Sunday, January 3, 2016

California Adventure : Sacramento, San Francisco, & Yosemite 2015

After we got back to the hotel from the marathon, I took a shower, soo excited about the BQ.  Because the race went well, with negative splits, walking wasn't too hard, either.  I showered, then met up with my Aunt and Uncle, who drove in from San Jose.  We caught up over lunch.  I probably haven't seen them in 20 years.  It was a nice reunion.


After lunch, my dad and I visited Old Sacramento.  The first stop was a Wells Fargo museum about stage coaches that used to bring valuables over long distances, into various cities out West.  I got a Geocache, and then we walked around the side of the Sacramento River and saw a train come in. 



The next day, we went into San Francisco.  The first day, we visited windy Lombard Street, toiured the Balclutha tall ship at Hyde Street Pier, saw the sea lions at Pier 39, and toured Alcatraz at night. 

 


(The piers have great views of Alcatraz, a distant view of the Golden Gate Bridge, nice views of the hilly city skyline, and action from the boats going through the harbor)

(Got a Web Cam cache while at the Sea Lions - with a web cam cache, you need to get internet webaam proof of yourself being somewhere, by taking a screenshot of some designated website with a webcam at a certain location).




On the way home, we got Dungeness Crab at a stand at Fisherman's Warf.  Ate it street-style, all messy, off a counter.  It was great and full of savory flavor.





 The next morning, we walked to Coit Tower and down the Filbert Steps, before stopping through China Town, then driving to Yosemite.  A good chunk of the park was closed for the winter and renovations, but the valley was still open, so we saw Half Dome and Yosemite Falls.  We'd go hiking, the next morning.


 For the hike, we chose to start with Lower Yosemite Falls, for 1 mile. My hat must've been lucky, since we saw a real deer on our way back to the car from this.




 The main hike was Upper Yosemite Falls, 7 miles round-trip, and 2,500 ft of climbing.  Great views of the falls at several stages.  The coolest part was that the falls' spray caused a buildup of snow, so it looked like the falls were going into a snow hole.

 (Each piece of bark on the Sequoia tree was huge!)

(Looks like an elephant, to me)




Lucky hat - saw a second deer on our path!


Many, many switchbacks later, got to the top, where it was snowy!




There was also a side-trail where you could look over where the falls fell over the cliff.  To get there, you had to go on a very narrow rocky ledge.




On the way down, my legs and mind were getting very tired of rocks and downhill.  But we made it down.

We went to San Jose, next, to stay with my Aunt and Uncle.  My dad and I went to Seventeen Mile / Pebble Beach, on the first day.  The coast out West with its rocks, is so different from the Eastern coast.  I love its character.  There weren't cliffs here like there are in LA, but there were Sea Lions!


I even got a geocache, where I left a very suitable mermaid.

 



The next day, we went into San Francisco, for the Golden Gate Promenade.  We started at Fort Point beneath the bridge, stopped by various piers and went through Chrissy field.  The waves were huge and powerful, and they washed across the only road to Fort Point, on occasion.  Pedestrians had to time their crossing.



Our target was the Wave Organ, which was a set of pipes that the waves could hit and make noises in.  That sounded cool.  As a bonus, there was supposedly a geocache there.  When we got there, the waves were going across the only road to the Wave Organ, and the standing water there was way more serious.  There was no choice but to walk through water that was a couple of inches high.... at its low point... a wave suddenly came in, and my shoes got completely drenched.  Since I was already wet, and since my dad was ok with it, we proceeded to the Wave Organ.  The organ looked like the ruins of a lost city of Atlantis.  It was awesome.  The water was washing up onto the ruins, even, so we carefully searched among the ruins for the cache.  I think I found the spot where it was supposed to be, but I couldn't find the cache, so maybe it got muggled.  It was a cool place, anyway... worth the wet.

 (Our path was that flooded road on the left, on foot)


 On our way back, the standing water was gone.  I guess we happened to go there at the peak of high tide, earlier, haha.  A DNF (did not find, in geocaching language), but a great story nonetheless.

On our way back, we went to the foot of the Golden Gate bridge.
 

The next day, we drove back to Sacramento and flew home.

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