TGSWRT: Days 17, 18 & 19 - Forests

Before we headed off to Sequoia we popped into Visalia to cash some travellers cheques. One thing I haven't mentioned yet is the problems we've experienced paying for fuel over here with our Visa cards. America now is all about paying in advance for ones fuel and more often than not it's asked for your PIN number and every time it has, it's been declined. If I try to use a Credit Card it asked for my ZIP code and that's not going to work either. Therefore, getting access to cash dollars has been pretty important to us. If you're contemplating a similar trip, bear that in mind. After we had got dollar'd up Miko spotted a small independent Mexican food place near the parking lot called "El Mejor" and as lunch was looming we popped over to grab some grub.

This was my lunch. One wet burrito filled with barbequed beef, some hot sauce and a lovely sharp lemon/lime soda. Miko had a chicken enchilada with strawberry soda, but once again we didn't finish our meals and the remainder went on to make up a large part of our dinner that night. Now we were full of very tasty mexican food we set off for Sequoia.

The road from Visalia to Sequoia is possibly one of the windiest and rapidly climbing roads I've ever driven on and tackling it in a heavy 12ft high, 25ft long RV wasn't the best way to experience it but onwards we went. A combination of mexican food, altitude and rapid turns didn't go too well down with Miko who was soon reaching for the motion sickness pills. Once we reached the top and gathered our breathe we took a short stroll round "The Big Trees walk" which was only about half a mile in length, but as we've learnt: we travel very, very slowly.

As big trees are, by their nature, really big, I've included a couple of people in this picture to give them a sense of scale. All you have to do is find them. ;)

We left Sequoia and drove back down the narrow, windy and steep road on to Midpines KOA (sadly this was the exception in our rule that all KOAs are staffed by helpful and friendly people! We won't be rushing back here) where we'd booked for two nights, giving us ample time to check out our final big natural wonder - Yosemite national park.

After a nights rest the weather turned on us and temperatures dropped about 20 farenheit. We had planned on taking the shuttle bus from the campsite up to the park but as it only ran every couple of hours and took an hour and a half to get there we drove up ourselves. It was another ascent up windy mountainous roads, but nothing compared to yesterdays drive. After eating our lunch we took a short mile and a half long walk around the meadow in the centre of the park (that's a three hour excursion for us), which should have offered us clear views of these towering majestic granite outcrops that this park is famous for, and it would've done, if it wasn't for the cloud cover that erased them from our view.

That's the famous Half Dome of Yosemite on the left. Yes, just behind all those lovely obscuring clouds. ;) It didn't stop us taking pictures as clouds help define scenes when photographing or filming them - an empty blue sky is the dullest sky of all. We also saw woodpeckers and dear in the glade that's at the bottom of the picture (something you'll see a lot more of when we've both edited our real pictures and video).

And after that, we left. Our last national park on "The Great South Western Road Trip". We stayed over night at Midpines and today drove to Stockton Delta KOA, where I'm now writing this blog post. The end of the road - 3, 137 miles from our starting point at McKinney, Dallas, Texas. Tomorrow, we'll return the RV and head into San Francisco for the last two nights of our trip. I'll probably write a blog from there and one when we get back to the UK, in way of summary, but I would like to say thanks to everyone whos commented on the postings to let me know you're reading them and to let me know how much you've enjoyed the updates.

It's one thing to write, it's a better thing to be read. :D