Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 155 - Calistoga - Yosemite National Park

Distance travelled (by bike): 19,550

Leaving Calistoga i meandered east through the napa valley, after a quick stretch along the highway i cut onto route 120, the Yosemite highway. Stunning scenery, passing lakes, meadows and swamps. 
Arriving at the park i payed the admission and quickly went to the campgrounds office. I was lucky, i got a camping spot in the park, they only had 5 left. After pitching the tent i headed 30 miles down the road to Yosemite Village and the waterfalls. The drive through the park was unreal, roads winding down into the valley along the cliff faces, i had to really concentrate on the road and try not to get distracted by the scenery. As i was driving i noticed a lot of snow still settled on the ground, not sure about this! 
In the valley the speed limit is 30mph, and everyone was sticking to it, you really don't get anywhere in a hurry at 30mph. Parking up i took a walk to Yosemite falls, incredible. 
When i was about to drive on i got talking one of the park rangers. He asked me where i was going tomorrow, i told him i was aiming to drive over the Tioga Pass. I soon found out the the pass it still closed due to the late snow fall, it had snowed last week and lots of the ski resorts are still open! I was told that there are only two alternative routes, the ranger suggested i went north and took another pass that opened two weeks ago, i wouldn't be disappointed as the scenery would be stunning.
The highlight of the day came as i was driving along the valley road, two bears ran over the road infront of me, a mother and a cub, unfortunately i wasn't quick enough with the camera. As i have have to store all food, toiletries and anything that might attract a bear in a metal locker near the tent i have a feeling there are a lot about at the moment. 
Returning to the camping area i quickly whipped out the map and started to plot the route suggested, wow, it is a detour, but the only real option i have. See what tomorrow brings. 

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