From Yosemite to Half Moon Bay
A friend visited town and we ended up taking a long journey across California, logging over 500 miles in one weekend due to unexpected weather and plan changes. We were snowed out of Yosemite one mile from Yosemite Valley on Highway 140, stopping just long enough to capture an ominous look at the cloud covered mountains. After a quick change of plans and a stop at home in Merced we went over Pacheco Pass on Highway 152 into the Bay Area and closed out our long day on the peak of Mount Umunhum watching the sunset.
On day 2 we left my parents in Los Gatos, drove North on Highway 280, took 92 over to Half Moon Bay, and after an AMAZING breakfast at the new Mavericks Creperie meandered down the coast on Highway 1. To bring our friend to the San Jose airport we then headed over Highway 17 from Santa Cruz back to the Bay Area. After a successful drop-off, we closed out the weekend by driving up Highway 101 to Burlingame for a brief visit with my brother over delicious ice cream from Salt & Straw, and over the San Mateo/Hayward Bridge and Altamont pass back to the Central Valley.
All in all we ended up logging over 500 miles around California in 3 days including 2 trips to the Bay Area from our home in Merced, one beach day, and one snowy disaster.
We saw plenty of snow clouds on the horizon in Yosemite National Park. We got within 1 mile of Yosemite Valley before hitting insane snow and being turned around by the chain control ranger. Unfortunately, even though we had been checking the forecast, an unexpected 8 inches came down meaning even 4 wheel drive vehicles needed to carry chains which we do not own. There was someone selling chains out of their trunk in the parking lot (what a smart entrepreneur) but we opted to turn back as visibility was practically zero and we wouldn’t be able to show our visitor the sights.
We caught some images from the car coming over Pacheco Pass (some from this day and some from others). As we have been living in Merced for about a year, the Pacheco Pass scenery is all very familiar to us and we’ve enjoyed seeing the hills change throughout the seasons.
We were thrilled to catch the sunset on the top of Mt. Umunhum thanks to the newly opened summit road. It was freezing and a bit hazy but the view of the entire valley was still amazing.