It was surprising to see such extensive farmland in a state that is currently in the midst of a three-year drought. We later saw for ourselves how serious the drought had become when we drove by one of the major reservoirs supplying water to California, which was so low in some areas that you could see the bottom. Fingers crossed for a bit of rain this winter. If we could, we would send over a few ponds worth of water from Newfoundland. We’ve got far more than we can use!
As we progressed on our journey, we moved from incredibly flat plains to rolling hills covered in golden grass as we made our way into the Sierra Nevada. Sierra Nevada means “snow-covered mountain range”, and for a long time, that’s all they were to the European settlers in California - mountains off in the distance that nobody went to. That would all change during the California Gold Rush which began in 1948 when gold was discovered in Coloma by James W. Marshall. Of the 300,000 prospectors who rushed to California in the next seven years, few ever got rich from gold. Instead, it was the shrewd business folk that sold mining equipment and loaned these “forty-niners” the cash they needed to buy said equipment who made a killing. There’s probably a lesson in business there…
Once we finally reached the park our first stop was for a hike down through some very impressive woods to go see some Giant Sequoias at Tuolumne Grove. We obviously took lots of photos, but it was very hard to capture the scale of the ancient trees. To give you an idea of just how large these things are - one of the tree stumps of a dead Giant Sequoia has a tunnel cut out of it that’s large enough for a car to drive through it.
In case you missed them, here are links to our previous blog posts about this trip:
A Week in San Francisco (Part I)
Napa Valley Monday
A Week in San Francisco (Part II)
And here are the rest of the posts from our trip:
A Week in San Francisco (Part III)
Muir Woods Friday
A Week in San Francisco (Part IV)
Finally, here are some more pictures from our Yosemite tour: