Tag Archives: California

Big Trees

This post is dedicated to the beautiful trees of California. Before heading to the Lost Coast, we drove through the Valley of the Giants to see the redwoods. These are the tallest trees in the world.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 27 Big Trees - 03

After Yosemite we drove to Sequoia National Park to check out the biggest tree of them all (well, in terms of volume)– the General Sherman Tree. It’s estimated to be between 2,300 and 2,700 years old. It’s pretty massive; however, we moved on quickly to avoid the crowds.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Instead we spent a few hours wandering around the forest getting lost and enjoying the beautiful light, until our hunger pains got the best of us.

27 Big Trees - 07 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I love this moss! This is one of about a hundred photos.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe black marks in the trunk of this dead tree are fire scars. This one has been through over 80 fires in its lifetime. 

Yosemite

“Do we still have to go?” Becci groaned from the tent.

“Yeah, we better get moving if we want to make it in time.  Don’t worry it’ll be worth it.”  It was 4:30am and I was already outside, looking up at the stars as the moon sank behind the mountains.

From our campsite, I could see a couple of headlamps slowly climbing near the top of Half Dome… someone was awake a lot earlier than us.

The girls crawled out of the tent and after packing a bag with some water and a few snacks we were soon ready to hit the trail. It was still pitch black. But we knew we had to get going if we wanted to see the sunrise from the top.26 Yosemite - 05

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Just as we got to the top, the sun crested over the peaks of the Eastern Sierras… perfect timing.

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John Muir once wrote ”If I were so time-poor as to have only one day to spend in Yosemite I should start at daybreak”.  We had three days but his advice still rings true, nothing much beats a sunrise from the top.26 Yosemite - 08

26 Yosemite - 09 After savouring the views, we made the descent back to our campsite for breakfast. 26 Yosemite - 10

We packed up the tents and shouldered our heavy packs, we were ready for part two.  Another climb to the top of Cloud’s Rest, where we could look back over the Yosemite valley and the Half Dome hike that we had done on the morning, and another perfect spot to camp. 

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Here’s a few more pics from the trip.

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Day one. Hiking in under Cathedral Peak.

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Last minute change of campsite.

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View from the campsite. Well worth the effort.

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Sunset over Half Dome

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Mountain ladies

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The compulsory cold beer back at the van.

Wish You Were Here

I really loved driving through the Sierra Nevada mountains. As you cross over and descend into the rain shadow on the east side the scenery totally changes from thick green forest to arid desert.

We were all a bit sore after our recent hike, and this area is dotted with natural hot springs.  The ranger at Tahoe had recommended one of his favourite ‘hippy dips’ just off Route 395.  We got to there pretty late in the day and were greeted by a naked couple just leaving the pools, no tan lines.  The water bubbling from the ground was almost too hot to touch and it was a stinking hot day, so we were a bit hesitant at first.  But, the water in the pools was bearable once you got used to it, so we ended up relaxing for a while and having a really good soak while overlooking the Eastern Sierra mountains… togs on. Eastern Sierras01

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From there we headed into Bodie, an old ghost town out in the middle of nowhere.  At one time the town had a population of about 6000 people. But, the gold mining in this region didn’t last and eventually everyone just up and left. Eastern Sierras05

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It’s quite an eery place, as many of the buildings have been left just as they were.  When you peek through the windows you can see the old furniture and belongings still intact, just a bit dusty.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Mono Lake is a salty old lake. Don’t taste it (Bec did, and she doesn’t recommend it).  It’s a pretty weird place with lots of unique little creatures living in it, mainly itty bitty translucent shrimp and flies that hatch their larvae underwater. And there are these cool tufa rock formations that are created by the mineral springs bubbling up through the water.Eastern Sierras12

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If you check out the inside sleeve of Pink Floyd’s ‘I Wish You Were Here’ there is a sweet photo of someone doing a handstand in the water here.  Holding a handstand for that long would have been a pretty rugged experience because the water really stings your eyes.Eastern Sierras15

We had a little van trouble that evening. For some reason it was sputtering and misfiring, then the fuel pump just kept running after I turned off the key.  In true Oscar style, it happened at the perfect time, right near a picnic area, which became our campsite for the night.  I tinkered around with it for a while and eventually it fixed itself… so I’m still confused.Eastern Sierras16

We needed an early start the next day, so the girls had a sleep-in while we drove into town.

The Lady Lumps

The Lady Lumps