LAKES AND TREES AND BEARS….OH MY!

Well luckily we didn’t see a bear, but we did see a snake while trampling through the Humboldt Redwoods Forest. It was “only” an Oregon Garter snake but none the less, I nearly stood on it and as it slithered away it gave me a good fright!

We were also awoken on our last morning by a 4.0 earthquake in San Francisco. No need for an alarm clock when the whole room is shaking!

Apart from these 2 events, the rest of our holiday was fairly uneventful and restful, just like it was supposed to be!

We took advantage of the cool air and walked for miles everyday.

Here’s a summary of the things we did on our whistle stop tour of Northern California.

Lake Tahoe

We walked up hills, down to beaches and around the Tallac Historic site which used to be the “grandest resort in the world”. We accidentally queued for an hour, yes an hour, to eat ice cream from the Camp Richardson ice cream parlour…it was delicious but an hour is a long time! We looked around the ski resort and saw the Heavenly Gondola. We ate yummy take away pizza from Base Camp Pizza in our bear themed cottage…even the bed covers had bears on them!

Mammoth

We drove up and over the mountains to Mammoth and stayed in a lovely room overlooking the ski lifts. If it had been winter we would have been in the perfect spot for a day skiing! We also discovered that there really are no pavements in Mammoth, which made our walk to a restaurant interesting!

Yosemite

We drove along the Tioga Pass which was very picturesque with lot’s of viewpoints along the way. Once we got down to Yosemite valley we walked several of the trails and saw the trickle of water left in the lower falls. It was a hot day so we didn’t do anything too strenuous. We enjoyed walking across the meadow which had good views of Half Dome and El Capitan. We also walked all the way to Mirror Lake which disappointingly was literally just a medium sized puddle, nothing like a lake….we forgot that it is the height of summer…silly us!

Sonoma

Next stop was wine country. We took a tour of the Benziger vineyard which involved a ride on a tractor and tasting wines in a field! We looked around the fancy shops of Napa and visited the Oxbow market. We ate our first indian food since arriving in the USA and we had a picnic in the Sonoma town square under a shady tree.

Mendocino

We travelled along the twistiest, most up and down rollercoaster road we’ve ever been on (worse than the road to Hana in Maui!) and finally arrived at the coast after about 3 hours. Compared to the areas south of San Francisco, the towns were quieter but the coast is still as pretty. We spent a day driving up and over more mountains to get to the Humboldt State Park and wandered through the Avenue of the Giants, taking lot’s of photos of the incredibly large trees. We also stopped off at a drive through tree. It was a tight squeeze but as it was a hire car we weren’t too worried!

Finally we drove to Sausalito and wandered around the pretty streets. We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco where we spent the day walking and making the most of the cool weather before we had to fly home! It was a very unusual end to a holiday knowing we were returning to somewhere so hot and sticky, not grey and rainy like we’re used to! 

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