California UBER ALLES!

Now that Spring is in the air, it is time to start getting the maps out and planning visits to my usual haunts. Let me start with the SF Bay Area. Stunning from sea or by air, and even better on land, here is a view of two bridges, the Golden Gate Bridge on the bottom left and the two-part Bay bridge on your upper right! The city is between these two bridges.

The Golden Gate bridge separates the Pacific Ocean from the SF bay, is wonderful bridge to walk on and if traveling north, takes you into Marin County, the richest county in California and the most beauteous.

South of the Golden Gate bridge one can go into the city and make a stop at the Palace of the Legion of Honor museum. Commune with Auguste Rodin’s Thinker in the entrance courtyard or be entranced by Dale Chihuly’s blown glass sculpture!

Travel north from the Bay area into a geologically unique National Park – Lassen Volcanic Park. Here a deeply dormant volcano can still rumble and rock and bubbling mud pits and steam vents are evidence of the fury that lies buried deep in the ground. Not far from the bubbling mud pots is a placid alpine lake, Lake Manzanita.

Move south from Lassen and one hits the jewel of California – Yosemite National Park. I make a pilgrimage once a year. The Mariposa grove of Big Trees has this Giant Sequoia tunnel tree – the Giant Sequoia is the largest living thing known to man.

No trip to Mariposa grove is complete without a meal at the charmingly colonial Wawona hotel.

In the Valley a stop has to be made at grand Ahwanee hotel – breakfast is superb, and even the ice-cream is worth a visit! If you can afford it, stay there, or on the cheap try the tent cabins.

Before leaving the park get up to Glacier point, and watch the setting sun bathe the mountains in a rosy glow – Half dome is most spectacular from this vantage point.

Then head south towards San Simeon (I have an earlier post on Hearst Castle), not to be missed – take a few seconds to see the views from Hearst castle, the outside is as beautiful as the insides.

The California Missions on the way traveling south provide a rich source of the history of California. These Missions were established by Father Junipero Serra – the founder of California. But my favorite is Mission San Juan Capistrano. Father Serra’s church is still a practicing church.

The Mission buildings are well preserved but original and laid out amidst the most charming gardens – here with a Brugmansia in glorious bloom!

Happy trails!


32 Responses

  1. Couple of my favorites for summer day trips are :

    Point Lobos

    Point Reyes

  2. Yes – Point Lobos is an excellent place for some rugged sea cliff hiking (not too tough though) and beautiful tide pools along the way. I really like Point Reyes too – and the smaller beaches in that State park, like Tomales bay.

    On the way to Monterey and Point Lobos there is Big Sur and the Julia Pfeiffer State Park – beautiful views of the Pacific.

  3. Also in Yosemite, we have rented cabins at ‘The Redwoods in Yosemite’. We have loved the stay. Bears do visit your cabins at night 🙂

    Of all the times in year i have enjoyed Yosemite in mid-June the most. The falls will be at the max.

  4. And sometimes you are **** scared that it is a bear rattling your cabin door, instead it is an inebriated teenager!

    Any trip to Yosemite in peak summer should include going up to Tuolumne meadows and a hike in the relatively cool terrain; and going past Tuolumne will take on to spectacular Mono Lake with the Tufa towers rising from the water. When he saw Mono Lake at sunset a relative of mine said this si what he imagined Lake Kailas would be like!

  5. Hiking along Hetch Hetchy is also recommended. But it will get hot during summers. Wapama falls is amazing. The hike is worth it.

    Scared ? Me ? Seriously, those cabins have a great setting and love it.

  6. I went to Hetch Hetchy but never hiked along it – you mean go across the dam and then on foot? Would love to do that sometime.

  7. Yes ! Cross the dam, and hike on foot over the rocks. We did this on a ‘hot’ day, and by the time we reached the Wapama falls, we had run out of drinking water.

    For more info :

  8. To digress a bit… MNIK will be shot in the City in May-June. I am not sure where though…I would love to go and drop in for Kadz 🙂 (On second thought this is CA related)

  9. I would love to drop in on Kadz and SRK :D! If they are in California then heck it is California related!

    But Had not seen you on NG since last few days????????

  11. hey pakhi . dont know much about post but pics look good 😀

    Saksha – do u like bhaiyya – bhabhiji 🙂

    rudresh – all i see on ng sb is brain charles and teelu fucking eachother . so i dont comment there .

  12. Hi guys,

    I came back from my business trip a couple of days back and didn’t find you both – Pakhi and Hardy – on SB so decided to stay away myself. Not interested in fights and brain dead arguments anymore. Also, hi to Saks and SPS.

    Nice article and pictures as usual Pakhi.

  13. Thanks all. Hardy – California deserves to be called the Golden State! The natural beauty here is astonishing and it is so many kinds – seas, mountains, lakes, forests, wildlife.

    Rudresh – did not have anything to say there.

    Howdy ji – how was your trip?

  14. Howdyji – Hello ! Disappointed to know that you missed only Pakhi & Hardy on SB. 🙂

    HG – I like only Kadz 🙂 I thought we had chatted about this on SB.

    To digress once again (with due apologies to Pakhiji) SB sucks nowadays. Overall, i am disappointed with the tone of the discussions on NG. I feel sad that NG is going down this path.

  15. HG – To add to Pakhi’s list, CA has desert too. I have never seen so much diverse natural beauty in any one state (in US).

  16. On couple of trips to Yosemite, we have gone down south and visited Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP. Some of the hiking trails are good, especially climbing up the Moro rock.

  17. Pakhiji,

    Why are my comments not showing up ? My last comment is not showing up. I guess, i spammed the blog and i got banned.

  18. Which comment is not showing up? I see no comments waiting for approval, nor any in Spam queue. Please post again!

  19. OK pakhi, But I hope every thing is fine.
    Hey Howdy how r u dude ?

  20. Thanks for asking Rudresh! Yes I am fine, doing a bit of research on some films I like 🙂 Watch this space for my results!

  21. Sak – well may be NG needs removal of one guy and that may bring back old people . didnt satyam go away because of beld or rks step down because of beld ?

    sb sucks but i guess we r more responsible for it . earlier we use to spend more time on it . now only me , u and dim spend time there . pakhi is invisible , mimi and kunal busy and come only in morning ( IST) . and now even howdyji wont comment on sb 😦

  22. Hardy – NG ka politics NG par hi rehno do dost. This is a neutral place I hope. Who are we to call for anyone to leave or be removed? I can only make decisions for myself. And I have not left NG, just doing other things for a change.

    Regarding SB – whenever I peep in, it is taken over by strange people. No point entering if I do not want to talk to them.

  23. i was only replying to S . its ok if u dont want that .

    agree on strange people on sb partocularly teelu and brain charles . though i am on on ng SB currently 😀

  24. what about having a SB here to avoid things 😀

  25. I asked RKS a while ago and he said WordPress does not support SB 😦

    I wonder if there is a cheap plugin to buy…..

  26. hmm ng is wordpress too if i am correct

  27. I think NG SB is not free. Maybe it is time to invest in a SB. Now more than ever!!!!

  28. it costs 2 dollars per month if i am correct

  29. That is what I recall too. Maybe it is worth the cost. It would be nice to test out a free widget to see if it is even worth trying! Hey did you read my Gulaal vs Omkara post?

  30. i did but dont u think omkara stays true to othello and thus its adaption of othello only . if u say omkara has adapted something for gulaal may be gulaal is also inspired from othello


    • Thank you – I will certainly explore this option!!

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