Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 10, 2010. Yosemite National Park

In the morning we met Dianne's cousin Joni and her husband Dave for breakfast at the hotel. They were motorcycling through the park, something they do frequently, and they verified that this was the best weather ever for this location.

After breakfast we checked out of the hotel and drove over to Mariposa Grove, a grove of giant Sequoia trees not to be missed. On entering the grove we came upon this uprooted tree. Apparently it has been in this state for 100 years already! There are photos of people driving their cars (model Ts of course) on top of the trunk of this tree. Remember when you look at this photo that Dianne is over 6 feet tall.
There was a park ranger giving a talk about the trees, and Dianne and Damon stayed to listen while I walked ahead to take in the silence. It was very impressive, the silence as well as the grove of trees. There were burned out areas that I found out are planned that way. They do controlled burns to clean up the underbrush and promote new growth of the Sequoias and a variety of other trees in the forest. Diversity is important in this case.
While I was doing my solo walk enjoying the silence, this coyote and I came face to face on the trail. He beat a hasty retreat, and that was OK with me.

One of the highlights of the Mariposa Grove is the Grizzly Giant, a giant old Sequoia tree. A man took my photo in front of it.

There used to be two drive-through trees in this grove, now only one remains standing. I walked to it, but did not go through it this time. I guess I've had my fill of drive-through trees. This time it made me sad that the tree was butchered this way. In the park's defense, it was done in the 1800s to promote tourism and, ironically, preserve this grove of trees.

When we were done with the Mariposa Grove we piled into the car and headed back to San Francisco, a five hour drive. I have to give Damon much credit for doing all the driving for us. He was very patient with his mom's fear of the winding roads. I reminded her that we rode a route just like it on our bicycles! Bikes are not allowed on this road however, and I think that's a good thing.
We arrived back at Damon's apartment in the evening; Dianne boxed up her bike and I did all our laundry. Tomorrow is our last day in San Francisco and we want to make it count!

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