Tahoe and Yosemite RV Trip (12)

Last year we went up the coast all the way to Portland for our RV vacation. This year we decided to head up to the Sierras to Lake Tahoe first, and then Yosemite. We met Debbie’s sister and brother-in-law in Tahoe at the KOA, after a great drive there. This KOA was built well before large RVs were invented, so it was a little snug getting around the park and into our sites, but we managed without scratching or denting anything…whew!

View into Tahoe from Highway 50 View into Tahoe from Highway 50

Tahoe campsite

Tahoe campsite dinner Tahoe campsite dinner

We thoroughly enjoyed camping with everyone in Tahoe and taking day trips around the area. We went to Nevada City the first day and took the train and mine tour. It was hot the day we visited, and I was glad for modern conveniences, like air conditioning and ice cold Coke! The conditions people worked in in the mid-1800’s was unbelievable. It was hot outside, and it got hotter the deeper they dug into the mountain. It was a hard living in the rugged area which is so different than Tahoe just over the ridge.

Nevada City Nevada City
Nevada City Mine Tour Nevada City Mine Tour

The next day we took the gondola up to Heavenly Ski Area. It is a fun ride to the top and the views from there are incredible. In the photo below you can see both Lake Tahoe and the desert of Nevada….I am thinking this is really good advertising for California.! 🙂

Panorama atop Heavenly...Tahoe on one side and the Nevada desert on the other Panorama atop Heavenly…Tahoe on one side and the Nevada desert on the other

We then drove to Emerald Bay and took in the beautiful views from there…

Tahoe Emerald Bay Tahoe Emerald Bay

The next morning, Mike and I had a great bike ride along Lake Tahoe. There are several miles of bike trails in the area. There is something about biking through the woods that is really refreshing, and it was good to get a little exercise on this trip…which added about 5 pounds to my weight before it ended!!

We then hit the road again for the next leg of our trip in Yosemite. Mike and Sandy took the long road down to 99 and up 140. We took the more adventurous route on highway 49 over to 140. While we saved about an hour in time, I found the road to be more fit for a Harley than an RV. While we did see another RVer going the other direction….LOTS of switchbacks as you SLOWLY wound down to the river, over the bridge and back up the other side. Next time, I think I’d pick the longer way around. It was beautiful scenery, however, and I could imagine the prospectors working their way through this area with nothing but a mule and their mining gear. The road is named highway 49 (as in miner 49ers) for a reason!

We got to our Tahoe KOA destination and made camp, ready for the drive into Yosemite the next day.

Yosemite Campsite Yosemite Campsite

We visited Yosemite Valley the first day, and I never get tired of taking in the beautiful vistas there! While I have several versions of most of these photos from previous trips…well, I still love taking them!

Yosemite Valley from vista point Yosemite Valley from vista point
Entrance to Yosemite Entrance to Yosemite
Yosemite Valley...ooh Yosemite Valley…ooh
Al by the river at Happy Isles Al by the river at Happy Isles

Half Dome

The next day we visited Glacier point and it’s terrific views of the valley, and also the Mariposa Grove, home to the Giant Sequoias. At Glacier point, we also saw a black bear (even though it’s brown) foraging for food. He walked slowly, turning over branches and rocks, looking for bugs, I guess. He didn’t seem to notice us. unfortunately, both my photos were blurry as I took it while the vehicle was moving.

View of Half Dome from Glacier Point View of Half Dome from Glacier Point
View from Glacier Point View from Glacier Point
Glacier Point Glacier Point
Al on the edge at Glacier Point Al on the edge at Glacier Point
A black bear foraging for food by Glacier Point A black bear foraging for food by Glacier Point

We then stopped by Wawona, parked Mike’s pickup, and took a bus to the Mariposa Grove. I should note that the transportation in Yosemite is fantastic. There was a bus that stopped right at the KOA we were staying at that would take us round trip to the Valley for $12 each. In the valley, there is free transportation throughout, and also free buses to Glacier Point and Wawona. At Wawona, you can catch a free bus to the Mariposa Grove, as we did. Why drive?

The trees of the Mariposa Grove are so majestic and beautiful. You can get a sense of their size by looking at the cabin at the foot of the trees. It was built by the Pioneer that discovered this grove. He came here with Tuberculosis and thought he wouldn’t last long, but he ended up living into his 90’s…must be something in the air.

Cabin at the foot of the Giant Sequoias Cabin at the foot of the Giant Sequoias
Hollow Giant Sequoia Hollow Giant Sequoia
Giant Sequoia Giant Sequoia

On our return to Wawona, we visited the pioneer village and also decided to dine at the Wawona Hotel. We ate on the front veranda and really enjoyed the food after a long day of walking.

Wawona pioneer village Wawona pioneer village
Wawona Hotel Wawona Hotel
Dining at Wawona Dining at Wawona
Wawona Hotel Lobby Wawona Hotel Lobby

Well, our vacation was coming to an end, and we really enjoyed the areas we visited and really appreciated Mike and Sandy for traveling all the way from Washington to camp with us. We said our goodbyes in the morning and had a nice drive back home, where I washed the RV and put it to bed until our next trip…

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