Day 18: Yosemite National Park

Digital Don Route 66 2 Comments

For the first time since we arrived in the US, this morning was cold and I mean it was ‘you could see your breath’ cold and annoyingly I didnt realise that the window right by the bed was completely open so our cabin was chilly when we woke. I guess that is what happens when you are up so high and shielded from the sun on both sides by mountains. We got up and went to the onsite restaurant for breakfast, niether of us wanted much so CJ got some oatmeal and I had a couple of slices of toast and coffee.

The drive ahead of us today was estimated at 250miles which isnt huge, distance wise but it was through Yosemite National park so I expected it to be a long drive, time wise. We ended up taking a side trip too so it probably ended up being a long distance too. We stopped at a gas station at Lee Vining and got totally ripped off for a full tank of gas (£41) and then headed up to the Tioga Pass. This is a mountain pass that goes through the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is the highest mountain pass in the state of California, over 3000m, and is closed during winter due to snowfall.

The pass begins by climbing up the mountains on windy roads until you arrived at the pay booth where we paid $30 to continue. The pass weaves through the park with spectacular vistas up high and lush meadows and streams lower down. We took a side trip to visit El Capitan which is a huge granite rock face and waterfall, the waterfall was a bit disappointing as barely any water was falling. The pass continued into more forest land and there were quite tall but no Sequoias unfortunately.

We ate a couple of granola bars and left the park and headed west towards San Francisco and the landscape changed to rolling, golden coloured  hills. We had probably been driving for at least 2 hours by now and the satnav said we had another 3 and a half hours to go and I was feeling pretty fed up with driving by now so I was not enjoying it.  After a couple of hours we stopped in a town called Oakdale so I could stretch my legs and although I told CJ I didnt want anything to eat, he got me some ice cream and it gave me a mental boast to keep on trucking.

San Francisco highways are pretty crazy but are nothing compared to Las Vegas or LA so I was merging like a pro and eventually we reached the Bay bridge which we had to pay $6 to cross and then soon after we reached our hotel, the Coventry Motor Inn on Lombard Street. The hotel has a parking lot which was one of the reasons I picked it but its actually pretty nice. The rooms are spacious with two king size beds and even a small table and chairs.

We headed up Lombard Street and dropped off some laundry at a small place a few doors away from the hotel. CJ thinks it will be very expensive, I dont think we will see our clothes again. We decided to finally get something to eat having spent the day surviving on toast and a granola and went into almost the first place we came across which was a 50s themed diner called Mel’s Diner. I had a country fried steak, mashed potato and vegetables, and CJ had a chicken pie with salad. It was really good to have some proper food.


Total Mileage: 3677 miles

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