Nevada and Vernal Falls, August 1977 - After sleeping in the car the night before along Northside Road near the foot of Lower Brother, we awoke to tour Yosemite Valley at sunrise, spying climbers on El Capitan and enjoying the cool air.
Later that morning we hiked up to the top of Nevada Falls on the John Muir Trail from Happy Isles. After encountering a young bear attracted to David who was preparing our lunch sandwiches--we managed to discourage him--we hiked down the Mist Trail to the base of Nevada Falls and then past Vernal Falls.
Taft and Glacier Points, August 1977 - On our second day in Yosemite we drove up Glacier Point Road. On the way we hiked out to Taft Point (and I recall Sentinel Dome, although no photos survive to document that). Then we spent the late afternoon and evening at Glacier Point before retiring to a campsite at the dry--this was a drought year--Bridalveil Creek Campground.
Sunrise at Glacier Point, August 1977 - We awoke early from our camp at Bridalveil Creek and sped out to Glacier Point to catch the sunrise. We arrived a few minutes before the sun poked above the Sierra Crest to the east.
Wawona Grove, August 1977 - On our way out the southern entrance of Yosemite we stopped to marvel at the giant sequoias in the Wawona Grove.
Little Baldy, August 1977 - Our first activity on our last day in the mountains was to take a short hike up to Little Baldy that was less than 2 miles from the road. The summit was popular with other hikers who climbed up to enjoy the expansive view from its summit. Even a park ranger was seen at the top.
Giant Sequoias in Sequoia National Park, August 1977 - On our visit to Sequoia National Park we stopped to see the giant sequoias in the Giant Forest at Sequoia National Park.
This trip involved climbing upon, driving one's car through, and driving one's car upon a tree, activities one can no longer do. In the 1970s the conservation movement was still young, and nature was still a beast that man was ordained to conquer.
Moro Rock, August 1977 - Our last short hike of the day was to the summit of Moro Rock, a dome, and to enjoy the dramatic view from its summit. The air to the west was hazy, but to the east the air was cleaner. A constant wind was blowing up the western face of the dome, giving me a bad hair day.
Hearst Castle and Big Sur Coast, August 1977 - We exited Sequoia National Park by CA198. We continued west across the San Joaquin Valley and then onto CA41 over Cottonwood Pass to Paso Robles, where we spent our last night at the Black Oak Motor Lodge.
I recall eating dinner in the hotel restaurant that evening under the watchful gaze of the restaurant's suspicious chef, who peered at us through a row of artificial begonias atop a wall dividing the food preparation area from the dining room. I'm not sure what the chef was suspicious of. Perhaps we were laughing loudly after making ribald jokes about the first course of our dinner, "puree of bean soup". On that day I learned the word, "puree".
The next day we continued west to San Simeon where we toured the Hearst Castle. I recall that we had to buy tickets and wait to be driven up a precipitous one-lane road in and old school bus. Our walking tour of the castle was guided by two docents, one who did the talking and another who followed up the rear to keep us moving. I remember that the front tour guide called the rear guide a "shepherdess", which even in my naive years I thought was an odd title. The castle was an amazing piece of work, but I don't remember much else from our tour.
After Hearst Castle we drove north on CA1 along the Big Sur coast on our way home.
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