Yosemite Valley Trip

My family and I took a long weekend trip to Yosemite National Park. We went from Friday August 17-19, 2013. We stayed at Cedar Lodge about 7-8 miles outside of the park off Highway 140. It was a decent hotel. Food was expensive, but what can you do?

The Honda Pilot sprung a leak when I checked under the hood. At first I thought it was an AT hose from the transmission to the radiator, but after changing that hose and discovering the little bit of fluid inside was red and not coolant green, I figured out that it probably is a cracked radiator. This probably happened some time ago, but there was never any coolant on the floor of the garage or pavement after being parked. In the end, we decided to take the race car instead. The only issue with the race car is that the air conditioner blower sometimes stops working. It did once, and then never failed us when we were out there. Because it was 100 F, I figured the grease loosened up and things functioned properly. The V-8 power really helped with the hills and being a manual transmission, it seemed to fly up the hills. The twisty road was no match for the race car either. When getting back and inspecting the car, it didn’t seem to be all that dirty! I will have to wash it soon.

We did a number of short walks/hikes. Not sure if you can call it hikes because the “trail” was mostly paved. Hayley did fairly well. The weather was into the 100 F! We tried to leave early in the morning to beat the heat. The falls of Yosemite were all dried up. The only one that we visited that had some water coming down was Bridelveil Falls. Even then it was very little. When we arrived, we stopped by the Tunnel View, then off to Bridelveil Falls, then the Yosemite Village and Visitor Center. We tried to do the Yosemite Falls short hike, but it was quite hot and we decided to head for the Hotel. The next day we did the Yosemite Falls first, and then a short hike to Sentinel Bridge to view the meadow and Half Dome.

All in all, the kids had fun, and we had a good time as well!

Enjoy the pics:

Here are my more professional photographs


My First Flying Experience!

For my first flying experience, my wife bought me a 30 minute flying time with a local flying company. The company is FlyBayArea.com and they are located at the San Carlos Airport. The pilot’s name was Gabe and he was super cool. He made the experience fun and easy. He made calm correction suggestions as needed while we were flying.

When we got in the small airplane, he went over some simple instructions. He then went though a pilot’s check list to make sure systems were a go. We then began to taxi. I thought he would use the flight control stick to maneuver the plane, but in the end it was all rudders and foot pedals. He let me taxi a bit. Then we did a second before take off check list to double check and make sure systems were good. He then controlled the plane and we took off. Once in the air, he let me fly the plane most of the time. He taught me how to bank and turn.

We flew over Stanford and the 101 freeway. We turned north and headed toward the Crystal Spring’s reservoir. Then we started to make our way back and flew right over the San Carlos Airport. We then made our turn and began to try to land the plane. He allowed me to pilot the small plane almost all the way to landing. The whole experience was very cool! I only wished I was able to take more photos.

He made the whole experience seem so easy. It got me thinking, why not learn to fly and get one’s pilot’s license? My buddy, Des, said I can probably fly 747’s pretty soon! I can only wish!

Here are a couple of snaps Gabe took of us. I would do this experience again. I know my kids would get a kick out of it big time! They also can fly over the San Francisco area and the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m thinking that maybe I can do a sunset hour type of flight. Maybe this time, Julie can fly and I can sit in the back taking pictures!

Thanks, babe!