h1

Spring Break – Central CA

March 22, 2014

March 7 – Mosaic Staircase in San Francisco

DSCN2137

DSCN2138

DSCN2141

March 8 – Yosemite National Park

DSCN2142

Tunnel View Yosemite Valley

IMG_2380

Bridalveil Falls

DSCN2145

El Capitan

DSCN2151

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls

IMG_2452

Merced River and Half Dome

IMG_2434

Kate and Tom

DSCN2150

Lower and Upper Yosemite Falls

DSCN2157

Recreated Indian Village behind Museum

DSCN2162

Round Meeting House

DSCN2164

Tom & John Muir

DSCN2168

Mirror Lake 5 mile Loop Hike

DSCN2169

IMG_2431

Mirror Rocks

DSCN2170

Mirror Trees

DSCN2171

DSCN2173

DSCN2174

DSCN2175

Yosemite Grant – 1st U.S. Government protected land.  President Lincoln signed the bill in 1864!  This was before Yellowstone was made the world’s first National Park in 1872.  We had dinner in the Mountain View restaurant at the Yellowstone Lodge, went to an evening program on the geological formation of the Yosemite Valley, and then spent the night in Curry Village.

DSCN2177

March 9 – drove to the Badger Pass Ski Area (on the road to Glacier Point) and did a snowshoe hike with Ranger Rick.

DSCN2182

DSCN2186

 

IMG_2503

IMG_2504

Mole and Weasel on hat and holding white Ermine

DSCN2187

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias – hiked about 5 miles round trip to Wawona Point (6,810 ft) gaining about 1200 ft in elevation.

DSCN2188

IMG_2472

Fallen Monarch

DSCN2190

Bachelor and Three Graces

DSCN2193

 Tree Hugger

IMG_2500

IMG_2501

Grizzly Giant – one of the tallest in the grove, estimated to be 1800 years old!

DSCN2194

California Tunnel Tree

DSCN2197

Sequoias and Snow

DSCN2205

Fallen Tunnel Tree

IMG_2502

Wawona Point Vista

DSCN2207

DSCN2208

Museum was closed

DSCN2212

March 10 – rented a little Fiat from Enterprise and drove to Fort Ord National Monument outside of Monterey CA.  President Obama designated this former Army base as a BLM National Monument in 2012.  We did a 2 mile hike in the eastern part of the park.

DSCN2217

DSCN2219

DSCN2221

DSCN2222

DSCN2223

DSCN2224

Drove south on route 1 to Point Piedras Blancas Light Station.  The beaches just south of there were covered with Elephant Seals.

DSCN2226

DSCN2250

DSCN2232

Mostly elephant seal pups

DSCN2229

DSCN2231

Dead Pup – hundreds don’t make it, though the total population is up to 20,000

DSCN2234

DSCN2237

Approaching Morro Rock and Morro Bay CA

DSCN2292

Morro Bay harbor

DSCN2293

Soupfin Shark, Calamari and Shrimp Special first night and Rockfish Special for dinner the next day

DSCN2240

March 11 8am – Drove to Morro Rock

DSCN2241

Then drove to the entrance to Piedras  Blancas Light Station.  Our little Fiat rental – unsafe at any speed!

DSCN2247

We did a two hour tour of the Light Station with a BLM Ranger

DSCN2244

These tours are offered at 9:45am three days a week during the off-season.  The top of the light station was removed and can be seen in Cambria CA just down route 1.

DSCN2254

DSCN2255

DSCN2249

DSCN2256

DSCN2259

DSCN2261

DSCN2260

DSCN2262

DSCN2265

DSCN2264

Hearst Castle, San Simeon CA – “The Enchanted Hill”

DSCN2225

Start of our tours – after being bused to the castle

DSCN2268

William Randolph Hearst was noted for his Newspaper Empire and eclectic tastes –

DSCN2269

Front of Casa Grande modeled after a Spanish church

DSCN2270

The Assembly Room was the first stop on the Grand Rooms Tour

DSCN2271

Refectory

DSCN2272

Amazing ceilings!

DSCN2273

Billiard Room – billiards and pocket pool

DSCN2275

The Upstairs Suites Tour – started with the Doge’s Suite

DSCN2278

DSCN2279

DSCN2280

Library

DSCN2281

Meeting Room – office in back

DSCN2283

One of numerous bedroom suites

DSCN2285

We then did a Self Tour of the grounds

DSCN2286

Overlooking Pacific Ocean

DSCN2287

DSCN2288

Neptune Pool

DSCN2276

DSCN2289

March 12 – Carrizo Plain National Monument

DSCN2302

Looks like water in Soda Lake

DSCN2303

View from Soda Lake Overlook Hill

DSCN2307

DSCN2308

No Water at this time – just a salt encrusted basin (CA has received only 0.3 of it’s normal rainfall this winter)

DSCN2310

DSCN2311

DSCN2313

DSCN2315

“Salt” Storm – blowing from Soda Lake

DSCN2316

Cover your face!

DSCN2317

Driving across Carrizo Plain – not possible when it rains

DSCN2320

Approaching Temblor Range

DSCN2321

DSCN2335

Wallace Creek Trail – hiked about 2 miles

DSCN2324

DSCN2325

Hiking along the San Andreas Fault

DSCN2326

Very Windy!

DSCN2328

DSCN2329

Earthquake Sensor

DSCN2333

Cesar Chavez National Monument – Declared a national monument by President Obama in 2012.  It commemorates the struggles and accomplishments of the farm worker movement.  The graphic on my T-shirt is the symbol of the movement, strikes and boycotts to establish the country’s first permanent agricultural union.

DSCN2347

Re-creation of Chavez’s office and a migrant worker’s room in Visitor Center

DSCN2340

DSCN2336

Memorial Garden

DSCN2341

DSCN2343

DSCN2342

1927 – 1993 (66) – note rosary on headstone

Tehachapi Loop – one of the 12 Railroad Wonders of the World

DSCN2353

A long train can pass the end of it’s own cars as it circles around the loops

DSCN2351

DSCN2348

March 13 – Drove from our motel in Tehachapi to the south end of Carrizo Plain NM and entered by way of the Elkhorn Grade Road

DSCN2356

DSCN2357

DSCN2358

South entrance on Soda Lake Road

DSCN2360

Erosion Gully

DSCN2361

Former Traver Ranch

DSCN2364

Temblor Mountain Range across plain

DSCN2365

Goodwin Visitor Center

DSCN2318

Arranged for special permit tour of Painted Rock with Ranger Ryan

DSCN2370

Caliente Mountains in background

DSCN2372

About 1.5 mile round trip hike

DSCN2374

DSCN2375

DSCN2376

Remains of Chumash Indian rock art can be seen many places on rocks

DSCN2379

DSCN2380

DSCN2386

DSCN2385

DSCN2388

Looking out from Painted Rock

DSCN2381

South outside of rocks

DSCN2393

DSCN2394

DSCN2395

Rattlesnake – watch your step!

DSCN2377

View from Southwest

DSCN2397

Amir, Helen, Afsaneh, Tom at Negeen Persian restaurant in Campbell CA

DSCN2403

Buffet top arranged for Persian New Year – “Nowruz”

DSCN2400

March 14 – Kate off to work

Kate cropped

Hiked to Corona Heights in afternoon with Casey for a good view of San Francisco

DSCN2413

DSCN2405

DSCN2409

DSCN2411

March 15 – drove to Tomales Bay about an hour north of San Francisco for a picnic

DSCN2425

Tomales Bay Oyster Company

DSCN2427

Bought a dozen Tomales Bay Medium Gold Oysters, a bag of Clams and rented a “shucker” knife

DSCN2428

DSCN2417

 

DSCN2422

DSCN2419

It was about noon and we were lucky to get one of the last picnic table/grills available.  We shared the table with Josh and Marrisa who came about twenty minutes later and discovered none were available.

IMG_2517

The first oysters and clams were eaten raw

DSCN2431

Then Helen and Kate did their magic on the grill

DSCN2435

All the ingredients for Oysters Rockefeller, potato salad, mango salsa, etc. where prepared the night before

IMG_2521

Delicious!!

DSCN2437

IMG_2522

After filling our bellies, we had a short drive to Point Reyes National Seashore 

DSCN2438

DSCN2439

We did an enjoyable 2 mile stroll along the beach

DSCN2441

Casey loves the water!

DSCN2443

Tidal pool where she pushed sand around with her nose –

DSCN2445

It was a tiring day!  Kate and Casey slept while we watched the final episode of Downton Abby

DSCN2452

One comment

  1. It was like we were there…..thank you Thomas & Helen Marie!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: