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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

California, here we come....

The main thing we came to California for was to go to Yosemite National Park.  However, we just couldn't pass up visitng Lake Tahoe also.  Before my kids call me and ask if Alzheimer's has already begun, I do realize that Lake Tahoe is also in Nevada.  I did not realize until I saw a map of the lake that most of the lake and most of the resorts are on the California side (west side) but there is a lot to see on the eastern Nevada side as well.  We actually stayed at a campground in Nevada, but when we went to the town of South Lake Tahoe, we were in California. 


With 71 miles of shoreline you can spend hours driving around the lake, but we spent most of our time on the southern end, east and west side.  Here is a picture taken at Emerald Bay. 

The average depth of Lake Tahoe is almost 1000 feet.  It never freezes over due to the constant movement of water from the lake bottom to the top.


Of course, we had to take a hike to a "vista point". 


If you like to look at big granite rocks (BIG, HUGE rocks) and sheer drop off cliffs, this is the place.  Of course, there are meadows, waterfalls, lakes and wilderness areas to boot.  We enjoyed our 2 1/2 days in the park, even though it was unseasonably warm for September.

What everyone comes is to see is the two most famous granite rocks; El Capitan and Half Dome.
El Capitan stands 3,593 feet from base to summit.  Climbers come from all over the world to scale it.

Half Dome rises to an elevation of 8,842 feet!

One scenic drive in the park is along Tioga Road.  One vista we especially liked was Olmsted Point.

Doug just had to go out to the very edge.  I was too scared to go!

Here is a lake called Tenaya Lake.  We fell in love with this lake.  One day we had a picnic there.  It even has a beach!  The water is so clear you can see to the bottom of the lake until it gets too deep.

Unfortunately Yosemite Falls and BridalVeil Falls were almost dry by this time of the year.  I'm sure they are spectuacular in the spring.

We are in Arizona now and will soon be posting pictures of the Grand Canyon.  Wish you were here to enjoy it with us!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Okay, so we're not beach people....

Anyone that knows us very well knows that we don't go to the beach.  That's really not hard to accomplish when you live in Arkansas anyway.  We have always vacationed in the mountains, mostly Colorado.  But we are leaving Washington and headed into Oregon and we decided to drive along the Oregon coast; the Pacific coast is much different than the Atlantic coast where Vicki grew up.  We weren't able to get to some of the places that we wanted to go, but we still really enjoyed it.  Hope you enjoy the pictures too!


It's hard to realize how big these rocks actually are until you see the people on the beach!

In some of these places at high tide there is no "beach"  left.

This day was quite cool and misty (fairly typical for the Oregon coast I think); no sunshine.  Also, what the locals call the "winter waves" have begun.  They are actually bigger than the waves in summer and look "angry".  This is no day for swimming for sure!


We left the coast and headed to Crater Lake and had a really nice day there.  We took sooo.. many pictures, but here are some of my favorites.  By the way, the water really is as blue as it looks; and yes, the lake really is in a crater.  Did you know that this is the deepest lake in the United States (1,943 ft.) and it is only fed by rain and snow (no rivers or streams)?  Neither did I.  I also didn't know that it is considered the cleanest large body of water in the world.  Wow!  Driving all the way around the lake is only 33 miles, but it takes awhile because there are 30 (at least) pull outs to stop in.  Yes, we stopped at all of them!  Enjoy!

Just to prove we were really there!!

Today (Thursday, 9/17) we left Oregon and headed into California.  We are on our way to Lake Tahoe and then on to Yosemite National Park.  It's hard to believe that our 4 1/2 month trip will soon come to an end; only 6 weeks left now.  I'll share more thoughts about spending this length of time in a motorhome with only one other person later.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Last, but not least on our Washington state tour

We are actually in Oregon now, but I wanted to show you how we finished our tour of Washington state - by visiting Mt. Rainier.  Some days are so cloudy that the mountain can barely be seen.  We were truly blessed to have had one day that was completely clear for a few hours!  One woman who was there on this day said that she had been there 40 times and had never seen it so clear. 

The one above and this one were taken on the way to the Paradise area of Rainier.
Here is a picture we took on the way to a different area in the park (the Sunrise area).  The day was not as clear as the first, but was still amazing to see.
We went on a hike and were able to see the glaciers closer.  I can't imagine climbing this 14,000+ foot peak; this was close enough!
There is so much more we would like to do here, but alas, we just couldn't do it all.  That means we will have to return to this area.  We spent a month in Idaho and a month in Washington and barely scratched the surface of all there is to see.  Washington and Idaho are two really beautiful states (and cool summer weather to boot).  God willing, we will be able to return again soon.