Monday, April 30, 2007, we drove toward Yosemite National Park. We arrived at the Escapees Park Sierra near the little town of Coarsegold, CA. The RV park did not have any open parking spots available that day but said they probably would have a space tomorrow. We parked in their overflow parking, which has no utilities and so we just operated on batteries for the night. About noon Tuesday, I went to the office to see if they had a spot for us and they said someone forgot to put us on the waiting list. They had given away all spots and that maybe they would have a spot on Wednesday. I went back to the RV and called another RV park about 11 miles away, they had one space left so we packed up and moved there. I did not want to spend another night on batteries. We moved to the High Sierra RV Park in the little town of Oakhurst, CA. It was an older, smaller park but it had cable TV and free WiFi, so that fit our needs.
Wednesday, morning we were going to ride the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. Carol was not feeling 100% so I went by myself. It was about a 4-mile ride through the Sierra National Forest on a narrow gauge, Shay steam engine and open-air rail cars. It was a very cool (temperature) ride because of the higher altitude, a cool front came through and there was a very light rain. It was a nice ride but everybody including myself did not dress properly so we were all chilled. The scenery was trees and trees and that was about all you could see, but it is neat to see and hear the Shay steam engine chug along, up and down the hills. It was also neat to hear the whistle echo in the hills. They also offer Jenny Railcar rides but I did not ride that; they travel over the same route that the steam train does but are powered by a gasoline engine.
Thursday, we took the Jeep went up to Yosemite National Park. I say up because we climbed about 2000 feet before we even entered the Park grounds. There are three main roads into the center of Yosemite National Park. We took highway 41, which enters the southern end of the park. It took us about an hour to drive into the center of the park where the valley is located. During that drive we climb another 2000 feet via a very curvy road. (At least it was a better road than the switchback roads that Carol did not like at Sequoia National Park.) We then entered a long tunnel and emerged at the most beautiful scene of Yosemite the Yosemite Valley. From this vantage point, we can see the famous landmarks of Yosemite; El Capitan Mountain, snow capped mountains in the background, Half Dome Mountain and Bridalveil Falls all in one great scene. A very impressive view. We then drove around the valley and get a closer view of Bridalveil Falls, then over to the Yosemite Falls, which has an upper and lower section. We ate our picnic lunch and then visited some of the shops in the Valley. Carol was particularly interested in The Ansel Adams Gallery, who was a famous photographer. We then visited the official Visitor Center, which had some interesting displays. It boggles your mind to think about the formation of these mountains may have developed 50 million years ago, give or take 10 million years or so. A million years ago was the Ice Age and the valley was filled with Glaciers. Then 15,000 years ago, glaciers melted and left water in the lakes. Back to the present; we have not done or seen everything there is to see but we still have an hour and ¾ drive back to the RV park. Yosemite has a lot to offer a person especially if you are an outdoors person such as hiker, river rafter or even winter skier. The Valley area has several lodging facilities, so a person could spend a week or more here. There are several campgrounds also, but none of them have any utility hook-ups, so that is why we did not stay inside the park.
Friday, we are heading to the west coast of California to ride another train, the Roaring Camp Railroad.