So far, we have had a wonderful trip round the ‘grand circle’ of the American west. I consider this ‘part 1 ‘ of our trip, culminating in a 2 day stay in Vegas, and a trip to the Hoover Dam.
Moving on to’ Part 2′ was a trip to Death Valley, where we knew it would be very hot. We had a few hours drive through the desert and barren scrubland, arriving at Zabriski Point, a high view point looking down over the valley.
The white is the dried salt. It was windy with searing hot blasts…..thank goodness for air conditioning! (The car temperature was reading 108F) We then drove down to the lowest point at Badwaters – 282ft below sea level.
and a ‘scenic drive’ through an area of coloured rock and desert before arriving at the Inn at Furnace Creek,our bed for the night. This was a lovely little oasis of green in such a barren place.
From here we had our longest drive, 7 hours, heading for Yosemite National Park, via Bakersfield and Fresno. It was a boring drive; desert, desert, desert and sand blown across the road. Very few cars, no sign of police, no mobile phone signal. I confess to feeling quite anxious regarding the isolation, and was more than glad to be back amongst traffic after a few hours.
We then had 2 nights at Tenaya Lodge, just outside Yosemite, booked independently through Booking.com. Following MisterAirmiles visit last year, we asked for our room to be in the west wing, as the outlook was more pleasant. Needless to say, next morning, we could see nothing! Mist, drizzle and the car temp was reading 54f ! We headed out at 6.30 am for The park. The classic Yosemite Tunnel view point was somewhat disappointing!
But the waterfalls were pretty spectacular!
The weather improved and by the time we left, following several different walks and a stop at Tunnel View on the way out, we were rewarded with The View!
Yosemite was busy with loads of cars and cruisers . The shuttle buses were in operation, but not as efficient as the other parks. And not a bear in sight!