Monday, September 26, 2016

Stairways to heaven

steve in the early morning at our winery motel
The photos below are of 3 separate tiled staircases in San Francisco

We have been busy going here and there since we came to California. We flew in last Tuesday and immediately drove east across the Bay mired for hours in traffic until we got to Merced. Then we headed on a relatively deserted road across the desert foothills as the sun set. beautiful light. I think I posted some photos last week.  Internet has been spotty and time limited. right now Steve feels sick and is taking an afternoon nap.  We were real nervous about driving at night in the mountains plus it was close to 11 pm Michigan time by the time we got to our motel. We stayed at a winery but it was too late for the tasting. We found a nearby bbq place and sat outside in the cool
Mountain air.  I woke up well before breakfast as my body was still on Michigan time. Our place was on a river deep in the woods surrounded by gardens.  Lots of hummingbirds but they flitted around too fast for me to identify. There was a leaky pipe the birds took turns to drink from including the hummers. At one point, an acorn woodpecker was on it. I looked way up and saw a whole colony of them. They are the only social woodpecker They will drill thousands of holes in a given tree and store acorns in them. The trees are called granaries. I got Steve and the good camera:
I had never seen one before. we enteredYosemite from the south, convenient to the Mariposa Grove of sequoias which are the biggest in California.  but it was closed!   Very disappointed.  Should we take a trip to the Sequoia National Park?  It wasn't far as the crow flies but involved a lot of mountainous roads so we are making do with the coastal redwoods of San Mateo county
Since we have become geezers, we can purchase a pass for $10 that will get us into any national park for the rest of our lives. such a deal as Yosemite cost $30
we climbed higher and higher. soon we stopped at an overlook of the valley
note haziness due to controlled burnings and rain coming in. it allegedly never rains in September but lucky us, it rained our first day. Due to dryness, the streams and waterfalls were almost bare
bridal falls. usually a torrent of water but not during a drought
Due to construction and crowds, it was slow going in the valley. sometimes it was too crowded to park. We did stop at the fancy hotel
We watched some climber scale El Capitan. That used to take days but now a good climber can do it in 3 hours
On to the Tioga road which goes over the highest pass in California. It usually closes by the end of October and sometimes doesn't open until July. being at high elevations for 2 days gave me a headache but I never was breathless
Lots of pretty places along it though it was cold and rainy
I apologize for the choppiness   It is very hard to edit on an iPhone 
To be continued.....

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