Day 18 - Wed 26 April 06
Up at 06:00 and down to checkout and guess what? There is a queue! They didn't even ask if I'd enjoyed my stay.
Out on the street by 07:00 and got onto the Interstate easy peasy, but I got off too soon and took the next hour trying to get back on! After that it was a simple run down to Death Valley. My first view of the Valley is from Dante's Peak, and it is impressive . The peak is about 4000ft, so it's quite cool. Then it was a drive down to the bottom of the valley, where it's a lot warmer. There's a place called the Artists Pallet where the rock is naturally stained with different colours
At the aptly named Badwater I got out onto the salt, and in parts it's wet - a bit like the sand at the beach front. Weird.
The park visitor centre confirmed that the east entrance to Yosemite is closed, so it's a long drive (420 miles) to get to the entrance that is open, via Bakersfield and Fresno. So I head off. The drive down the 176 passes through a place called Lake Isabella, it's a valley with a lake high in the mountains. It has a feel of the highlands of Scotland. Such a contrast from Vegas and Death Valley.
So after a long drive, and about 14 hours on the go, I'm just outside Oakhurst, which is just outside Yosemite, in a motel (in the middle of nowhere) for $40.
NextView my route through the USA here