Saturday, July 20, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite, California

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

April 21, 2013  NOTE THE DATE!  Reflections is almost 3 months behind the real time visits.

This post is graphics heavy, again, ya, you have been warned, again.

(Of interest to this day trip and story, the "No vehicles over 25 ft long OR 8 ft wide")

Today we will be driving to the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. (Note: It is controversial, and I will not be party to any angst over the controversy. I only report the facts, oh and show the water falls and such!  You can read about it on this Wikipedia page, which I feel does a fair duty of representing many sides of the controversy and informing about the size and history of the dam and reservoir.  If the subject interests you an internet search will pop up quite a few pages/hits.  You will learn much!)

After pulling off the main road (120) we find small roads that are anything but smooth.  Actually, the first leg of the trip was much "bumpier" than the roads once in the park area. Man just had to drive slowly, to go fast was to invite much discomfort.  But, the view was neat.  These trees were tall!

SOOOO, after about 8 miles of a rocking rolling ride in with ever increasingly more narrow roads, we pull up to the gate, the area is part of the Yosemite National Park.

There are limitations of vehicle size (see that first photo again) of 8 foot wide (Jolly is EXACTLY 8 foot) and 25 foot long (Jolly is 22 foot long).

The young ranger, green behind the gills, and even more green looking when he looked at the size of our Jolly the Green Giant dually truck, was about to deny us entrance when we assured him, that Jolly was within the limits, JUST within, but, within. He asked several times, we stood firm, he finally said, well you sure sound sure, OKKKK, but, please be careful and do not hit any of our other visitor's vehicles. Ya, he said that!  DUH.

The roads were narrow.  They were narrow, did I say, they were narrow??  Man and I seriously doubted these roads were 8 foot.  There were no shoulders to fudge in.  Narrow!

Does this lane look 8 foot wide?  Noooo??  And, that rock hanging out OVER the lane.  No problem for a car, or a smaller truck or SUV, and truth is, no problem for Jolly, but, Man did drive/hang to the left, on this particular corner, eh??  (OK, Man hung over the center line as much as possible during this entire drive, something we don't think is wise, normally, but, this was anything BUT normal, eh?)

Our first sighting of the O'Shaughnessy Dam, only glance of the dam we got with this view.  Thank you Sony Too and zoom!

See, I told ya it was narrow! Remember what they say about those mirrors, "Objects appear closer - - - "

My favorite photo of the Wapama Falls.  This part of the falls is about 200 feet long.

Zoom! Taken from another vantage point.

You can walk across the dam, there are a number of interesting signs to improve your appreciation and teach you.

This tunnel will lead you to hiking trails that over look the water falls, and in fact lead you to additional falls and lakes.  We did not tromp through the water. My hiking boots were in Jolly, I had no interest in getting my shoes wet.  Correction, I had NO dry shoes to change into.  Brochures describing the trails warn you to carry plenty of water and sunscreen and to watch for rattlesnakes and poison oak.  The hikes sounded fabulous.  2.5 miles one way to see spectacular views of water falls. Oh, to be 10 years younger!  LOL  And, have my boots!

At some point I realized there were two water falls here, can you see the second one?  Hint, look to the left side (towards the top) of this photo.

Zoom with another photo, can you see it yet?

Super zoom, yea, you can see it now.  This is the Tueeulala Falls.  According to the Wikipedia article, the falls drop free for 600 feet, hitting a ledge, then slides steeply down 280 feet further.

After spending some time taking lots more photos, reading the signage and such it was time to start heading  back to camp, we still had to drive these narrow roads all the way back to 120.  Now with already narrow passage, you just have to know that these warning lights over a section of washed out road way were, well, not particularly appreciated by the driver.

I am constantly amazed at the recreational biking we see going on.   I am no athlete and have not been since college when they kicked me out of Modern Dance class, and I have pretty much given up bike riding altogether, so I am in awe of the physical condition you must need to be in to ride in and out of these parks, up and down several hundred feet and at these altitudes (I recorded us to be at least  at 5,000 feet above sea level on the GPS during this ride).  They also concern us when we need to pass them, narrow roads made this even more of a challenge.   CLAP CLAP CLAP to them!

Look at this curve, the wall of stone (believe it is granite in this area) is only a few inches off the side.  I did say it was narrow, right??

Not all narrow roads and walls of granite and water falls, this meadow and a barn almost look like they do not belong.  But, they do! Isn't that peaceful??


It WAS an adventure.  Not one bit sorry we had this experience.  There are days when we wish we could put Jolly on a diet.  Then, we go pull the mountains, and we are glad Jolly is just the way he is!

And, no those roads just could not have been 8 foot wide lanes. Not even 8 foot, nope!



Karen said...

You both must have nerves of steel! But looks like the sights were well worth it. :)

Carol said...

Have to correct my own post, I see by reading Becky Wiseman's post I made a comment that I had no extra shoes with me. Another good reason to not tromp through the water in the tunnel.