After the luxuries of San Francisco we returned to our normal routine. Our next was to make a loop east, up to Colorado. The dates were tight because back in Oregon we agreed with Andrea and Thomas to visit Utah’s parks together.
Driving east of San Francisco, we had to cross the Sierra Nevada, part of the American Cordillera. And there, on the summits and in the valleys, there are pearls that we just had to see.
The first of these is the Yosemite Valley. Our route to the valley led us through the Tioga Pass.
It is the only road that leads through the mountain range from east to west and vice versa. The highest section of the road is located at an altitude of about 3000 m above sea level, and then, after a fast ride down the edge of the cliff, towards the east, we ended up in Mono Lake.
A lake in the desert with salty water, however full of life – starting on microscopic plankton and ending with many migratory birds. Unfortunately, due to excessive water pumping from the mountains to the population of California, the lake as drastically reduced its volume. That is the only reason we can now observe tuffs that were normally under water. In the background you can see the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where we have to return because we signed up for star gazing with ranger guide. But before we did it, we had some fun off road along lake’s shore.
At the place agreed to meet the ranger we met two motorcyclists from France. A short conversation and we left. After a few days, for our surprise, we met them again on the road.
We met them on the way to Kings Canyon (suggestion of our friend Sebastian from Quebec, many thanks for the hint) and a park full of giants.
As we came to one of the largest redwood clusters, dusk fell. It was 19:30 and nothing could be seen. So we decided to come back in the morning, although it would ruined our plans considerably. Not to waste fuel we decided that the best option was to stay in the campsite inside the park. We turned back, passed the redwoods one more time, just to learn that it was full! Here we go again, turning back towards the park exit, passing, for the third time, redwoods but this time we got to see two little bear cubs playing on the road. We waited until they reluctantly returned to the forest. Down the road we saw a light placard with the information that the road was closed from 20 to 8 am the next day. The clock showed 20:15!!! So, back again. We would pass the redwoods for the fourth time. Nice, so nice. And where to sleep? Yes, you have guessed it. At the parking lot in the car, with all the comforts that it offers. Next morning, before 7 o’clock and frozen, we could finally admire these giants in all their glory.
Marzena loves redwoods and sequoias. There is something magical about them, you cannot take your eyes off them. They are long-lasting, live more than 3 thousand years, longer than the existence of Poland! It is worth stopping for a moment in their shade and rest.
We left the Sierra Nevada Mountains, towards south, to one of the most inhospitable places in the US. Try to guess where we went. The answer you can find in the next post.