After leaving San Francisco, we headed east from the Bay area to Livermore, across the Central Valley, and towards the Yosemite. On the way, close to the Sierra Nevada Range, there are a number of flooded rivers, now reservoirs for the large cities on the coast. In the case of the reservoir shown in the picture below — it covers what was once a town set in the valley by the river.
Onward to the Yosemite itself. We arrived just at the end of the season in early October and set up camp (with minimal equipment) in the valley. Then we were off to see the sights of the Valley and surroundings. The Yosemite is dominated by large granite batholiths. These are huge volcanic intrusions the floated up into the surrounding rock long ago. After the ice ages scraped away the surrounding rock, the batholiths are left exposed.
We camped in the valley for a few days. While in Yosemite, we climbed the heights of the Vernal Falls and hiked in the high hanging valley above the falls. That’s quite a climb and particularly hard decending the stairs (12 – 18 inch steps). We also drove to the top of Glacier point for a breath taking view of the valley near dawn.
On our way out, we took the Sierra Nevada pass high up and over towards Lee Vining and Owen’s valley.