April 19, 2013. NOTE the date!!!
Today we will leave the coastal area and head over to Yosemite National Park. Today it was ALL about the drive and what a drive it was. Yes, Tana got to go on this ride too, as we will spend about 2 weeks off the coast before we go back over and spend weeks traveling up the coast to the northern tip of Oregon. But, first we we able to snag a reservation in a park near Yosemite and there was that MOC Rally in Jackson California, so, off we went.
Going to break this LONG amazing and sometimes scary (only a little scary if you don't drive SLOW enough, eh) drive into several posts here on Reflections. First we shall leave Gilroy California and head over the Pachero Pass.
At 10:28 we were at 169 feet. By 10:49 we had climbed to 1349 feet and by 10:53, just 4 minutes later we had dropped to 715 feet. Mountain driving, signs, hills, views, all of which I'll share.
Crops abound in the valley area west of the pass, and if you see a black spot in the sky, it is not dirt, it is a bird, believe it is a hawk.
As we gain altitude and move away from the coastal areas it turns beige, from lack of rain.
We are driving the Pacheco Pass, which was discovered in 1805 by Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga. The pass has quite the history, a pass, a stage coach road and a freeway. It is one of the main routes between coastal California and areas to the west, including the Central valley of California and mountains areas (like Yosemite and the Sierra Nevadas which runs 400 miles north-to-south, and is approximately 70 miles across east-to-west. The Sierra Nevadas include, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite Valley, Mount Whitney and more!)
Now, if you are into the more outlandish bizarre, have a lookie see here. Snicker, ya just never know what you might find during a search, eh?
Driving the pass:
Signs are always a huge part of our experience, one like this always catches our attention.
Near the San Luis Dam. (The dam is an earth-fill gravity embankment dam, 305 feet tall. It was completed in 1967.) The water is a welcome sight, refreshingly so. You cannot see the dam from this vantage point.
This sign also catches my attention, seeing that the fur kids needed a potty break. This is at the Romero Overlook and visitors center.
A lone tree and the water and the beige landscape, contrasts, I am always drawn to contrasts.
Another lone tree in the parking lot of the visitors center. Exquisite. Well, it is to me.
A memorial at the Romero overlook/rest stop. May they rest in peace. Thank you for your service.
Dedicated in Memory of
TIM CRAWFORD and MARTIN ALVARADOWho lost their lives on February 7, 2007, while performing underwater inspections at the Dos Amigos pumping plant. They sacrificed their lives to keep the state's water system safe and secure for the people of the State of California.