Thursday, July 18, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: THE Drive of THE Trip, Part 4, The Best For Last, 120 to Groveland California

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

You have been warned!

April 19, 2013. NOTE the date!!!

Well, 120, Groveland and Yosemite, here we come!

Signs, all lined up.  I have to laugh at that speed limit of 55.  HA HA HA.  Good luck if you can manage to do more than 30 on this section of road, the New Priest Grade Road.  There is another one of those signs telling us if we are a trailer longer than 30 foot from the king pin to the axles this road is NOT advisable to drive.  Remember, we are 25 feet!

You can see from the GPS shot that the road is squiggly and the speed limit is 55 and we are doing 23 MPH.

"Winding road next 8 miles.   WATCH FOR ONCOMING TRAFFIC!"  No kidding, we have been concerned, well, ok, scared quite a few times by the other people's driving.  They just cannot seem to stay on their side of the road.  With the sharp turns, steep fall off grades and very limited visibility, it is very concerning when all of a sudden there is someone in your face slightly (or more than slightly) on your side of the narrow road.  Yep, that is scary as all get out!

You will note that this shot of the GPS shows a deep hair pin turn, but, it also shows it was taken about 1 minute after the previous one, and yes, we HAVE gone up 230 feet in altitude in that 1 minute.  This is one time that I can guarantee that the GPS was not malfunctioning.  Jolly was pulling his heart out, Tana is no feather weight, eh?  Man had the trans in low gears, first and second.  The transmission heated up, just a little.  And, we had the air conditioner off.  The one sign I did not capture with Sony Too and barely saw enough to read to Man (in a slightly hysterical tone), was the one that advised turning OFF your air conditioner.  We did so immediately. End effect, we drove up much of this incline with the windows open and the hot air blowing in on us.   It was hot, something between 80 and 85.  Go figure, we are going to the mountains but this stretch of road the area was quite warm.

Looking back at Moccasin.

Another minute of driving, another 173 feet!  19 MPH.  And, lots more squiggles in that road.

We were there - - -  You can tell that the hills are steep and long, if you look closely, you can see there are not always guardrails.

I decided to go to GoogleMaps and have a lookie see at 120, and, lo and behold, there is street view.  It is a hoot to drive 120 via GoogleMaps.   Sadly I missed the one screen where the little red car in front of the Google camera car was over the center line.  Too bad what great proof to show you what they mean when they warn you to be careful on on coming traffic, eh??

I did grab this one image tho.  Split screen this time, on the bottom we have a overall image and the little yellow man that shows us exactly where the street view is taken from.  The top is the street view of the actual road.  We would have been driving on the right hand lane, going UP and towards Groveland.  You can see that the hill is rather steep on the edge there and that there is a slight curb along the edge, probably to keep you from attempting a pull off to stop on and gawk.  This is no place to stop for photo ops.  Nearly the top of this hill you can see as the road disappears around to the left there is some guard railing.  For the most part, there are no guard rails.

The following are my photos, looking back at the road as it climbs the mountain.

Lets zoom in on that section of road.  You can see, again, the slopes are intense, there is not a lot of shoulder, if there is any shoulder and only small sections of the road have guard rails.  We are driving to Groveland on the outside (the left side).  We will leave Groveland driving on the inside (right side) and will be hugging the walls and rock and such on the way out.  It was a thrilling ride too!

We have climbed to 2660 feet, moving along at 15 MPH  and the road is starting to look almost straight!

Now that the road has "normalized", I will take a few other photos.  Would have been a nice barn shot if that ole electric pole had not jumped in there, eh?

Welcome to Groveland, the Northern Gateway to Yosemite.  Groveland sits at an elevation of 3,136 feet.

Man is envious.  I am not!  The bikes had a beautiful day to ride around Yosemite.

We arrived at our campground (well, we zipped by it, saw it at the last moment, went down the road a half a mile, did another u-turn and returned.  It was a bit difficult to get parked and level but it will forever be a favorite campsite for us. Just had that magical appeal to us.  No resort, but, under new ownership for several years, the owner was reinvesting all profits back into improvements, fences, new lawns.  Yet, it was not a resort, it was a perfect mix of campground, mountains, quiet and wonderful!

After our long and stressful and exciting ride from Gilroy to Groveland we will rest a bit tomorrow, but, we cannot stay out of Yosemite, so decide on a "short ride".  Oh, what a short ride it was.  Tana will stay in the campground, so this is the wonderful sightseeing kind of ride.  Finally, we are near Yosemite and yes, indeedy, I took a bucket load of photos.  Come on back and I'll share some with you.

*Note, the graphic from Google Maps.  All the disclaimers apply here.  They have copyrights, they don't ask me to use.  I don't get charged to play with GoogleMaps.  I don't have to use their product.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I do not.  They don't ask me to review their products.  See my disclaimer page at the top of this blog.

1 comment:

Jana Last said...

I do NOT like winding mountain roads, especially the kinds with scary cliffs. You guys are daring to drive those roads with your RV!