In 2011, DH and I had a trip to Yosemite in our travel plans. It was March and the cold weather was still hanging around. Twice we changed the plans because the park was closed because of blizzards which had cut off the roads into this park. Eventually we ran out of time as we were booked to fly east. So this trip we hoped that we would finally make it to Yosemite!
When we arrived in San Francisco DH checked out a number of day tours; the bus tours appeared to be booked out on the day/s we had planned. So we ended up booking through a company that used Amtrak and shuttle buses. It was another early start. We had to be at the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero by 6.30am. Then a shuttle bus took us to Emeryville station which is over on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge...there is no rail bridge over the bay so the Amtrak trains can't come right into the city.
When our train arrived at 7.40 we boarded for our 3 hour journey to the town of Merced.
We passed industrial areas, fruit orchards, vegetable farms and grazing areas...that grass looks to be dead but that is the colour it goes in summer.
Scenes from the train window of the journey to Stockton...
The train line seemed to follow the Sacremento River...
From Stockton the farming changed to that of almond and pistachio trees...
I also noticed a pipeline that ran along the right hand side of the train line...it seem to be going on 'forever'!
I found out later in the day that this pipeline carries water 170 miles from Yosemite to San Francisco and is that city's water supply.
Eventually we reached the town of Merced and once again we transferred to a shuttle bus...different bus and driver of course! :-)
In the next photo we are very close to the park...the 'tunnel' is a rock formation.
As we neared the park entrance we encountered heavy traffic as people queued in their cars, campers, trucks etc to get into the park. The park rangers were all out in force to control the movement of the large numbers of visitors to the park.
The Merced River in the park was always used for white water rafting but the drought has seen the flow decline so much that since last year, there are no rapids!
Just as we pulled into the bus park area, we saw a coyote...the poor darling looked stressed and confused and soon disappeared into some undergrowth.
When we arrived we really didn't have time to have lunch before we had to meet the shuttle bus to be taken to the 4 spots in the park that were on our tour. (Some in the group had paid extra to go on the 'tram', an open topped vehicle and they had even less time to find lunch)
Now some photos...
Stop 1. Bridal Veil Falls
Stop 3; il Capitan
This is twice the height of the Empire State Building apparently and the trees on the top are actually Ponderosa pines over a 120 feet high!
Stop 4 was the Sentinel Bridge...