Four Foto Friday – NorCal Coast to Mountains

We started this week between Santa Cruz and San Francisco on the California coast watching sea lions and surfers.  Then we headed to the  Sierra Nevada mountains and ended in beautiful Yosemite National Park hiking up giant mountains and to gorgeous waterfalls.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 9.05.42 PMAlcatraz Island:
When we were in San Francisco we went to Alcatraz Island. I really liked the audio tour that was narrated by the prison guards and former prisoners. Some of the most fascinating things they talked about were the one successful escape from Alcatraz and the privileges that the prisoners got. It was an ingenious escape and the people were never found again; they just disappeared.The privileges that the prisoners got, other than basic food, water and shelter, had to be earned. Also they had some prison cells furnished so we saw what a typical cell would have looked like. Last, we saw an art exhibit by Ai Wei Wei, an artist from China. He had three pieces of art; the one that I found most interesting was the one about political prisoners.

IMG_6964Mountain Biking:
While we were staying near San Francisco we went biking in Big Basin Redwoods State Park near the ocean. I really liked biking here because there were so many cool trees and plants, like coast redwoods. During our bike ride we stopped near a river and saw a newt! The newt was swimming in the water and looked exactly like a salamander. It was a really muddy trail, about wide enough for two people to walk on, with steep drop-offs where you could fall right off the side, which I almost did.

DSC_0656Yosemite Water Falls:
Yosemite National Park is one of my favorite parks so far in America and, while there, we did lots of activities. Some of my favorites were going to see the water falls. On our first day, we did a moderately strenuous hike to see the Upper Yosemite Falls, one of the highest on earth (2,425 ft). On our second day, we did some easier hikes to the Lower Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls. All of them were pretty, but you can only see them in the spring because they dry up during summer.

DSC_0672Yosemite Hike:
We did several hikes to get from place to place in Yosemite. All of them were in Yosemite Valley, which is a huge place and, even still, it’s less than 5% of the total national park. Besides the waterfall hikes, we did a ranger guided tree walk. This was very informative, but the ranger leading the walk kept getting distracted and talking about birds or animals and a lot of things that didn’t have to do with trees. This was OK because we learned about a variety of things, but not as much about the actual trees. We saw many black oaks, incense cedars, ponderosa pines, and my favorite, giant sequoias.

We still have one more day in Yosemite and so far it has been really great. Next we will be going to Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park.

7 responses to “Four Foto Friday – NorCal Coast to Mountains

  1. Denise Roberts

    Enjoying your pictures and blogs! If you all are near central Oregon, you MUST let us know so we can see you! (We knew your parents in New Delhi!)

    • Hi Denise! So nice to hear from you!! I wish we were making it to Oregon on this trip but, sadly, we’ve had to leave Oregon/Washington for another trip some upcoming summer. But, I hope that when we do get there, we can meet up with you – it’s been a long time and it would be great to catch up. Btw, I don’t know if you know or not, but we’ll be heading back to India in July – this time to Chennai. – Jen

  2. Hey Miles, looks like you’re having fun traveling from coast to coast! First of all I really liked your creative title with alliteration “Four Foto Friday”. I read your blog post and immediately thought of my trip around the U.S. It was about 5 years ago when my sister started to visit different colleges. This trip was a learning experience for her and a vacation for me. I remember seeing many different landmarks just like what you talked about in your blogs. I hope you continue having fun and learning new things!

    Just a quick question: what do you think the benefits of learning and experiencing at the same time?

    • Hey Edric,
      I didn’t know you had traveled around the US even if it was to look at colleges for your sister it’s pretty fun. It’s also a great way to learn about American history, something I didn’t know much about.
      Thanks for reading my blog and for commenting

  3. Grammy and Poppy

    Miles, The national parks sound so interesting We need to get out there and take a look around, but maybe not do as much hiking as you have done! Glad that you are all enjoying this wonderful trip…

    • Hi,
      I really think that you would like the national parks even if you don’t do any hiking they are pretty incredible.

  4. Miles,
    I am noticing an interest in trees! Unfortunately, I think I am a little like that ranger who can’t stay focused on his core job – tell me about the trees! I am really enjoying the variety of this year for you guys – natural beauty, family relationships and historical exploration. I cannot tell now who is writing the posts, your writing has so grown in complexity that you’ll be giving Mum (that’s the correct spelling of Mom) and Dad a few lessons by the end of the journey!

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