First stop was Lone Pine Nevada but to get there we had to drive through Death Valley.
The scenery was absolutely spectacular and photographs just can't do it justice. You could easily imagine you were on another planet.
The car was a beastie 3.7 litre Nissan Infiniti which was a 4x4 cross-over; makes no sense to me but I'm sure you boys will know what that means. What I will say is that it was very comfortable, extremely powerful and coped with the desert and steep mountain roads with ease. Like most American cars it was very thirsty and only did 22 miles a gallon so it's a good job petrol is very cheap in the USA.
Roger really enjoyed the driving as the road twisted and turned it's way from 190 feet below sea level up to 5000 feet above.
By the time we arrived at the small town of Lone Pine up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains the weather was drawing in and it was quite cold. Roger had been looking forward to driving through the Tioga Pass to our next stop in Yosemite National Park, but it was closed overnight due to snow. The weather in California throughout our holiday was unseasonably cold, with temperatures 10'F below normal for this time of year.
Our next port of call was in the Yosemite National Park which was a tree-huggers paradise. The giant sequoias are over 2000 years old. This is a cross section through the trunk of one which had been toppled by a storm a few years ago.
After the deserts, mountains and trees it was time to go and see some boats. Well you didn't expect us to stay away from them for long did you?
We stayed for 2 nights at San Leandro Marina which was just across the bay from San Francisco.
San Francisco is a wonderful city. We used the free public transport to get to the Golden Gate Bridge which we walked across in both directions, 1.7 miles each way.
Although it wasn't foggy it was still a bit too hazy to get a decent shot of Alcatraz
The bridge is a popular place for suicide jumpers and there a couple of these emergency phones just in case they want to be talked out of it.
There were some very "different" shops in San Francisco but the wackiest was the one we found selling clothes and food for dogs. I could just picture Chico wearing a tuxedo and going to a doggy wedding
and eating special doggy cakes and biscuits at the reception