Yosemite Hike 
We decided to go for a hike and camp in the wilderness today. We got a wilderness permit (free) and packed up our packs to hike up to El Capitan. The guy at the place that gave us the permit said it was about 8 miles (one way) with an elevation change of about 3000 feet. We hiked for about 4 miles, had lunch, then kept on going up the steepest part of the hike. We only made it another two miles to where it flattened out before we decided to just make camp. Plus, the sign at the start of the hike said El Capitan was 10 miles away, not 8. We dropped our stuff off at camp and Joe and I decided to see if we could make it to the mountain. Well, we did... but it was another 4 miles... one way. We just about doubled our hike. The view was awesome, but we were hurting pretty bad by the time we got back to camp where Toan was sitting waiting for us with a fire going. Dinner sure tasted good. :)

Our camp. Toan is trying to warm up by the fire while Joe's working on getting dishes clean enough for breakfast.

Our break spot by a stream on our way back.

El Capitan from the top. Joe and I didn't hike all the way out, or even onto, the mountain. This view was pretty spectacular. The valley was huge!

El Capitan from the ground in front of it in Yosemite Valley. Where we were standing the day before is just to the left in the photo.

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Sacrament Airport 
So we went to Sacramento to pick up Joe's friend, Toan, at the airport. We ended up staying at an expensive KOA the night before though. Anyway, turned out Toan had a layover in Las Vegas where his flight ended up being cancelled. He had to fly to Pheonix that night then to Sacramento. We were parked in an economy lot for the day/night and Toan found us around 9pm (he was supposed to get there around 1pm). So, we stayed in the parking lot that night and left for Yosemite the next morning.

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Lots of Photos 
Here are a number of photos starting in the Oregon caves to our drive to Sacramento. While going down highway 101, there was a road you could take that went basically parallel to the highway called the "Avenue of Giants". We took that. It was a very pretty drive. Lots of big trees.

Some formations in th marble, Oregon Cave. Very neat looking.

Joe sitting on the burl of a Redwood.

The largest Redwood we saw. It was in Stout Grove. It's probably about 16 feet in diameter.

Yes, we are standing in the tree. The bark is very resistant to fire, so after many forest fires, it will typically make a hole in the bark and the fire eats away the dead inside. The outside, right under the bark, is living, so even though the bottom of the tree is partially hollowed out the tree still lives and stands.

An elk we saw as we came into Elk Prairie State Park.

There is a town named Miranda along the Avenue of Giants. :)

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Ooops Lava Beds Photos 
Okay, so I didn't realize how long it had been since I took the photos off of my camera. These four are from the Lava Beds National Monument. I still haven't gotten the photos off of Joe's camera so I'm not doing the Oregon Caves photos or Redwood's photos until I get the ones from there. :)


A lake nearby the monument. Yes, all those black spots are birds.

A, I think, young Red Tail Hawk that was flying by the RV.

This was an area called the Devil's Homestead. The black below is an old lava flow. The mountains in the distance are volcanoes. I thought it was so neat that they all dipped on the top instead of being pointed like normal mountains are.

These little lizards were all over the park. This one sat nicely on a post while I took it's picture.

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The Redwoods 
There are some huge trees out here! The forests are very neat. We stayed in Jedediah State Park campground for the first night, but no internet (go figure) so we did a little hiking the next morning then took off. We found a junky RV park in Crescent City that we stayed at the next night. That day though we drove part way towards Stout Grove (it's a once lane, windy road between Redwoods, so they don't like RV's up there). We parked the RV off the road and waited in the rain hoping someone would give us a ride up there. It was a 4 mile walk, so we figured get a ride up there and walk back. A park ranger gave us a ride there, we walked around and saw some neat trees then started down the road. A couple that we saw on the path drove up behind us and gave us a ride back to the RV. They were from Wisconsin and actually drove out this direction to drop off stuff for their son that moved out to Portland.
The next day we hit a few more trails and even saw an elk. Last night we stayed in another kinda junky RV park. We are working our way to Sacramento in order to pick up Joe's friend, Toan, from the airport. He arrives on Saturday. We are currently sitting in a day use area of Humboldt State Park. Very pretty area. We'll try and get some photos up soon. I just haven't gotten any of them on my computer yet.


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