While in Bluff, UT, which isn't much, we were right in the middle of several scenic areas that we felt as a must see. Gooseneck State Park, Valley of the Gods, Monument Valley, and other areas are fairly significant in their views. None of the pictures I took can come close to the vast scope of the view presented around every turn.
Gooseneck State Park is one of those that has a view in each direction. Everyone that post on their blogs post this a picture like this. Ugh it won't post. I've worked 5 or 6 times trying to upload pictures and they just sit there and spin. But believe me it is pretty. :)
We would go out most every day in one direction or another and see some amazing scenery. I took a picture about where Forest Gump turned around after doing all of his running, and went home. My pic doesn't quite look like theirs because traffic wasn't stopped and I didn't want to get run over.
After Bluff, we headed toward Las Vegas through Williams, AZ. While there we rested up and stocked up on groceries. The drive to Vegas wasn't to long and very scenic. We made it through Vegas (not the strip) to Nellis AFB. That is the nicest biggest sites on a military base we have seen. It was a huge site on a circle. The drive to the Strip wasn't to far (about 10 mi maybe) and we did that twice. The first was a mid day trip and while nice was just plain hot. The second time was late afternoon and we stayed until well after dark. It is something to see all lit up. No gambling was done although we did eat fairly well. We didn't leave anything in Vegas, so I guess we did nothing bad. :) There are some weird people there though.
We left Vegas and headed to Yosemite by way of Bakersfield, CA. The overnight selection there was a nice campground with paved streets and hard sites. It was a little more than I like for an overnight, but it had a restaurant with discounts. That was a convenient item and we used it that evening and the next morning.
Leaving Bakersfield we used Hwy 99 and ran straight up to Fresno and took 41 out to Coarsegold. It is about 20 miles out of Yosemite. There we had selected the Escapees park, Park of the Sierras. It is a Coop park where all the sites are owned and you can place your site into the rental pool when not occupied. It had huge sites nestled on the side of rolling hills. Not your usual RV Park, but kind of like a resort where the buildings are arranged according to what the land will provide for access. And for $20.00 a night a bargain compared to the other campgrounds in the area.
While here we went to Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks. We would go out about 9 AM and get back each day about 6 to 8 PM and would drive about 200 miles. That is a lot when you doing about 30 -40 mph and turning left or right and going up or down. :( It made for one tired puppy when the day was over. Some days we would go out and others we wouldn't. Out of the three parks their is only one road that goes to the other side of the mountain range (Tioga Rd) we drove it and on the other side of Yosemite there was snow left and the lake was frozen and just breaking up. That is where we stopped and ate our lunch, beautiful. The usual sites were beautiful, but when we went up to Glacier Point late in the afternoon, that was really something. There all the sites were in their splendor and just out in front of you. Half dome was striking with the afternoon sun on it.
We also went in on a Saturday when we first arrived, but didn't go very far and realized there were to many people and left. But before we did we went to the Mariposa Grove to see the big trees. We were not disappointed. They were everywhere and so were the people. We saw the ones we wanted to see (trees) and left. You can do this when not on a schedule. :)
Coming out of the park we turned on this scenic byway that looked (on the map) like it might be good. Five hours later we got back to the Park tired and hungry. It did all right at first then it turned into what I would say were logging roads. I've been on some of them that were in better shape. We made wrong turns on not well marked roads, etc. We finally found our way through to where I kind of knew where we were and there was a little snow left on the ground where the sun couldn't hit. Carolyn was very happy about that.
We made day trips to both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks mainly to see the big trees and were not disappointed. They were all over the place in the areas where they had been preserved.
Logging in the 1890's threatened all of the big Sequoia's. The wood wasn't good for much and was being used for toothpicks and pencils. The move by Roosevelt to make National Parks and Monuments saved a vast amount of natural environment all across this beautiful land of ours. While I'm not a tree hugger, man would have truly destroyed it forever. Just go to any park or public land and see the carvings and graffiti left behind by mostly kids thinking it would be cool. No respect for themselves or anyone else. My political statement is over.
Our drive across the country to get to Yosemite and see that has been marked by some beautiful sights and I can only imagine what is around the next hill or curve.
Everyday and I do mean everyday we give thanks to God for where we are in our lives and are very thankful for being here.