Monday, July 8, 2013

Road Trip: Out of Yosemite

   Date      Stop    Odometer      Location                                         Date

6/17/20130209837Crane Flat, Yosemite9:56 AM
6/17/20131209990Selma, CA
6/17/20132210193Barstow, CA7:40 PM

The Yosemite Valley is seen from the top of Glacier Point at Yosemite National Park, California
View from Glacier Point
Follow the jump for more Yosemite pictures and a whole lotta desert driving!

From Sara's travel journal (That's right, we're changing it up a bit!):

Monday, June 17th, 2013 10:00pm
America’s Best Value Inn, Barstow, CA

This morning we had another oatmeal breakfast and packed up our campsite. Driving out of Yosemite, we went up to Glacier Point, which has a pretty spectacular view of Half-Dome and a wonderful panoramic view of the mountains. Lots of people again, but not nearly as crowded feeling as the Valley was yesterday. It took a couple of hours to drive back out of the park and the mountains, and we stopped at the first town at lower elevation (Oakhurst, CA) for lunch. We found a McDonald’s and used the opportunity to check emails and such too. We hit the road again and started heading further south.

The Yosemite Valley stretches away in the view from the top of Glacier Point at Yosemite National Park, California
Another lovely mountain vista from Glacier Point
Ground squirrels on the rocks at Glacier Point at Yosemite National Park, California
Some adorable little scamps looking for scraps from the tourists
Green trees cover the Yosemite Valley floor viewed from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park, California
Because there is no such thing as too many mountain landscapes, here's one more!
Our original plan was to go to Sequoia National Park tonight, but Cory and I decided that we (and our poor 4-cylinder car) were very tired of driving on mountain roads. We decided instead to head for the Southern California desert and see how far we could make it. Mojave National Preserve was pretty far away yet, but we thought we could get pretty close and maybe find somewhere to set up camp. We were thwarted some by a long detour caused by a wildfire, which delayed us by at least ½ hour. We also had to stop at a Wal-Mart to exchange our air mattress (which we did successfully). The clock was really ticking, so we assessed our location and decided we would drive as far as we could by the end of the day and then find a hotel for the night instead of camping. Our hope was that this would save us some time—we could drive later and leave earlier in the morning.

The dry California landscape heading south on Hwy 99 was interesting. Lots of rolling hills that are completely brown except for dots of green scattered across them where trees are growing. Once we turned east (that’s right, east!), we hit another mountain pass that brought us back up to about 4,000 feet. Once we crossed that, we were full-on in the desert. Flat, flat, and brown. Kind of interesting though, lots of mountain-y hills in the distant landscape. It’s kind of weird…towns are farther and farther apart, but really no more than they were in Montana or the Dakotas. All the same, it feels much more isolated and foreign. 

We ended up stopping in a town called Barstow, CA, which is on the original Route 66. We first stopped at a Holiday Inn Express, but we both physically recoiled when they told us it would cost about $135 for one night. We continued down the road to an America’s Best Value Inn, which had Wifi and breakfast and only cost $50 for the night. I can ignore the water stains on the ceiling for that deal. Not bad at all. The room even has a microwave, so we heated up some canned food for dinner, made our plan of attack for the next couple of days, and are about to call it a night. 
Peaches, green beans, and beef stew from cans at a hotel in Barstow, California
Dinner of champions: canned food-a-palooza!

Americas Best Value Inn in Barstow, California
It may not be fancy, but it had the essentials.

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