Other than one brief venture outside, I didn't see any of Bakersfield during my convalescence.
Monday morning we're back on Highway 99 heading north to a family stop in Fresno.
Bill's cousin and her family have a large lot beside their house and we squeeze through the gate for a few nights of moochdocking. Water and 15 amp and we're good.
Unfortunately it's the hottest week of the season so far and nights without AC are a bit rough. But it's wonderful to spend some time with them, and with Bill's mom who lives nearby.
I get no pics of the family so of course we'll have to come back :-)
One afternoon we go with cousin Cindy and Mom to the Forestiere Underground Garden. I've seen signs for it for years, but never had the chance to visit.
What a unique place to explore. The tour is about an hour and tells an amazing story of one man's dream to build an underground resort. Dug mostly by hand and then rebuilt with the hard pan rocks, it includes a large ballroom (finished by his family after Baldassare passed away), a small living area, outdoor bathtub, and several small garden rooms with dozens of trees and vines.
|One of many citrus trees - all are full of fruit.|
|Cindy navigates Mom through the narrow passages - lots of "Pull your elbows in."|
|He kept fish here and could watch them from the small room below.|
|Large ballroom used for family events and presentations on the grounds.|
|At 95 degrees above ground, we really appreciate the genius of underground living in Fresno.|
|A driveway to the ballroom was planned but not completed.|
The number of dead and dying trees throughout the mountains here is depressing and sad. The polyfagous shot hole borer is the nasty little (seriously, the size of a sunflower seed) beetle that is destroying thousands of acres of pine trees throughout California, and there's no sign of slowing it down. Makes me so sad that I didn't see the area before the horrible devastation.
But as the day continues, I'm very glad that I'm getting to see the park after so much rain and snow. The main waterfalls are massive, and there are additional waterfalls everywhere we look - ones that most people never get to see.
Although there are hordes of people here on a weekday before Memorial Day, we do manage to find enough places to park to see what we want to see. The road to Mariposa Grove and Glacier Point is closed, and expected to remain closed through July due to flooding. There is so much water!
|First view of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View - breathtaking!|
|Half-Dome on the left, Bridal Veil Falls on the right.|
|We avoid the crowds at the wet and slippery base of Bridal Veil, but can feel the spray from here.|
|At least three tributaries carry torrents of water from the falls.|
|An additional benefit is that it's too loud for people to talk.|
|Parts of the parking lot are covered in the overflow.|
|Just to the right of the tree....|
|.....a rare falls makes its way down the rock.|
|A calm section of the nearly overflowing Merced River.|
|Upper Yosemite Falls with the tip of Lower Yosemite Falls starting at the bottom.|
|The cascading water is mesmerizing.|
|Falling water crashes through trees on the side of a mountain.|
|Green meadows add more natural beauty.|
|Hard to believe we were "just" in the desert!|
|Dressed up like a Bristlecone Pine|
|They're everywhere - so many falls!|
|Lots of Dogwood in bloom on the drive in and out of the park, but I fail to get a decent pic. The blooms glow in the bright sunshine.|
Friday I am finally feeling 100% and after a morning visit with Mom, we're ready to continue north on our way to Oregon.
|Jodee, Anne and Bill|
We get set up at the parking lot that is Cal Expo RV Park. We're here for the location and the full-hookups, and are looking forward to a few more California visits with old friends.