June 30, 2016
The drive from Modesto to Yosemite National Park was incredible, as has been every drive since Denver. What made this one unique was the very winding roads with cliffs on both sides of the road, rising on the one and plunging on the other. No guard rails were there to protect motorists who may have been distracted by the majesty and magnificence of it all.
Jenna navigated today, and did a great job. We discussed our intended route before we left, so we could maximize our time in the park. We wanted to see all we could before continuing on to the hotel for which we had a reservation in Clovis.
The landscape was mostly barren of trees when we left the hotel in Modesto, except for those planted for landscaping. As we ascended into the mountains, the trees became taller and more dense, until finally we were in yet another redwood forest with massive towers. There has been a lot of fire damage, with some forests being mostly obliterated and others with larger trees only blackened near the surface.
As we drove in to the Yosemite Valley, we stopped many times at scenic overlooks and turnouts along the road to take pictures and soak up the views, which were incredible. We took a short hike the the bottom of Bridalveil Falls, which was nice. Temperatures were hot with a slight breeze, climbing in to triple digits at times.
We got to see El Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls. It was well worth the drive. I would love to go back to hike and camp and spend more time photographing Yosemite. The road out was so much fun. Twists and banked turns all the way. Near the end the brakes were smelling and Skye had to get out to puke, so I dialed back a bit. I’d love to do it again by myself and without any traffic.
Our hotel for the night is in Clovis, which is adjacent to Fresno, a couple hours from Yosemite. It stages us well for a drive in to Los Angeles in the morning.