We left our beloved SF behind early morning on August 12th: to Yosemite & beyond! We had reserved the cheapest possible car, but got offered the great opportunity to switch to a more comfy mid-sized car for a mere 5$ a day. After declining that and all other add-ons that were thrown our way by the rental agent (we’d actually done our research), we ended up getting the car upgrade for free anyway. That means: the next 2 weeks, we’re in a brand-new Nissan Sentra with 6000 km on the counter and every feature you can wish for in a car:
The road there was surprisingly scenic – pictures below! Us being the entrepreneurship-groupies we are, we first drove down to Palo Alto. After a quick visit to Stanford we went for lunch in what looked like a nice park on Google Maps. That turned out to be Foothills Park, strictly for Palo Alto residents + guests only. Special thanks to the guard who let us enjoy the park as “his guests” for the day, it was stunning!
The 4 drive-hours after, the landscape changed every 15 minutes: barren hills, wetlands, blazing hot fruit plantations, beautiful bluffs, and finally pine forests. Our lodge was in Fish Camp, located at 1500m of altitude, to the south of Yosemite.
So what you have to know here is that unusually violent forest fires have been plaguing California all summer.
Yosemite Valley was still closed the 13th, and had been for almost a month. Lucky us though: it’s scheduled to reopen tomorrow (14.08) – so with a minor itinerary change we still get to explore it then. What did reopen that exact 13.08 was Mariposa Grove (after 3 years!), so we were double lucky as that was a 5m drive from our lodge. I’ll let the below pictures show what you do in that area. Small hint: it’s got something to do with giant sequoia trees…