Modesto and San Francisco

Back to the Central Valley after a two week stay in Clovis/Fresno, California.  This time, just 80 miles north in Modesto.

Fortunately, I went over into Yosemite a couple of weeks ago and cruised around in the valley.  Now there is a rim fire, shutting down access.  So, Saturday, I headed west, over to the coast and San Francisco.

The Central Valley daytime temperatures this time of the year range from the mid 90° to the low 100° but the coast is another matter.  Not really thinking about it, I wore only shorts and a cotton t-shirt so with the wind blowing off the Pacific, I found it a little uncomfortable and hunkered down behind a grove of trees at Thornton Beach.  62°.  Yeah, I'm a wimp.

As usual, clicking on the photo will increase resolution and size.

On toward San Francisco my first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge showed fog at the tops of the span.

Further around the point, the winds had changed and the skies cleared.

Eastward on Lombard up the hill.

The obligatory trip down the zig-zag side of Lombard.

Sunday afternoon; a trip up along the Stanislaus River at Knights Ferry, California.  This is part of the old gold rush area.  I even saw one guy, just down stream, panning for gold.  I truly doubt he found anything.


Central California; Fresno, Clovis and Yosemite

It's been a couple of years since I've been near the Yosemite area and so a trip to Fresno/Clovis was a treat, not that either is much of a jewel but it's a great launching place for a weekend at Yosemite or the Sequoia National Forest.

My last (and first) trip to Yosemite was in late winter which meant many of the roads were closed but that also meant that traffic was at a minimum.  Getting an early start Saturday, I was able to get a jump on the crowds but by early afternoon, traffic was becoming insane.

Here's a few photos.  As usual, clicking the photos will increase the size and resolution.

The entrance

August is not the opportune time if you want to see lakes and waterfalls.  For the most part, the streams are shallow and waterfalls non-existent.

The iconic Yosemite Falls were bone dry.

The 3 mile round trip hike to Mirror Lake was less than what I expected and proved to be a dry meadow this time of the year.

While a 3 mile trip wasn't that bad, temperatures began to warm up into the nineties by noon.  Looking back, I kinda wished I had rented one of the bicycles for the sake of speed.

I wish I could tell how I cleverly stalked the wildlife and spent hours setting up for a shot but that would be a gross exaggeration and maybe a downright lie.   A lot of the animals were so used to humans, they appeared to be posing and could often get within inches of them.  Such is the case with this overweight squirrel.  The rules say, "Do Not Feed The Animals" but this one clearly made a living off the soft hearts of the human visitors.

The same held true for this 4 point Mule Deer buck.

Still majestic Half Dome

The Tuolumne Meadows.

Early afternoon, I had all of the people and traffic I could enjoy, so I took the long way back down to Clovis.  

Sunday afternoon, I was close enough to the Sequoia National Forest and Kings Canyon National park so I took a few hours to check out the giant Sequoias.

The General Sherman Tree is not the tallest of the Sequoias but in wood mass, it's supposed to be the biggest.

Fallen logs are an attraction too.

Hume Lake, Sequoia National Forest

I love these mountains but my stay here is only 2 weeks.  I'd love a long(er) term assignment near here in the future.