zoo with cars and big-RV’s stopping to get photos, of which you just can’t get enough. Anyway, enough of that. Words (at least our words) cannot describe Yosemite. John Muir’s words and Ansel Adams’ photographs are the best descriptions. Wow, “if you have to work”, this would be the place! We may stay a few more days, and we’ll try to hit it again next September-October before they close the roads to Tioga Pass, Hetch Hetchy, and Glacier Point. But we’d also like to see it in the spring when the many, many waterfalls are even more spectacular (they are sort of “thin” right now, but still beautiful), and there’ll be a lot more waterfalls, plus lakes like Diamond Lake will have water instead of sandbars in them.

Dick, Marti, & Glen Allegany NY RT09/10C190P “no more deadlines”
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: while you were working (or whatever) part 3

Good read Dick. Thanks.
We had a browse of Yosemite over 2 years ago, in the Spring, and it was what you've described and more.
El Capitan was really something to see, and to think some folks climb that, and camp on the rock face overnight
in what amounts to a hammock, was pretty unbelievable to imagine.
We saw some leftover snow at the roadsides and up the leeward slopes, and the other thing that stands out was
the layer of pollen like a sticky, electrostatic dust on everything, we presumed from the trees.
Still it's a must see, if you like "post card" scenery, and we certainly enjoyed it.
We'll be there again sometime, we hope.
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