Monday, 13 January 2014

National Park Navigating: Crater Lake and Yosemite!

I'd been to America a total of 9 times before our epic road trip...and none of those times had revolved around nature.  Mostly those trips revolved around shopping, root beer, milkshakes, baked goods etc...! but this road trip was co-planned with my forester husband and so it was slightly different! and all the more better for it! Yes, I still ate a large amount of cupcakes and drank milkshakes as often as possible...but in between those treats in the cities, we stopped at some amazing national parks and saw some of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen! 

That's our little rental car right there...doing us proud!
America has 59 National Parks, according to Wikipedia...We managed to fit 4 in on our road trip so we still have some massive catching up to do!

 I knew that we couldn't leave Oregon without checking out Crater Lake though.  A few years ago, I saw some American lady's blog and she had pictures of the most amazing turquoise blue lake I had ever seen...I googled it and discovered it was Crater Lake, I'd never even heard of it before! but I knew one day I would like to visit!

Unfortunately, on the day we did arrive at Crater Lake...I mostly looked like this and spent most of the day in the car because I had woken up that day with an extreme case of morning sickenss! which really turned into all day sickness!

So I admired those turquoise blue waters from the car window mostly! Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the whole of America, and is a caldera that was left when a volcano, Mount Mazama, erupted 7,700 years ago.

I managed to make it out the car for this pic! Such amazing views!

We hiked a little way up the outside, to catch this awesome sunset!

Soo pretty!

The water was so calm and still! Earlier while I had napped in the car, By had hiked down to the water, a hike that unfortunately was not suitable for pregnant women! and he'd even bravely dived into the water.  Although it was a scorching hot sunny day, the water in the lake is glacial and so was icy cold!!

Fortunately by this time I was feeling better and so I was able to enjoy some of the sights a little more! 

 and lastly check out all the stars we saw!! It was amazing! I love being so far away from everything like that!

 Our next National Park pit stop was the mighty Yosemite in California! We had woken up before 5am to get on the road to make it there, it was one of our longest stretches of driving thus far on our trip!

So we were very happy when we came across this sign!

I was less than happy as we drove through the park and I was greeted with all this rock?!

 Yes, it was impressive scenery but not what I was expecting!


and that's when we discovered I had mixed up Yosemite with Yellowstone! I was expecting Yellowstone which is a much more beautiful, scenic looking national park.  So in the picture above Byron calls it my 'brat' face...because I was sulking at all the rock!

I did try to get over it, and enjoy everything Yosemite had on offer though! (but one day in the future I must make it to Yellowstone!)

 By braved the chilly waters again, and I stayed on the sidelines being photographer and playing my pregnant card!

Yosemite Falls, above, is the highest waterfall in North America! That did delight me...being the waterfall lover I am, it was not at it's fastest flowing at this time of year though but it was impressive nonetheless!

Byron was just in his element everywhere we went, he couldn't get enough of the place! and would have probably liked to stay for a week! We certainly didn't even scratch the surface of the park - it is SOO huge!

 Our campsite was called Tuolumne Meadows and opposite this beautiful Meadow! We captured this shot just as the light was closing in on the day.  It was probably the coldest night sleep we had on the trip because the altitude of the campsite was so high!

but we decided to go stargazing, and climbed that big huge rock in the dark (the one I'd made my brat face on earlier in the day) and we took sleeping bags with us and lay out catching a few shooting stars for a while, and then we realised we could see the Milky Way! How unbelievably cool is that! It was probably one of our best nights on the trip! and it turns out Yosemite wasn't so bad after all!!

Next up awesome amounts of treats in San Fran!

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