Friday, May 23, 2014

Oakhurst to Felton, CA

Sorry, but another twofer.  Yesterday was a long, tiring day,.

The day started with a good breakfast.  Eggs and sausage is a good way to start any day.  I love a good breakfast (or lunch or dinner)!!  After breakfast, we drove the 15 miles to Yosemite National Park, used my permanent pass to enter, and drove to a grove of the huge trees.  
These trees are known as the Sequoias, slightly smaller cousins to the Giant Redwoods seen earlier.  To me, they looked the same, huge, with deep bark, and all the foilage way up high in the trees.  Beautiful trees.  And, it was pretty cool; 51 degrees in the grove of trees.

A jacket was necessary to be comfortable.

Then to the main attractions; the features known as Half Dome and El Capatain.  To view them from a great angle (accoprding to the literature), we drove to Glacier Point, where a huge valley (the Yosemite Valley) separated us from the Half Dome.  Awesome is what it was.  Just awesome.  I can't describe how huge the granite monolith comprising Half Dome.
 It is something to see.

Then back to the main road to enter Yosemite Valley, to be able to see El Capatain.  The drive was nice, and in a while, there it was, all 3,000 feet of solid granite just off the side of the road.  I think what really gets me amazed is the size of the granite cliff, and knowing it is one solid piece of granite.  
In most places, the granite is in many smaller pieces, but here, it's all in one piece.  Huge doesn't describe it well.

We saw what we came to see, so we headed back across the state.  The central part of the state is agricultural in nature, and we saw a lot of big agricultural operations.  Strawberry fields as far as you could see, orchards for literally miles on both sides of the road, other crops we could not determine what was growing.  Big, big operations, all being irrigated along the way.  I knew California provided a lot of vegetables and fruits for the nation; now I see where they were grown.

Finally, back near the coast, we went through a city that Bar's sister in law lived in years ago, Sunnyvale.  A neat, pretty town from what we saw.

Then southwest towards the coast.  We got on one road, Old La Honda Road, that had no lane or side markers, no guardrails, but was as crooked as the Tail of the Dragon, a world-famous motorcycle road in western NC.  I was enjoying the drive until we met another car in a hairpin curve and missed it by mere inches.  Very close call.  That happened two more times in the 5.5 miles of the road.  Pretty unnerving, to say the least.

That road emptied in La Honda, a small community not too far from the ocean.  By now, it was getting dark, and we needed a place for the night.  Using the gps, I found a motel near Santa Cruz where the office closed at 9pm.  I reserved a cabin, and took off for the motel on dark, curvy roads.  Even though we had an hour, and the motel was 54 miles away, and I drove absolutely as hard as I could on the mountain roads, as we looked out for deer (saw 2), we got there at 9:08.  Thankfullly, they waited up for us.  Whew, that was close.

Once in the cabin, we crashed for the night, both very tired.  
Last night's dinner was a bag of peanuts and a granola bar for me, and a granola bar for Big Sis.  We were too tired to go into the little town to find anything to eat.

this morning, we slept in a little, and left the motel, rode into town, and found Rocky's Grill for breakfast.  Yum!  Bacon and cheese omelette for me, and pancakes for Bar.  Actually, I ate one pancake, too.  Very good with delicious coffee.  A great start for the day.

Then down to US 1 to go south on the coast.

The first 25 or so miles were not on the coast, but instead, through medium sized towns and busy areas.  Finally, the road became a two lane road again and meandered onto the coast.  Through Big Sur, and on southward, with the road following the cliffs over the ocean below.  The road was from 50 feet to about 700 feet above the water, with sometimes only a couple of feet between the pavement and the cliff.  

Big rocks protruding up from the ocean floor, it made for a beautiful drive.  Big Sis liked this a lot.  So did I.

Near the night's destination, we stopped at Elephant Seal beach, where hundreds of elephant seals laid like sunbathers on the beach.  Big ones, little ones.  Black and brown; they were quite a sight and sound as they bawled at each other.  
We watched them swim in from deep water and stop in the surf, waiting for another wave to help push them ashore.  Once ashore, they used their front flippers to flop onto the dry sand.  They would squirm a few feet, stop to rest for a few minutes, and then wiggle a few more feet.  After several stop and gos, they stopped and went to sleep.

Just a few miles south, we stopped for the night.  

It was another very good day with perfect weather again.  We've had outstanding weather on the trip.

Tomorrow--down the coast to Los Angeles.


At May 24, 2014 at 3:40 AM , Blogger Sheila said...

Wow. Awesome pictures. Excellent post. Thank you for sharing this adventure of a lifetime.

At May 24, 2014 at 6:34 AM , Blogger Malcolm said...

Sheila, you are too kind. I'm glad you are enjoying the journey.


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