To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

Cross-Country Tour, Week 5

We're not on the boat. Nor are we in our hurricane-season hide-away near Asheville, NC.

On October 20th, we loaded the truck and started west. Some places are bivouac locations, other places are proper destinations. Catch up on mail. Do some birding.

  • Week 1
    • Oct 20 - Mount Juliet, TN (near Nashville)
    • Oct 21 - West Little Rock, AR
    • Oct 22 - Oklohoma City, OK
    • Oct 23 - Amarillo, TX
    • Oct 24 - Gallup, NM
    • Oct 25 - Bullhead City, AZ (Almost at the the NV, CA, AZ border)
    • Oct 26 - Santa Ana, CA
  • Week 2
    • Oct 27 - Santa Ana, CA
    • Oct 28-30 - Back bedroom in our son's house
    • Oct 31-Nov 3 - Newport Beach, CA -- Destination.
  • Week 3 (approx.)
    • Nov 4-5 - Son's house
    • Nov 6 - Santa Ana, CA
    • Nov 7-12 - Carpinteria, CA -- Destination. This includes a boat trip to Santa Cruz Island to see Island Scrub Jays.
  • Week 4
    • Nov 13-17 - Marina, CA (Near Monterey) -- Destination.
  • Week 5
    • Nov 18 - Mill Valley, CA (Near San Francisco)
    • Nov 19-20 - Carl's house (and the Muir Woods) -- Destination.
    • Nov 21-22 - Merced, CA (Gateway to Yosemite)
    • Nov 23-25 - Wawona Hotel (Yosemite) -- Destination.
  • Week 6 (more or less)
    • Nov 26-27 - Where I am right now, in Elk Grove, CA, outside Sacramento.

We're old and we don't like to drive for more than six hours or at night. You don't see anything at night.

Technically, each week begins in a Thursday (since that's when we started.) But. That breaks the destinations awkwardly, so the week numbers are plus or minus a day or two here and there.

In Cross Country Tour I shared some pictures through Nov 21.

Here are some pix from Week 5, in case you've never heard of Yosemite National Park.

Here's the Merced National Wildlife Refuge. It's in the Central Valley, which looks like Oklahoma. Flat. Farms. More Flat. More Farms. "Oh look! Flatness."

Merced National Wildlife Refuge
Merced National Wildlife Refuge

We hiked the Mariposa grove of Giant Sequoias.


Another view of Mariposa Grove. I gave up trying to take pictures of Sequoias. The immensity is beyond my ability to comprehend.

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park

The shuttle service had ended. We hiked two miles up to the grove. Did the two mile Grizzy Giant loop and then two miles back down to the parking area.

We took two spins through "The Valley". After six miles of hiking on the previous day, we didn't do too much hiking in the valley.


I (finally) found the place where you start your ascent of El Capitan's "The Nose" route.

I really had no clear idea what I was looking for, but the various turn-outs and the proximity of the face suggested a spot that happened to be the right place.

Random stranger standing there with binocular pointed out the Boot Flake. I had to then go online to find the Topo and Beta for some of the popular routes.

The iPhone lens doesn't have enough zoom to see the two people up there. I think this is Dolt Tower. It's the top of the 11th "pitch" of climbing. Each pitch is about 100' or so. No more than the length of your rope. The experts seem to suggest using 60m (~180').

There are 32 pitches.

Above them, CA got pictures of folks on the "Boot Flake" doing the "King Swing". The Boot Flake is the top of 16th pitch. You lower down, pendulum swing to the left, and climp a parallel crack for your 17th pitch.

Yay. You're half-way to the top.

We saw folks on the Zodiac route, also.

El Capitan
El Capitan

We stayed in the historic Wawona hotel. Electricity is a novelty. There's a dribble of WiFi in the lobby.

Indoor plumbing? That's a nope.

Our room was on the upper floor of the Moore Cottage.

The water closet and shower are on the first floor.

Plan your day accordingly.

Moore Cottage, Wawona Hotel
Moore Cottage, Wawona Hotel

Next stops are Sacramento, not for anything in particular.

Then, on to Tahoe, Reno, and Carson City, Nevada. Then, Southern Utah. Bryce Canyon.