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Old 6th January 2010, 18:37   #1
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Default The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park

Part 1: Confusion of human mind

Having spent mind boggling 4 months studying the science of computers, it was time for a much needed escape out of city. Having only a couple of days leave, had to decide the nearest place from Sacramento, CA for a good outing. Decide to make full use of it and decide on two different locations for two days.

1.1 What location?

Me and my fiance discussed and explored several options. Listed below

- Yosemite National Park (4 -hrs by road)
- San Francisco (2-hrs by road)
- Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz Beach, Monterey Bay Acquarium (4- hrs by road)
- Shasta Lake, Dam, Mount Shasta (3 + hrs by road)
- Tahoe ( 2 hrs by road)

Discarded SF and Tahoe, as already been there done that.

Wanted to feel and touch snow (we both never did that till now), so Yosemite National Park was decided for first day and second day was decided for Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz Beach and if time permits Monterey Bay Acquarium.

1.2 Which car rental company?

Went through a couple of options, like Hertz, Enterprise, Avis, Budget.
Being a weekday, Avis and Budget were giving good deals. Booked a mid-size sedan through Avis with a free upgrade to standard size. Also got GPS from them for $4.99/day.

Was worried about snow chains, as it was required for the trip. Thought of asking at Avis next day, or buy from Autozone.

1.3 Twist in the tale at Car rental company!!!!

Went early in the morning at 7.30 am to get the car. Asked the guy if they had chains, negative was the answer. He said, he can give me a deal on a 4x4 truck. I was like, what the heck bring it on. For additional $10 he upgraded me to a Toyota Tundra v8 4x4 truck. And i was like . I had to return it next day as it was booked for other person and i had to exchange it for full size sedan the next day.

total deal for 1 day rental of truck: $80 includes full insurance, GPS.

Got into it and started the journey to one of the most breathtaking locations i have ever been too.

Part 2 coming up soon.

Here is a photo of Tundra and teaser photo of Yosemite National Park.
Attached Thumbnails
The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc00114.jpg  

The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc00129.jpg  


Last edited by chevelle : 6th January 2010 at 18:42.
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Old 6th January 2010, 18:57   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
Part 1: Confusion of human mind

Having spent mind boggling 4 months studying the science of computers, it was time for a much needed escape out of city. Having only a couple of days leave, .............................

Here is a photo of Tundra and teaser photo of Yosemite National Park.
Hai,

This is music to my ears, when you come down to Baroda we must meet. The photos rock

Been researching on this area for some time for a drive I'm planning C2C. Some quesitoons:

1. Did you take the 120, 49, 16 roads or US 5 till Stockton and change over to 120? My plan involves this section; I'd be driving down from Reno to Yesomine and cut across to SFO through Stockton.

2. I understand there are camping facilities on the Yosemine, would be interested to know in case you have noticed.

Waiting to see your story and pictures to understand what to to do there.

Thanks for sharing....... way to go.....

--Ramky
=======
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Old 6th January 2010, 19:13   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
Hai,

This is music to my ears, when you come down to Baroda we must meet. The photos rock

Been researching on this area for some time for a drive I'm planning C2C. Some quesitoons:

1. Did you take the 120, 49, 16 roads or US 5 till Stockton and change over to 120? My plan involves this section; I'd be driving down from Reno to Yesomine and cut across to SFO through Stockton.

2. I understand there are camping facilities on the Yosemine, would be interested to know in case you have noticed.

Waiting to see your story and pictures to understand what to to do there.

Thanks for sharing....... way to go.....

--Ramky
=======
Would love to meet you too Ramky

Here are your answers. let me know if you need any more info. you can pm me if you don't wanna discuss here.

1)
i took US 50 W and took exit of CA-99 S towards Fresno/Stockton. From there, i took CA-4 E towards Farmington Road and then merged to CA-108 E/CA-120 E (Sonora) then continue to merge on CA-140 E to come at yosemite national park. If you wish to go to Tunnel View to get a View of Yosemite Valley, you have to take 41 towards Wawona.

2)
Camping/Hiking/Trekking at this time is closed at many places. Its not advisable to do so in winter. Summer is the best for this time. Most of the tracks/routes are closed during this time with no access. The best locations, that is Upper Yosemite Fall Hike, Half Dome hike, Glacier Point, Giant Sequoia hike, Nevada and other falls hike are closed due to snow.
During summer, its advisable to get reservations for camping aS it can be very very crowded. This is the place which looks and feels different throughout the year.

Let me know when you plan to go there.

Last edited by chevelle : 6th January 2010 at 19:23.
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Old 6th January 2010, 19:46   #4
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Default Part 2

Part 2: The feeling of happiness and sadness

That day, 12/29 was very foggy. Thus while starting from Sacramento, i was very very apprehensive if i made a right decision to visit Yosemite, as fog would ruin the views i was expecting. Saw weather forecast and it said rain from 10 am, so my worry increased even more.

Once i got comfortable inside Tundra, all my worries vanished, the king's view from driver seat was quite good and felt other sedans like dwarfs to me. Seriously, its that big. Never drove a full blown truck before that's why this feeling. The interior is good, durable, nothing fancy

Once on the way, the fog continue to sadden me. The first 150 miles were horrible due to fog. Once we crossed Stockton and arrived on CA-4, we continued making slow progress due to Fog and suddenly there was light. Trust me, it was one of the most awesome moment i came across, it was like, just one second back it was all fog and suddenly there was sunlight making it very sunny. i was relieved.

Here are some of the pics.

1 AND 2. CA-99 S in fog. I am in carpool lane. The best lane, very less cars and can easily maintain a 70+ speed. Have to be alert for cops though

3, 4 and 5. there was light, making the surroundings look beautiful.

Most of the photos while traveling are clicked by co-passenger, so no risk there.

As i covered up more miles, the change in landscape was fantastic and soon another worry cropped up. What was the worry? any guess?
find it out in next part. Till then enjoy the pics.
Attached Thumbnails
The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc00085.jpg  

The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc00089.jpg  

The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc00093.jpg  

The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc00094.jpg  

The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc00095.jpg  


Last edited by chevelle : 6th January 2010 at 19:48.
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Old 7th January 2010, 11:59   #5
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Default part 3

Part 3: Entering the heaven's abode!!!

Sorry for updating late. Was busy with work. I was expecting some responses about the next worry that cropped up on the way to Yosemite. Guess no one was interested. Well the worry was the gas sipping V8 of Tundra. It gave just 11 miles to gallon and i was worried as gas is not available in Yosemite Area.

That apart, i was nearing Yosemite and their came a sign saying this for next 8 miles and i was thrilled. Superb hairpin bends started and i was reminded of 21 loops of Leh that i saw in various travelogues here. Haven't experienced those loops, but these one were certainly mind blowing, much better and thrilling than those of Ambaji-Abu and Udaipur-Shrinathji where i have driven.

On arriving in the Yosemite National park, there was a toll booth where they asked what kind of truck i was driving and if i had chains. On confirming that its a 4x4 with snow tires and paying $20 vehicle fee i started driving towards our destination and some of the best sites greeted us with snow on both sides and on trees. I felt like stopping and feeling the snow but can't as it was one way and no stopping allowed. The average speed on these roads was 25mph. Sedan's had chains on them and it can be installed near the toll booth by paying $40.

Continued ahead and was greeted by the best views. I would let the pictures do the talking. so here it goes.

1. The 8 mile hairpin bends, not all are covered. But you get the jest.
2 thru 12. while driving through the yosemite, following views greeted us.
13. Tundra having fun in the snow.
14. Me with tundra.

I am not sure what's wrong with pics, guess these are not resized properly. i did it in irfanview and i think its lost its sharpness. especially the truck's photos. any tips?

thanks. stay tuned for part 4
Attached Thumbnails
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The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc00145.jpg  


Last edited by chevelle : 7th January 2010 at 12:03.
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Old 7th January 2010, 12:17   #6
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Default more pics

here are some more pictures that i clicked while on the way to Yosemite.
Attached Thumbnails
The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc03163.jpg  

The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc03167.jpg  

The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc00172.jpg  

The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc00174.jpg  

The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc00176.jpg  

The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc03215.jpg  

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Old 7th January 2010, 12:47   #7
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Wow, Wonderful location and Superb photographs. keep posting..
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Old 7th January 2010, 12:57   #8
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Chevelle, awesome photos. I guessed your worry and i am bang on buddy. I drove a tundra from Tampa to Miami and back. Its a fuel guzzler. The handling is superb and you wont notice when you cross 80 - 100 miles. Yes you better watchout for the cops, they sure know how to sneak behind you and blast the siren. Keep it coming. I am glued to this thread now. In my next trip I will surely have Yosemite national park in the places that I need to visit.
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Old 7th January 2010, 13:02   #9
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Awesome pics of Yosemite in Winter. Waiting for more!

As for the pics losing sharpness, there's nothing much you could do as it's due to the jpeg compression.
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Old 7th January 2010, 13:07   #10
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Hey. Nice pics. I'm travelling to San Diego in Feb. First time there. Will be doing Vegas, Grand Canyon and Tahoe for sure. Any more suggestions will be appreciated
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Old 7th January 2010, 13:29   #11
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Hey. Nice pics. I'm travelling to San Diego in Feb. First time there. Will be doing Vegas, Grand Canyon and Tahoe for sure. Any more suggestions will be appreciated
There are plenty of options in North California, depends on number of days and your budget.

Here are some suggestions for you, depending on your interest.

- Don't forget rides on top of Stratosphere in Vegas, one of the most thrilling rides ever.
- Don't forget the glass bridge in Grand Canyon. If time permits do visit monument valley.
- In tahoe, it has to be South Lake. Once there, do skiing and other sports.
- Since you will be in San Diego, you can definitely go to LA, it has an excellent six flags - ride and theme park, Hollywood studios, plenty of beaches.
- If you are coming to Tahoe, you can't miss SF - golden gate bridge, fisherman warf, pier 39, coit tower, union square, china town, crooked street, many Museum.
- Mystery spot and santa cruz beach along with Monterrey Bay Aquarium.
- Yosemite National Park, Also Giant Sequoias- the world's tallest trees
- Shasta lake,dam, mount Shasta.
- If you are into wines, Sacramento and surrounding area is known world wide for superb wines. Especially near Modesto.

These are some of the options you can explore. Let me know your time, budget and interest i can suggest some more. Hope this helps.
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Old 7th January 2010, 13:37   #12
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Amazing photography. Keep it up dude.
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Old 7th January 2010, 13:50   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian Ranger View Post
Wow, Wonderful location and Superb photographs. keep posting..
Thank You, Much appreciated. Keep reading, more coming up soon. I am sure you will love them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElantraGT View Post
Chevelle, awesome photos. I guessed your worry and i am bang on buddy. I drove a tundra from Tampa to Miami and back. Its a fuel guzzler. The handling is superb and you wont notice when you cross 80 - 100 miles. Yes you better watchout for the cops, they sure know how to sneak behind you and blast the siren. Keep it coming. I am glued to this thread now. In my next trip I will surely have Yosemite national park in the places that I need to visit.
Thanks. Ya indeed its a guzzler. And for the truck and its huge size, its surely a capable handler, never once did i hesitated or slowed below speed limit due to its handling. Only once i was cautious, as i was doing 70 mph(65 mph is the speed limit) and there was a cop behind me, i thought i will be cited, but luckily he took the exit. Funnily, i spent around almost same amount for gas as the rental rates.

You must visit, especially in Summer. I am planning again too in Late May or June. Though would be camping and hiking at that time. Have missed plenty of places in winter due to closed roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsar56 View Post
Awesome pics of Yosemite in Winter. Waiting for more!

As for the pics losing sharpness, there's nothing much you could do as it's due to the jpeg compression.
Thank you, keep reading, more coming up soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidd25 View Post
Amazing photography. Keep it up dude.
Thank you.

Last edited by chevelle : 7th January 2010 at 13:54.
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Old 7th January 2010, 13:54   #14
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Default Part 4

Part 4: The Yosemite Valley and El Capitan

Finally we reach the Tunnel for Wawona. This is the place where you can get view of Yosemite Valley. A must visit. I was dumb founded just looking at the view. Due to snow, the path was very slippery, if not careful you are bound to fall. I wore non-slippery shoes, helped in getting hold somewhat. Though many people fell there, one of them being my fiance.

From there on, we visited the Bridalveil Falls, the falls that can be seen from Yosemite Valley. Wanted a closer look. Looked very good.

Few photos

1. Yosemite Valley right out of camera
2. Post processed by clevermax. Thank You sir.
3 and 4. Bridalveil Falls (You can see in first pic from where i clicked, zoomed around 11x to get closer to Falls from Tunnel View.)
5 and 6. views around the Bridalveil falls. Mesmerizing.
7, 8, 9 Bridalveil Falls (not in its full glory, for that need to come in Summer)
10. The stream from the falls.


Coming up next: Finally the Yosemite Falls.
Attached Thumbnails
The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-yosemite-valley.jpg  

The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-yosmite.jpg  

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The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc03245.jpg  

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Old 7th January 2010, 16:49   #15
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part 5: Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Falls

After those wonderful view, it was time to move to Yosemite National Park, on reaching a meadow, we were greeted by Yosemite falls.

I will let the pics do the talking.

1. The meadow from where we saw first sighting of Yosemite Upper Falls and i was stunned.
2. a closer view at the Falls
3. A frozen fall at far away mountain.
4 and 5. A closer view of frozen falls
6. Three falls in one view. two are frozen. Loved the way the trees change their colors.
7. This is camping ground in summer
8. Yosemite Lodge. Prices are lower in winter, shoots upwards of $200/day in summer. For adventure seeking people, camping is better option. Chances of facing a bear increases as they come hunting for food.
9. Again a frozen fall.
10. On the way to lower Yosemite Falls. Upper Yosemite Fall hike was closed half way. Notice a snow man standing amid the snow.

more coming up soon.
Attached Thumbnails
The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc03273.jpg  

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The Great Escape - Yosemite National Park-dsc03308.jpg  

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