California – The Golden State – Part 2 of 3 Big Sur and Yosemite

– – – – – I left My Heart In California – – – – –

Just a recap from my post on Wednesday – The Golden State Part 1 
* I am detailing mine and Josh’s crazy and out of the ordinary adventures through central and northern Cali.  
* We camped everywhere we went and basically lived out of our rental car
* United Military Travel booked our airfare and car rental

Big Sur, California
The Greatest Meeting of Land and Sea

Before I get into our adventures I have to give my unsolicited advice on what we learned that our research left out.
1. Big Sur is LONG – getting from the northern point to southern point takes longer than you think.  I would quote you a time but it all depends on how you navigate Highway 1.  
2. Highway 1 is scary…. and beautiful at the same time.  It curves, spirals, and spoons the Pacific at an elevation of 400 +/-  feet above sea level so be prepared for breath taking views and knuckle clenching turns.
3. Make sure you get gas BEFORE you enter Big Sur because the only two gas stations charge almost double than what the national average is.
4.  You cannot camp in any of the state parks so check this website before determining where you will camp. 
Our first destination was Tree Bones Resort where they offer campsites, yurts or a “human nest” for accommodations.  They are a premier “glamping” resort, meaning they offer a luxury form of camping by blending the natural experience of outdoor camping with luxurious amenities. 

The resort itself is completely sustainable, leaving no foot print on the world by using solar power for all their energy needs, the food they feed their guest they raise and harvest themselves, and the water they filter and recycle on site. 

It may sound rustic but when you offer a sushi bar and a five star restaurant with a swimming pool over looking the Pacific Ocean you begin to move into the luxurious realm.  Instead of staying in one of the yurts or human nests we camped at one of their campsites on a bluff above the Pacific where we could see and hear sea lions talking day and night and view the sunsets from the comfort of our own tent.  The weather was perfect, especially for camping because of the constant wind off the ocean and the slightly overcast sky.  Yes, Treebones is a magical place and if we moved to California, I would work at there.  
This is our experience…

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Like I mentioned earlier you cannot camp in just any of the state parks in Big Sur so instead of driving around aimlessly (like me) trying to find a campsite near dusk – reference this website. Because what we ended up doing is driving Treebones, the very most southern point of Big Sur, back to Andrew Molera State Park which is right when you enter Big Sur from the north.  Again, please reference my unsolicited advice above…Hwy 1 is not an easy drive so if we had a chance to do it over we would obviously camp in Andrew Molera first then work our way south….not the other way around.  
Regardless of how long it took for us to arrive where we wanted to be, we had the most AMAZING time ever!  Our friends that we stayed with on the hippie commune in Napa came down and joined the fun. 
Check out our fun below!

Places to eat in Big Sur: some are on the side of the road and some are hard to find but this list has them all!
If you decide to visit Big Sur please feel free to contact me – I love sharing my knowledge of here!

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Yosemite National Park

Trying to come up with an opening line I realize that Yosemite is actually the very FIRST national park that I have been to.  Which at first stunned me but then when I think about it, I probably feel that I have been to more because I know so much about each of them.  The United States really does offer some of the most amazing parks in the entire world.  Makes me realize that I still have so much to see!  
Josh and I went to Yosemite in October and majority of the waterfalls did not have flowing water so we suggest going in the summer time.  
Also, all the hoopla about the Hantavirus in Yosemite – take heed to it by not staying in cabins they provide but you are more than safe to camp in your own tents.  
Also, stop by a grocery store before you enter the park because the few that are there charge so much for simple things!  But they are good for camping items and gifts.  

Here is our adventure: 

My only advice when hiking is stay on the designated trail….DO NOT CREATE YOUR OWN SHORT CUTS….

We did and this is what we found on the way back down…

Also, do not be like my dodo husband and hike in flip flops 🙂 

Our super car!

Our home for 3 days 🙂 

This is how we literally made all of our food

This photo had no real relevance but its my fav 🙂 

The North Face

Tunnel vision

Fishing 🙂 

Back view of the North Face

Monkey Man

The pine cones there are gigantic!  We brought this one home to his mom who puts it out for fall decoration!

Sweet little chipmunk! 

Redwoods galor

Sorry for all the photos, I just felt that in order to describe Yosemite our story needed to be told in pictures.  There is a ton to do for the nature lover!

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