This has been a while coming but finally I have managed to stitch together all the footage from the dashboard camera we took with us to the US (you can read more about the £20 camera here).
Every day that we were in the car we took a short bit of footage to give an idea of what the local scenery was like that day. I have now edited that down into the short video below. I think that this gives a good idea of the huge differences in landscape we experienced over the three weeks we were in the States. In fact, as you will see, there can be great differences even within the space of a few hours. Enjoy!
Full day in Yosemite today and the first time I have been forced to wear long trousers and a jumper since we arrived! It was a chilly six degrees when we left the room and only got to 17 at the height of the day.
Despite a couple of people suggesting we walk to the top of the Upper Falls (thanks, but no thanks Liz and Tony) we elected to stay closer to the ground and do the Yosemite Valley Trail. This is a loop around some of the better know sights of the park.
We initially set off in the wrong direction and by the time we had realised I had already completed my 30 minutes of exercise as monitored by my watch.
As usual we didn’t have to get very far from the hotel for the people to disappear – most only seemed to make it as far as the falls a short walk from the hotel. As yesterday the views were simply breathtaking and a camera really doesn’t do it justice.
The walk took us along side the Merced river to the base of El Capitan (other operating systems are available) where we then headed back on the other bank to the hotel. All in all this was a total of nine miles and by the end of it I was ready for a sit down and a cup of tea.
My ability to get a good cuppa here in the States has been pretty mixed I have to say. They don’t seem to understand the concept of wanting to put milk in it and the tea itself seems pretty weak so takes days to brew. Then there is the milk which seems to be most often “half & half”. I’ve decided that this must be half milk and half toilet cleaner. And, I don’t seem to be able to find a Costa at all. In the UK you only need to randomly throw a stone and you are bound to hit one.
We are on the move again tomorrow, this time to Death Valley.
So after two thoroughly enjoyable and actionpacked days in San Francisco we headed off this morning on the next leg of our journey to Yosemite National Park. The drive took us out over the Bay Bridge which was five lanes of fast moving traffic. It was only when half way across that I realised that there wasn’t any traffic coming the other way and that it must be a double decker bridge with the other five lanes above us.
The landscape slowly changed over the four hour drive from the dry hills of San Francisco to something much grander and greener as we approached Yosemite. The problem with a driving holiday is that someone has to be behind the wheel, supposedly concentrating on the road rather than the scenery but that is very difficult to do when the vista is so amazing.
I have seen many images of Yosemite, particularly now that Apple have started to name their operating systems after features in the park. However, no picture can do justice to the sheer scale of the landscape here – everything is just huge. It is an incredibly beautiful place.
We had been advised to stay in the park which I am glad that we did for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the nearest accommodation outside the park is probably an hour away and while the drive in is stunning it is also slow. The second reason is that where we are staying, the Yosemite Valley Lodge, is just like Centreparcs only the view from our patio is a huge waterfall.
The lodge also provides useful advice on how to handle the local wildlife:
If a black bear attacks while you’re in Yosemite, fight back.
I’m hoping not to have to put that to the test.
We have a full day in the park tomorrow and so will be out and about.