Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Rubisemite

The Rubicon  Trail, California
  For avid off-roaders there are two names that each one of us know well. One is Moab, the mecca of four wheeling. The other is Rubicon, the granddaddy of them all.
  There are plenty of national parks to choose from when planning your family vacation but one name seems to crop up over and over in my research, Yosemite.
  So what do you do when you want to do visit one of the most famous off-road trails and one of the world's most popular national parks? You plan an epic road trip with like minded folks which is exactly what we did and we called it Rubisemite.
  Four rigs and ten people set out to meet up for a week of fun starting in the little mining town of Virginia City, Nevada. Two rigs left Salt Lake City and two of us left southern California and incredibly we arrived at the center of town at the exact same time. We had planned a day and a half here and during that time we explored the old buildings and browsed the shops that now occupy them. Stories from exploding churches, out of control fires and camel racing await those that choose to visit Virginia City but those stories are for another day.
Virginia City, Nevada
  The next few days would find us traveling the Rubicon Trail. We had heard many tales, watched countless videos and read a lot of articles over the years as we waited and dreamed of tackling this trail and it didn't disappoint. The smell of the pines and the crisp, clean morning air gave us a sort of comfort as we were battered and beaten for two days. We gained a new respect for this trail and walked away feeling accomplished. There were a few negatives about our experience on the trail but overall it was a fun trail that I can't wait to share in more detail over the coming weeks.
  We were planning on spending a day in South Lake Tahoe but the Rubicon's relentless nature caused us to take longer than expected and we needed to make some repairs and take care of some housekeeping before continuing further into the road trip. I guess we'll have to make a return trip when we can spend more time in the area. Until then, Tahoe you seemed to be a beautiful place.
Bodie, California
   Next up was Bodie. The remnants of this once bustling mining town have withstood the elements for over 150 years. With over 100 building still standing it is one of the largest ghost towns still in existence in the United States. It also seemed to be a pretty popular stop for tourists since the parking lot was full after we pulled in and people seemed to walk through every photo you tried to take. We spent over two hours at this location and still didn't see it all before we had to go. The harsh conditions of boom towns became easier to relate to when a small storm sped through the area kicking up pelting sand and large rain drops that had all of us looking for cover but not before we got to take some cool photos of Bodies' remains.
  Bodie was just a quick detour along our path to our final destination of Yosemite National Park. It's amazing how such a short drive you can go from a high, dry desert environment to an even higher, dense forest of tall trees. We rented a cabin that would fit all of us which for one was a surprise that we even attempted such a feat and two how successful it was. A four bedroom cabin that is inside the park boundaries was our home for three days and it ended up being where we spent most of our time.
  Filled with people and dry waterfalls, Yosemite turned out to be the hardest part of the trip. We didn't realize just how busy this park would be. We couldn't even find a parking spot in Yosemite Valley on the first day of our visit so we stopped in to view Bridal Veil Falls before heading back to the cabin for some horseshoes and grilled chicken. After the sobering lesson of the day before we got into the park early so that we could park and explore the visitor center and the surrounding area. Another problem we had was that due to California wildfires the entire valley was filled with a light haze that ruined our photo ops of the valley. I don't want to give the wrong impression, I did find Yosemite to be a beautiful place but there  were lessons learned here that I'll take into account the next time I choose to visit.
  Whew! That was quick glimpse of our trip and kind of a preview of what's to come from us here at Route To Adventure. I'll get into more detail with these locations over the coming weeks so stay tuned. Of course don't forget to tell your friends about us if you like what you see here and we can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

Thanks again,
Brandan

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