Park Life

Sunset at Dante's Point, Death Valley.  The whole of Death Valley was so amazing that there will be a separate post eventually

Sunset at Dante’s Point, Death Valley. The whole of Death Valley was so amazing that there will be a separate post eventually

After leaving San Fransisco, I went on a 9-day trip through the national parks, ending up in Las Vegas. I had hesitated over whether to hire a car and do it on my own, but in the end I took the tour. I think I made the right choice. There was a lot of driving from one place to another and getting in these places, finding parking and finding where to go after getting parked would have taken all my time and energy if I’d done it myself.

First stop: Yosemite.  Lots of hiking trails but still a bit hot for some of them.

First stop: Yosemite. Not great air quality because of the fires.

Yosemite: still a bit hot for some of the hiking trails

Yosemite: still a bit hot for some of the hiking trails

It was actually nice to relinquish responsibility for a week. A few people were panicking about the fires and whether we would still be going to Sequoia park, whereas I was happy to trust the tour leader to keep up to date with things, and find us an alternative if the park was closed off, whilst I sat back and enjoyed the ride.

Sequoia, our second stop.

Sequoia, our second stop. We had two separate bear sightings at Sequoia, which I’m told almost never happens. We also saw a tarantula. I wasn’t quite as excited by that.

Sequoia is home to the biggest tree in the world (although it depends how you measure) The General Sherman tree.  Unfortunately all fenced off for its protection.  It is a relatively easy trek to get to it from the parking area.

Sequoia is home to the biggest tree in the world (although it depends how you measure) The General Sherman tree. Unfortunately all fenced off for its protection. It is a relatively easy trek to get to it from the parking area.

Our little group consisted of eleven of us, ranging in ages from 21 up to mid 70s and coming from Switzerland, Holland, UK, USA, New Zealand and Australia. There were two couples amongst the eleven, one brother/sister coupling and the rest of us were solo travellers. We all rubbed along reasonably well, without any major incidents.

Even I managed ok, and I hate being cooped up with other people; I am really not a ‘people person’, despite what I always say at job interviews.

However nine days was enough and I was relieved to get to Las Vegas, reclaim some more autonomy over my travel and get to a bedroom that was all mine.

Death Valley.    It didn't get that name coincidently. Temperatures reached 48 degrees whilst we were there.

Death Valley. It didn’t get that name coincidently. Temperatures reached 48 degrees whilst we were there.

IMG_3658All good fun, but Death Valley in particular was an amazing place and will get a separate post of its own when I get around to it. Meanwhile, I am going to be enjoying the delights of Las Vegas.

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