The route this day took us from Topaz Lake, Nevada to Fresno, California, via Yosemite National Park. Another great day on the road!
Approximate time on road/out caching: 15 hours, 15 minutes
Total miles driven: 259.1 mi / 417 km
Total caches found: 22
Total DNF: 0
States visited: Nevada, California
Famous places visited: Mono Lake, Yosemite National Park
Most memorable cache: GC1D4XB Mono Lake Water Balance
Biggest surprise: Finding a place to park in Yosemite Valley on the first try
Highest temperature: 98°F / 36,7°C
Lowest temperature: 46°F / 7,8°C
Extremely early up
We got up early enough to be ready in the car at 4am. That’s crazy early, and well before the sun was even close to appearing on the horizon. We even managed to find a couple caches before sunrise, in addition to driving a lot of miles in the darkness.
So worth it
The reason we started so early, was to get to Mono Lake before sunrise. Which we did – and it was totally worth it! It was a bit cold, but Mono Lake was amazing! And getting to enjoy it at sunrise, almost alone (just a few muggles there), made this one of the best decisions on this trip.
We stopped at both sides, and got to find both a virtual cache, a traditional cache and two earthcaches.
We made it to the first one
The second reason to get up early, was to hopefully make it down to Yosemite Valley before it got packed with people. We made it to the first cache in the park, GC58KV2 Brrr… It’s the Alpine! But it’s not your Fault!, right before they opened the entrance station. And then we got the first glimpse of Half Dome when we stopped at the next one, GC76PAN The Bedrock at Olmsted Point.
We actually found a place to park!
To make a great day even better, we found a place to park at the first parking lot we got to in Yosemite Valley! We did not expect that to happen! Since we didn’t know how much traffic, parking trouble etc. there would be here, we didn’t plan much in Yosemite Valley. The only thing we had on the plan, was the visitor center – we gotta get the stamp for our passport 😉
The first shuttle ride
After visiting the visitor center, we decided to walk to the closest virtual, GCGFYE Geo Joe’s Traveling Show. From there, we took the shuttle to the final coordinates. We also used the shuttle to get to the next cache, GCHYZ9 Split Rock: An Investigation.
A difficult one
The next cache, GCBF3D Royal Cascade, turned out to be a very hard one. So we spent a lot of time there, before we took the shuttle to the last cache we decided to find.
The last cache before we returned to the car was GCJHJ4 The Highest Leaping Waterfall in the World. Lots of people, but still amazing views!
We had to stop at one more cache along the way out, and surprisingly enough, we managed to find parking right next to GCHYQ7 The Nose of El Capitan. We almost ended up with a DNF, but found the information we needed after a bit of work 😀 And since we managed to park here, we just had to give GCG2AD Out of the Darkness, into Yosemite Valley! a try as well. The view was amazing, but the best part was when the rude tourist behind us tried to skip the line, and ended up on the wrong side of the busses, and therefore couldn’t park 😀
A couple stops along the way
We can’t drive from Yosemite to Fresno without stopping to find some caches, so we managed to squeeze three virtuals and a couple traditionals along the way into the plan. And we also stopped to find a bonus cache.
It’s not that far
And when we first start to find bonus caches, it’s easy to find more. So when we noticed how close the earthcache GC2HJPM It’s a Butt(e)! was, we decided to give it a try.
Since we didn’t have to struggle with parking in Yosemite, we made it to the hotel a lot earlier than we had anticipated – which was awesome after such a long day.