On The Road: Day 3 – Drive to Yosemite, Big Trees, & Gold Nugget

Sunrise Drive To Yosemite

Yosemite here we come!!

Our drive starts with an early departure from Tommy’s Aunt’s house.
An early drive means a beautiful early morning sunrise! ☀

Power conducting wind turbines make for some picture perfect shots…


The views are absolutely stunning.


and we’re not the only ones travelling to a new destination!  🦆


We plan for a couple stops along the way…

Calaveras Big Trees State Park!


The main attraction we have set out to see here is the Discovery Tree.


This tree may have been the tallest tree in the world today, had it not been cut down in the 1850’s.

Counting the rings estimates this tree to be more than 1300 years old.


After felling this massive tree (taking five men 21 days!), it was used as a ballroom dance floor.🕺 💃

How can we resist trying it out for ourselves?


The entire forest is littered with massive trees!

You can’t help feel quite small standing amongst them all.

The park staff is extremely friendly and go out of their way to make our time here more enjoyable.
A forest ranger even pulls off the roadway just to take our photo in front of one of these large trees.


Keeping in mind our final destination and wanting to arrive in Yosemite before dark, we hurry back to the Visitor Center for some souvenirs and be on our way!

We’re trying to make things quick …but our curiosity easily distracts us!

How can we resist such a dangerous sign?…

The string tied to the lid even causes the rattle to… rattle as we open the box! 😱

To further delay us an extremely friendly ranger begins to explain to us some of the park history.


She highly recommends we hike the park loop and see all the viewpoints.

We’re convinced we can at the very least see a few…
But we need to hurry!… so we run!

It’s on the trail loop we find the Pioneer Cabin Tree, also known as the Tunnel Tree.

Related image

Pretty magnificent back then…
Today it’s a different story 🙁

Ralph reads the informative pamphlet… apparently the tree fell several years ago in a storm.


I guess that’s what you get cutting out most of its base…

While running the trail, we come across other monstrous trees that still stand grandly!


We wish we had more time here to complete the full loop, but sadly must continue on to arrive at Yosemite before dark.

Before we do set Yosemite as our final destination, we have one more stop…

Ironstone Vineyards


This stop holds what they claim to be the largest specimen of crystalline gold in the WORLD!

Beautiful scenery leads us across this property.


Located inside the museum in a large thick vault, we see the mesmerizing gold!


Can you imagine a ring with this much gold??? Tommy can’t either… 🧐


Good thing he knows I don’t care much gold. 😝

Looking out back of the museum, we see the magnificent landscape of Ironstone.


We then hop in the van and continue our drive..

The scenery continues as we drive out of Ironstone and on to Yosemite…



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