Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 7 - Yosemite to Death Valley

Got up reasonably early this morning to get an early start on our way to Death Valley. We were taking the Tioga pass road which passed through some parts of the Yosemite NP that we hadn't visited. Large parts of the forest on this road have been recently burnt out, some were still smoking. We stopped at the Toulumne giant sequioa grove. The walk down is a fairly steep 1mile track. Part way down we saw this buck eating.


The trees are big.



The walk back up was punctuated by a lot of complaining ... and how much furthers?


There were some burnt out areas even here.


The drive to Toulumne Meadows is picturesque. We got a close up look at the effect of the glaciers on the granite rock. Large expanses of polished rock and giant boulders in odd positions. We also got a view of Half Dome from a different angle at Ohlmsted Point.


We passed lake Tenanya.


Our next stop was the Toloumne Meadows visitor centre. The kids got their books checked by the ranger and did their pledge. The girls got a patch and The Boy a Little Cub button. They were very proud.



The drive down to Death Valley takes you down the eastern side of the Sierra's. The mountains are very spectacular from this point of view.


To enter Death Valley we had to cross one set of mountain ranges, cross a valley and then over the top of the Panamint Ranges. At one point the road signs recommended turning off your airconditioning so the car didn't overheat. We decided ours could cope ... we would have missed our aircon.


Our first taste of the heat at Death Valley was a stop just after Stovepipe Wells to look at the sand dunes. It was about 5pm and the top temperature for today was 116 degrees. It was pretty hot. We walked the short distance to the sand dunes.


Hubby saw a little white lizard which Big Girl was very excited about. The kids also had some fun running down the dunes.


When they got back to the car their faces were bright red. 30 mins later when we checked into the Furnace Creek Inn the manager thought the kids were sunburnt until we explained we'd been out to the sand dunes.


Before tea we took a quick run out to Zabriskei Point to see the sunset.


Oh ... and good news ... no bugs in the bath.

View all photos from day 7 HERE

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