It has been a while since I wrote a Blog post but during these crazy times it got me thinking about the beginning of 2020 when I managed to squeeze in a trip to California in January just before all the worlds rules changed due to Covid 19. Anyway I just wanted to share some pictures I took form my stay. I hope you enjoy them .
To be honest for some reason America has never really been on my bucket list to visit apart from the obvious potential for skateboarding (which is a big thing in my life) . I do not know why this is I just never fancied it but wow, I was completely blown away by California. We arrived late at night in Oakland and hired our jeep wrangler and set off to the mountains of Yosemite.
One thing I was looking forward to was the cars . This Jeep wrangler sport was so fun to drive and fuel is pretty cheap over there. Being used to driving in the U.K however , when you look at a map somewhere you think is close, in America however , generally it is not, haha. We drove for hours through the night to get to the mountain lodge we were staying at just outside of Yosemite park which was reasonably priced on Air B and B.
In the morning as it was winter we woke up to a crisp cold but dry day and ventured up the winding roads to the park .
The road is a beautiful undulating path through the mountains and has breathtaking river views that you want to stop and take a picture at at every turn. You are greeted by friendly park rangers and in winter they advise that you have to have snow chains before you enter. The ranger said with the current weather we would be fine in the all wheel wrangler but if it snows you have too put chains on by law. The one problem with this is, being a visitor you void your insurance of your rental vehicle when you put snow chains on so just bare this in mind before you venture on the snowy paths. Lucky for us however the snow was minimal and the jeep easily made it through.
We visited Yosemite a few times but on the first day we explored ll the easier routes as we were tired and you can access a few Waterfalls with a short walk from the road. There was adequate parking and a lovely gift shop and amenities. The plus side of going in winter was that it was so quiet! All the trees such as the redwoods were huge dwarfing you as you walked beneath them.
You can also see the famous El Capitan from the road. I have not seen the documentary but to Climb this in a couple hours with no ropes is just insane!
On the subsequent days we went further afield. Mirror lake was stunning and a mellow walk . Watch out for mountain lions though apparently you have to scream at them or fight them if you see one!
We did a hike which took us all day up past Vernal falls to Nevada falls which was 5907ft Altitude. I am not that big on hiking but this was one of the best hikes I have ever done. The scenery was incredible. It was icy though and quite steep at the top . Make sure you take food and plenty of water as we were gone for around 8-9 hours .
The Next Stop on our Itinerary was Sequoia National Park. Home to some of the worlds largest trees!
The drive up again was amazing. The weather was Sunny and Blue skys but we were warned by the rangers not too stay up there too long as a large snow storm was approaching.
The Forest of Giants was further than I thought , you have to ascend all the way to the top of the mountain. I could not stop taking pictures as I have never seen trees of that magnitude . They were huge. Here are a few selected pictures below
After Sequoia National park we then road tripped to San Francisco to meet friends who highly recommended driving along the Big Sur. The Big Sur is a coastal road which traverses a rugged and mountainous section of the central coast of California.
This Drive was so good it was like a photographers dream! So much wildlife , landscapes and the light seemed to always be great ! So I could bombard you with thousands of pictures but I have tried to only pick out a few.
The first highlight of the drive was when I saw a sign saying Elephant seal viewing area! I screeched to a halt and did a rather dangerous exit into the car park. On arrival there were a lot of people already there with guides answering questions. I peered over the wooden fence to the beach and there they were hundreds if not thousands of Elephant seals!
After the light went we headed to San Francisco reveling in everything we had seen. Birds, Seals, Otters, landscapes and sunsets. I honestly say that if your into wildlife and hiking you should put it on the list to visit. It was quite expensive but worth it. San Francisco was amazing too but I didn’t take many pictures as I was ill but I definitely want to go back and see more. I could of stopped hundreds of times to look at birds and animals but I am happy as we did do quite a lot in 2 weeks though. Anyway hope you enjoyed the pictures 🙂
P.S All the landscape photos on this page were taken on the Laowa 15mm macro lens. Such a versatile lens . If you are interested in this lens please click the affiliate link below: