We are back visiting some of our Favorite Places. Our first week on the road was great fun. I think we were born to be travelers. Just think about it: camping in a tent, hours on the back roads, incredible scenery – what’s not to love?
We started the trip at Yosemite. I know for most people, the Yosemite Valley is the highlight, but not for us. To Jay and I, the Wawona area is what Yosemite is all about. From my teens on, we have always camped at the Wawona campground. Actually, we’ve always camped in the very last section, the one that used to be known as Cunningham Flats.
On this trip I examined the campground closely and couldn’t figure out why they call it “the flats.” I swear, every campsite is slanted downhill! It was very apparent after one night sleeping on my cot. Everything had slid down off my cot. I woke up with my knees hanging over the edge. At some point I guess I would have been on the ground too. We changed the angle of my cot the second night.
One of the most amazing features in Wawona is the Mariposa Grove of trees. This is one of only three remaining groves of Sequoia trees left in the world. While in this grove I feel a deep sense of awe, reverence, and peace.
The biggest trees are two, three, and four thousand years old. They have a tremendous desire to stay alive. They are resistant to nearly every calamity and still keep going. Even a fire at it’s core doesn’t kill this tree. The Sequoias give a visitor a lot to think about.
After Yosemite it took a long day’s drive to get across Nevada. We wanted to see Zion National Park in the morning light. These red rock spires are so amazing when the sun first hits them. The area attracts just enough water that there is plenty of green foliage to make a beautiful contrast. And yes, what you see in the picture above is red a roads.
Speaking of roads, there are lots of twists and turns up through the park. This picture was taken from a spot not quite to the top. Yes, it made me a little dizzy looking over the edge. Can you see the white bus down near the bottom of the road?
We noticed two major changes in both Zion and the Mariposa Grove. Now visitors may not take personal vehicles into the heart of both places. You can either walk/hike or ride a tram. The Mariposa Grove tram was pulled by a natural gas truck too. The National Parks are becoming very careful about what’s happening to these beautiful environments and the desire of so many people to see them.
What’s next? We are off to the Four Corners area and to camp at Mesa Verde National Park. It was nice to stop at this lovely motel with it’s hot water, electricity, soft bed and internet service. It will be another week before we hit that again. That’s okay. We love to live close to the ground. See you next week.