Oh that was fantastic. Today we were on Mother Road. The best section of Route 66 we drove today was from Needles to Kingman. Many narrow and winding parts, up through the hills and down again. In the middle of the route there is the wonderful village called Oatman – it looks like a town from a Western movie. Donkeys walking around and there are mines everywhere.
The rest of the 66 was quite boring because the road was wide and straight. The end of our 66 tour was Seligman, a little village that could have been the draft for the movie Cars.
Inside the Barber Shop there are many identity cards which customers have left there. Also cars licence tags were fixed everywhere. We saw even some from Stuttgart.
After fixing out ID card (it is visible on the picture above 😉 we took a faster highway to continue our trip. Destination was the Grand Canyon where we arrived right on sunset.
Yesterday we had the first critical situation. When planning the trip we didn’t take into account that days are shorter than in summer. So we recognized that the two longer sections that we planned for today are not convenient. We decided to skip Death Valley and reverse the following sections.
The first part today was the way through the Sequoia Park. Again this was a very curvy passage, but with great views of big trees. One of them is the biggest tree in the world (in terms of volume): The General Sherman Tree.
Like yesterday the driving was stressful because of icy spots everywhere. It is a difference if your car gets on ice in a flat area or up high in the hills where no guardrails are fixed at the border of the street.
When driving down we recognized the dryness of the whole area of California for example at a lake that is quite complete without water.
After leaving Sequoia we took freeways and highways to Needles which is our starting point for tomorrow. Today we have driven 450 miles.
Today it was Yosemite day.
We drove around 50mi through the park. The streets are going up and down and have hundreds of curves along hills and rocks. This was fun but also stressful. We had to be careful as everything is frozen here at 30-40 °F.
We were shocked that huge areas of forest were burned down or the trees standing there black from the fire of August this year. A lady in the information center told us that the fire burned at least 2 months and was only stopped by the rain and snow. We even saw at some places huge clouds of smoke guessing that there are still trees burning.
Everything here is very dry, so the falls in Yosemite are only small showers – at least when looking at them from a distance. The river through the park is also dry.
Anyway we had a good time here. At the places where the fire did not reach the nature is very beautiful and there is a wonderful smell of pines and other wood in the air.
At the end of our walk we had the chance to view deers that were enjoying the sun not far from our path.
Goodbye San Francisco…
…but before we left we visited the famous part of the Lombard Street: the crookedest street all over the world. Here is a picture:
Another picture shows the steepness of the roads in SF. I calculated directly from the pixels in the picture a slope of 22%. We were short of breath when we arrived on the top of the hill.
Later we arrived at our residence for today near a very cute village named Groveland. The people there are so friendly and everything looks so cozy. For example the saloon. However we took our dinner in a nice small chinese and italian food restaurant.
This was a busy day in San Francisco. We did a 3h city trip with the sightseeing bus. Highlight was the drive over the golden gate bridge. Afterwards we took a walk through china town and again visited the see lions at pier 39.
Today we left San Luis Obispo and our daughter and our friends. It was such a good time. After having breakfast toghether and unpacking all the gifts it was a goodbye with tears.
Our trip today brought us to piedras blancas elephant seal view point where we could watch these oversized seals laying in the sand and the heat of the sun.
We also passed the Hearsts Castle but without a closer look. Another break was at the Nepenthe restaurant up on the hills with a great view of the pacific ocean and the rocks in the see.
We also passed silicon valley with very impressive office buildings of course mainly representing computer and software companies like Oracle, Cisco, Opera. Christine even recognized the googleplex. Finally we arrived in San Francisco where we have a hotel with direct view to the golden gate bridge. Pictures will follow tomorrow.
In the evening we walked down to the beach and the piers. Most gift shops and restaurants were opened. Fishermens wharf was very dirty: many crab snack shops at the streets covered with food waste everywhere. Crazy – one family eat their fish snack at a rubbish bin.
The end of our walk was the pier 39 with all the seals hanging around and singing their songs for us.
At christmas eve we visited the avila beach, a beautiful place for vacation. We even saw a seal in the see. Then we visited downtown. Josie Josey showed us her school – San Luis Obispo High School. Beautiful huge school in a wide area. Next action was the shopping tour downtown and the meeting with our exchange student for next year. In the evening we were invited to have dinner with Cameron and Bonnie – again a very nice evening with a great meal.
The follwing pictures were taken at that day – one of them at the bubble gum alley. Unbelievable: An alley where the front of both houses are nearly completely covered with used bubble gums.
It was a really nice evening with Cameron, Bonnie and the familiy and many friends yesterday. Bonnie prepared everything so fine so that Josephine had a beautiful birthday celebration. Thanks a lot for all that you do for our daughter. We are sure that she feels well in your family. And you all are so friendly – we felt well too.