Friday, June 22, 2012

Gold Fever , Giants and Bears

The last couple of days we rented a car to drive around Yosemite. Our diesel truck gets 7.5mpg whether or not I am towing. We figured we would be money ahead by renting a car for a couple of days. I think we came out ahead and it was a lot easier driving a small car rather than driving and parking the truck.


Our first stop on our adventure was the Yosemite Sugar Pine Railroad. We took the boys on a hour long train ride through the Sierra National Forest where we were introduced to the timber industry.


The ride was not as fast as the boy’s would have liked but I think they enjoyed it all the same.


They really liked it when the engine did its “Blow Out” to remove sediment from the boiler.


We saw the precursor to the chainsaw


And a “Steam Donkey” which was a steam powered winch.


After the train ride the boy’s and Max tried their hand at gold panning. There really is a technic to it and the prospector was very good at keeping the boy’s focused.

First they had to shake it side to side to get any gold particles to the bottom


Then the tricky part was to tip the pan horizontal to wash out the small pebbles but retain any gold.





They all had some small gold in their pans and the prospector sniffed them out and put it vials for them to keep as souvenirs .


After the gold panning we headed to the Mariposa Grove of Sequoia trees. These are the largest trees that we have seen so far. From what I hear they are even bigger in the Sequoia National Park.


We walked about 2 miles through the tall pines to get to the Grizzly Giant. Some pictures along the way.




You can barley see Gage standing by the fence next to the Grizzly Giant


A Tunnel tree



The trail was an uphill grade most of the way. The boys started getting tired so we did not make it to the end of the grove and the grove museum. We decided to head on over to Glacier Point.

Checking out Half dome



It was getting late so we decided to head over to a picnic area and grill some hamburgers. Along the way a few cars stopped and we were lucky to see this Cinnamon Black Bear feeding in a small clearing.



I think seeing the bear was the highlight of the day for the boys. After watching the bear for awhile we went in search of a picnic area.

We found one right next to the Merced river. It did not take long for the boys to find their way to it.



And it did not take long for one of them to slip in and get all wet.


We had a nice dinner along the river and enjoyed the evening. We still had about an hour drive back to the campground along curvy roads. I figured the boys would fall asleep but they were still on bear patrol to see if they could spot another one.

We had a fun day and made it back to the campground around 8:00 pm. They still had energy left over to play at the playground. Max and I wish we could absorb some of that energy. It has been awhile since we had to keep up with a 9 and 7 year old. We are sleeping very well!

Stay tuned for more Yosemite adventures!

Enjoy Your Day!!!



Laurie and George said...

How lucky for them to see a bear! They must be in awe of the whole place..Glacier Point is a perfect spot too see Yosemite valley :)

Al and Karen said...

What a nice day! Thanks for sharing!

Mike and Terri said...

So much fun! Bottle up some of their energy and send it to us!

Steve and Joan said...

Wow! A Bear! I'm still looking. It looks like you guys are having a great time. Love the pictures.

Dan and Tricia said...

I'm still looking for a bear in PA luck yet! Looks like you guys are having a wonderful time and making such great memories! Enjoy!