Wild West Tour 2019, Part 3
The final leg of our journey found us back in California. We drove down from Tahoe to Yosemite Lakes via Hwys 50 and 49. Poor W - I'd forgotten how curvy both of those roads are! While they are rather fun to drive in a normal car they are tiring in an RV - just imagine driving a toaster. And OMG the suspension was awful - we felt every bump of the 2500 miles we drove (and the roads, even the highways and freeways, were mostly in shockingly bad shape).
0) The realities of driving a V8 (not the most expensive tankful)
1) We had a little rain that day but it made the unusually green Sierra foothills look even greener.
2) My sister (and her dog) joined us at our Yosemite Lakes campground. Although we had hoped to stay in Yosemite Valley we were a couple of days late trying to reserve a spot and they were all booked. Just as well, as this spot was beautiful and well-equipped and what we saw of the Yosemite campgrounds left something to be desired. (My family stopped camping in Yosemite Valley in 1962 because it was too crowded...)
We drove in to Yosemite Valley for a long day's visit and to show W the main sights. For my sister and I it was a wonderful reminder of childhood vacations. W was blown away by the magnificent beauty.
3) Our first stop was the Bridalveil Falls Trail. This is what happens to your camera...
4) Bridalveil Creek
5) The falls were amazing!
7) Half Dome through dogwood blossoms
8) Once again... sorry for the repetition but every view was justs soooo gorgeous
9) We celebrated our lovely day with an equally lovely wine
10) A sad sight along the way were the acres and acres of fire scars
11) On the way back to the Bay Area to return the RV we passed through some more of the gold rush area in the lower foothills - Coulterville has a cute little museum.
12) Since it was pretty much on the way, we drove through Turlock where I grew up and visited our dairy farm, stirring up more childhood memories. This scene is typical of this part of the Central Valley - flat lands, straight roads and the coastal foothils in the distance. Not exactly your typical tourist route.
13) In our last night in the RV we stayed in a lovely regional park in Castro Valley - a beautiful oasis of eucalyptus trees a couple of miles from the freeway. As we were enjoying a beer at our picnic table we were greeted by the local reception committee.
14) We enjoyed an evening walk through the eucalyptus groves
After dropping off our RV we picked up a rental car and drove up to spend a few days with my sister in the Grass Valley/Nevada City area.
15) We visited the Railroad Museum and got a ride in this beauty.
16) Downtown Nevada City
17) Wine tasting!
18) This 30-foot Pelton water wheel was crucial to gold mining operations and ran continuously for 30 years. We were treated to a live demonstration.
20) Lulu, one of my sister's cats who remained mostly aloof and let us admire her from a distance.
21) Time to go home :-(
We really had a wonderful, wonderful trip although it involved a LOT of driving - but we'd do it again, albeit a bit differently, at the drop of a hat.