Sunday, February 16, 2014

day 31: Yosemite to Mono Lake, Panum Crater, Bodie State Park, Lake Tahoe and Santa Rosa, CA

We were awakened by annoying campers who don't know how to keep quiet while packing up stuff.  Oh well, we wanted to get up and get out of Yosemite so now it was just a little earlier than expected.  After we got ready, we packed up everything and started walking to our car.  Our car was still there and completely intact!  No bears had tried to break in (yes, this really does happen) and no humans either.  It was completely dirty though!  So much dust and dirt!  But I was so happy to see that car!  We rearranged some things in the car, got a quick breakfast from the store in Curry Village and got the heck out of Yosemite!  (It was funny, we told another camper or 2 that we had just finished the JMT and they told a couple of people  So word spread and a few people asked us about it and congratulated us on the accomplishment.  It felt pretty good, I felt like we had gained some trail cred.)

The car after sitting in a dirt parking lot in Yosemite for 3 weeks

Leaving Yosemite

Then we drove to Mono Lake, which we'd heard was really cool.  It was very pretty and very "beach like" in the middle of the desert.  We walked the loop trail, took some pictures and left.

 Mono Lake

Then on to Panum Crater, the inside of a volcano.  It was a short hike up and into the crater (another guy was winded and said "that's quite a hike!" and we both just smiled).  The crater had some really cool rocks inside, some looked translucent and sparkly at certain angles which was neat.  But other than that there wasn't a lot to it, I guess we had high expectations for going inside a volcano.

 Panum Crater on the inside

Looking at the crater from the outside

Landscape views

Just another long, straight road in the middle of nowhere

Now onto Bodie State Park.  The road to Bodie was ridiculously rough, I felt like the car was going to fall apart.  It was a dirt road with huge rocks, potholes and lots of ridges in the road.  Once we got there it was pretty cool because Bodie is a gold mining ghost town. It is literally a town that has been left in "arrested decay" since it became a state park in the early 1960s.  The historical geek in me really enjoyed walking to each of the remaining buildings, looking in the windows and reading all of the descriptions.  We really enjoyed this, we probably spent about an hour or so exploring then packed up and left.


 Old church at Bodie

Inside the church

Us at Bodie

Inside one of the abandoned homes

Looking at what's left of the abandoned town

Inside another home

Inside the school

More ghost town

Pool hall

The local watering hole

When we were leaving Bodie we drove past a flock of sheep and an actual shepherd.  With a shepherd's crook and all.  Sadly, we couldn't get the camera out fast enough to catch him but here's a picture of his sheep.

After Bodie we drove to Lake Tahoe.  Our first glimpse of it was magnificent!  It is so huge and beautiful!  We drove up to Emerald Bay Vista Point to take some pictures but even the pictures can't do it justice, it's just that beautiful.  But that's really the case for most of these amazing views in nature.  You really have to be there to experience the true grandeur of what you're seeing.  After we took pictures at the vista point we drove back down the mountain to eat at a marina.  The food was tasty but it was really the view that was the best part.  We were right on the shore of the lake, so gorgeous.  We are so lucky to be able to experience all of these American treasures.  Once dinner was over we hit the road to wine country!!

Famous mansion built around 100 years ago at Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, the beauty and grandeur was hard to capture on camera

Our view at dinner

Us at Lake Tahoe 
(still in hiking clothes because we hadn't stopped long enough to fish regular clothes out of our trunk)

It was a 3.5 hours drive to Santa Rosa, a town near wine country where we found an affordable hotel.  John drove the whole time and we arrived before midnight.  We unloaded the car and headed to bed.

No comments: