As we made our way from Sequoia Campground & Lodge to Yosemite Lakes RV Resort we experienced another road, Route 49 with endless switchbacks, downhill grades and no guardrails with lovely canyon views. Upon check-in at Yosemite Lakes they referred to it as “The Road from Hell!” We Floridians are not accustomed to these roads!
The campground was three miles from the entrance to Yosemite National Park and another hour drive into the Yosemite Valley. We anticipated heavy traffic to the park on Saturday and decided to take the Yart Shuttle Bus from the campground. No sooner had we left the campground and traffic was backed up two miles from the entrance and the hour ride to the valley floor took 2 ½ hours, but the views along the way were spectacular. A stop at the Visitor Center for maps and suggestions from the ranger on highlights of the park and information on the two shuttle loops to navigate this immense park. First stop, Yosemite Falls the tallest waterfalls in the United States, and 5th tallest in the world! Yosemite Creek flows over this waterfall. It is entirely fed by melting snow. It drains an area of nearly 50 square miles. At its peak volume in late spring, 2,400 gallons per second flow over the lip of the Upper Falls. When the snow melts by summer, the falls can go down to a trickle and run dry. This past winter they had record snowfall and the falls were beautiful! There was still a spot of snow pack on Half Dome. We had a nice walk through the meadow to the Chapel, which had a beautiful wedding taking place, and more views of Yosemite Falls.
Because the park was so crowded, we decided to return early Monday. Again, we took the bus because parking was at a premium. Hopped on the El Capitan shuttle and were amazed at this sheer granite cliff. It was exciting to see climbers, that looked as small as ants, making their way up El Capitan! From El Capitan we hiked to Bridal Veil Falls a six-mile round trip hike in celebration of our sixth anniversary. So much to see, so little time and energy!
Pulled out Tuesday morning and made it down Route 120, five miles of curves, but much better road and delighted to be on the inside lane! Going through the town of Escalon CA heading to Lake Tahoe for one night, a driver in the passing lane was beeping their horn several times as they went past us. From past experiences that usually means something is wrong. Sure enough from the drivers side mirror the rear trailer tire was smoking! A quick pull over and fire extinguisher in hand revealed a failed wheel bearing. All the wheel bearings had been replaced at MorRyde last year! Several phone calls later, a three hour wait for the tow truck and then an overnight stay in a hotel. Thanking God for the good in it all, three helpful ranchers stopped to check on us and offer their help, the bearing didn’t fail on our descent down the mountain, no fire, and no damage to the spindle, RV, or anyone else. Les Schwab Tire Center in Escalon did a great job with the repair. Our plans have changed from visiting Lake Tahoe to heading directly to the Napa Valley. As they say in the RV world, plans are like JELLO.