California

18th Oct 2016 at 3:40pm I entered California for the first time. It was a little warmer here than in Oregon, but the cold wind. After the city of Dorris there was an inspection station. When I saw it, I did not know, what they will inspect. I actually thought, they won’t let me in with my rusty car. I learned, that they did not care about the car. It was about agricultural products instead. Though I was asked were I have been and what I have with me – fruit, vegetables, plants? I told them, I have not and they did not check it. I was welcomed into California. Later on I understood, that I should have declared the cereals I had with me.

My host in Yakima had told me about Crater Lake and Mt. Shasta, but I did not know, that I would come close to the lake in Oregon. That time, I decided not to take the detour. Now in California I stopped at a view-point – featuring Mt. Shasta. I did not know either, that the snow-capped mountain was Mt. Shasta before I left the car at the view-point and saw the signs. It was very cloudy and it took a while to take a photo showing the top of the mountain. Later on I saw the mountain from another side – in all its beauty.

Mt Shasta

For more photos of Mt Shasta click here.

I have learned that there are National Forests, State Parks and National Parks in the States, but now I learned that there also are National Grasslands. By the way, one of the places I passed through was called Weed and the business was taking advantage of the name, even the city did not have that plant in their advertising. Around 8pm I came to the Bogard Rest Area, where I had a meal and stayed overnight. Trucks were staying there, too and a stay was restricted to 8 hours.

19th Oct was a sunny, but cold day. I awoke around 4am, because I was freezing. I tried to drive away and warm up by that, but it was a quite thick ice layer on the windscreen as well as the side windows. It took an hour with the engine running before these were clear and I could drive away. I arrived in Susanville half an hour later. I counted almost four gas stations and three of them were open 24/7. In one of them I bought a coffee and a biscuit as well as I used the restroom. This town also had a visitor centre and a museum, but there was no car park, though I drove further. After a while I came to the Gold Lake Rest Area, which was new opened and unfinished. I stayed there for a while and slept in the driver’s seat for 90 more minutes. When I awoke, the sun has risen and it started to become warmer. I dressed and drove further. In Bordertown (which border it may be) i filled my car and had breakfast. The restaurant and bar were pretty decorated for Halloween. I took another rest in Davis Creek Regional Park, where I slept half an hour.

My next destination was Carson City, but to get to know more about it, you have to follow me to Nevada.

National Grassland and Mountains

20th Oct around 11am I was back from my detour to Nevada. The first, which made me aware of it, was the inspection station I had to pass. I have got the same questions at last time: “Where do you come from/have been, do you have fruit, vegetables or plants with you?” I had not and it was enough to answer the questions. My car was not inspected. I continued to Mono Lake. To go there I had to drive on a really steep road. On one point I could stop and take photos of the lake, but it was not better as the photos taken nearby. This lake is actually interesting, not only one of thousands. It is a large, shallow saline soda lake with tufa stones in its surrounding. The sun was not only shining now, but also warming. – For me it seemed unusual that the restrooms were closed, because the area had still a lot of visitors.

Tufa Stones at Mono Lake

For more photos of the Mono Lake and surroundings click here.

The highlight of the day was my visit of the Yosemite National Park. Not far away from the Mono Lake I could already buy the entrance ticket. It was valid for three days and there are campgrounds in the NP. The pass costs $30 and was valid for a car with a whole family. I think there is no need to say anything more about the price.

Long before reaching the visitors centre and the shuttle bus, there were amazing views, e.g. of the Le Vining Canyon,

Le Vining Canyon

the Half Dome

First Sight of the Half Dome

and Cascade Creek Waterfall.

Cascade Creek Waterfall