United States
California

Here you’ll find travel reports about California. Discover travel destinations in the United States of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

851 travelers at this place:

  • Day2

    Fresno Follys

    June 16 in the United States

    Headed for Fresno via Bakersfield famous for being the Country Music capital of the West, oilfields and the "Bakersfield drillers". Fantastic driving up the I5 after clearing LA traffic and being held up due to a phantom brush fire. The driving through the hills North of LA was an ever changing landscape of sandy and rocky, low bush to rolling hills with dry grass.

    After coming off the high ground we hit the flat plains 50 mile Souths of Bakersfield. The area is full of stone fruit crops, grapes, grain and the I5 cuts straight through the middle. All around and in the distance behind the dust haze we could just make out the mountains.

    Found a great café (Café Smitten) in Bakersfield where we had lunch opposite the original Harley dealership.

    Back out on the freeway we continued North where the GPS kept throwing detours and avoidances at us. Finally in Fresno, a quick visit to Fresno Harley, picked up a touring road atlas so that we are less reliant on the GPS. Dinner at Dennys, where we mapped out tomorrows plan for Yosemite National Park.

    Photos to follow soon.
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  • Day3

    Yosemite in a day Mammoth Lakes

    June 17 in the United States

    On the road at 7.00am to Madera, Oakhurst and into Yosemite. The drive out through what appeared to be beef country with rolling hills.
    After Oakhurst we rapidly climbed into the mountains. Narrow roads Sequoia and pine forests.

    Our first stop was Glacier point at around 7000 feet.
    Absolutely brilliant geography. This are is an extinct glacier and the remaking granite features dominate the landscape. Features such as Half Dome, El Capitain, Tunnelview, Bridalvale Falls and the list goes on.

    This is a very popular hiking area and there where plenty of them out today.

    The road wound back down to Yosemite Village where we saw a different perspective of the features above. The village had a great information centre with amazing geological displays.

    With our destination being Mammoth lakes we carried on across Tioga Pass and again the scenery was mind blowing.

    We stopped at Tenaya Lake where temptation got to me and I had my highest altitude swim 8130 feet. Air temp 10 degrees, water temp bloody freezing.

    Arrived at Mammoth at 5.30 ready for a shower and dinner.

    A really great day and Yosemite will be done again one day.
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  • Day4

    Furnace Creek, Death Valley

    June 18 in the United States

    We missed out on doing the Death Valley trip last time as we were on bikes and it was blistering hot. So, we put it back on the plan for this trip.
    After leaving Mammoth at 7.30 our first stop was to find Whitmore Springs or Wild Willys hot tub as it is known locally. We asked a local and by chance he put us on to another hot spring called Shepherds. This spring has now been set up like a hot tub in the middle of a field and is fed by a natural hot spring. Wow what a way to kick of the day, with the air temperature at 8 degrees C, we donned swimming gear and in we went.
    With amazing views all around we luxuriated for about 30 minutes and then spent another 10 minutes chatting to a guy back packing who claimed to be an animal communicator and he was able to ward of bears by barking like a dog.
    In the distance we could hear the howling of wolves. This was a truly amazing start to the day.
    From our altitude of 8000 feet we started downhill to Death Valley. Through the towns of Bishop, Big Pine and Lone Pine the last of which we stopped for a great coffee and purchased sandwiches for later in the day.
    Lone Pine is also the entry point for Death Valley and so with the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains on our right and another range on our left we headed South into one of the most hot and unforgiving parts of the world.
    It quickly dawned on us how amazing this place is with only 2 inches of rain a year if they are lucky it still supports fauna and flora. We say the settlements of Stovepipe Wells, Furnace Creek a beautiful oasis where a golf course and resort dominate the landscape, then we headed to Death Valley Junction and Armargosa Valley. We visited Artists Palette, Mesquite Flats sand dunes, The Devils Golf Course, Bad Water Basin the lowest point in North America at minus 282 feet below sea level. Dante’s Peak where we got view 110 miles up the Valley including Mt Whitney the USAs highest Peak.
    On the way out, we stopped for Fuel at Armargosa right next door was the alien Cathouse Brothel complete with pimp car out front.
    We made the final run into North Las Vegas well away from the strip for a well-earned night’s sleep.
    We were not sure what to expect from Death Valley, but it was absolutely stunning with a really clear day and temps topping out at 102F, 38.9 C, well worth the trip.
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  • Day25

    Goldengate, San Francisco CA

    July 9 in the United States

    Well Red Bluff was one of those towns that Jason Aldean sings about, "Rearview Town", even the locals said to us why would you stay here. There had been a shooting just down the road from us with two police officers shot, they will be OK but the shooter died in when he crashed his car. All due to a random car check.

    We got away around 7.30 and headed down the US 5, 70 MPH and flat country so our eta to San Francisco was around midday. So what kept us occupied? several crop dusters, guessing what fruit was growing in the orchards you name it we played it.

    We decided to do a bay bridges tour on the way in so came in via San Pablo and this enabled us to take the North Western approach and visit the water side suburbs of Bellevue, Marin and Sausalito. We also visited San Quentin Prison which as we went to take pictures we were reminded by the guards that it is a live prison. Unfortunately the gift shop outside the gate was not open. Sausalito is a very hip place and we will go back to it on a Big red bus tour in the next day or two. We followed the coast road and came across Fort Baker at the North Eastern side of the Golden gate Bridge, wow what a stunning view, and it was here that a gun battery was set up to protect the inside of San Francisco bay in the early 1900s.

    We continued to the Western side of the bridge and a succession of lookouts where the views got better and better. We missed this 4 years ago as many people do. more gun emplacements an old radar installation and the Nike missile site. We saw harbour seals hauled out on the rocks and an amazing coastline. There are so many vantage points, the views are really captivating and it also make you think of the fate or survival of the escapee Frank Morris and his cohorts from Alcatraz prison.

    Finally we made our way across the Golden gate and into the city to find the Lombard inn. Chinatown was our destination for dinner thus ending a very busy day.
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  • Day24

    Lassen NP, Redbluff, CA

    July 8 in the United States

    Today marked our 10th National Park, it was not on the original plan but with Bob and Vicki recommending it we thought we had better have a look. For some reason we missed the border crossing into California and only knew we had when we got to the fruit check gates. So much for paying attention. Shortly after that we caught our first clear sight of yet another snow capped peak looming in the distance wow what a sight.

    Soon enough we turned off at Mt Shasta and headed for Lassen NP. It was certainly a beautiful drive and the park is spectacular. Time did not permit any walks and especially when we arrived at Lassen peak which demands a 4-5 round trip to the top. It was already getting late so the walk was out of the question. Noela found more snow to play in whilst we admired the spectacle.

    We started down the mountain from 8,500 feet and 53 degrees stopping at some various viewing areas and geo thermal mud holes and steam vents. Over the next hour we descended and finally reached Bed Bluff where the late afternoon temperature was 97 degrees.

    Laundry day today so we got that out of the way and headed of to Denny's for a quick bite. Tomorrow we head to San Francisco which pretty much marks our last leg of the trip so we need to make the most of our time there.
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  • Day26

    Big Bus Tour, Fishermans Wharf, CA

    July 10 in the United States

    The Lombard Inn was a good choice for its central location, 25 minutes walk to Fishermans Wharf and similar to the down town area, we did have a scare when on the first night the shower was ice cold with the same happening the next morning. They got the boiler fixed and it has been all good since then reducing the room rate for one day $50.00.
    Last time we were here we used the Big Bus Hop on and Hop off service, we did the same this time buying the deluxe package which gave us 48 hours and the night tour and the Sausalito tour as well. We reacquainted ourselves with the cities colourful past, and its different sectors. We took advantage of the Sausalito tour today the wealthiest part of SF, rents are up around $17,000 per month. Robin Williams lived just down the road at Tiberon, and everyone that we spoke to or heard from just gushed about the man he was and what he did for the homeless. San Francisco is the poorer for his loss.
    We returned to the North point of the Goldengate Bridge, Carl and Paola continued to the southside where they walked the bridge whilst Noela and I went back to Fisherman’s Wharf where we listened and watched the buskers, watched the seals on pier 39, and generally walked and took in the sights.
    We caught up with Carl and Paola at 5.45PM to do the Big Bus night tour over the Bay Bridge and other parts. We had an awesome guide Blake Klemett who absolutely had us entertained all trip. By the time we got off the bus it was freezing with the coastal wind coming in.
    We can thoroughly recommend the Big Bus tour service.
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  • Day27

    Jimmy Hendrix, Haight Ashury, CA

    July 11 in the United States

    After our second Breakfast at Chestnut Diner Noela and I walked from West to East up Lombard Street and down the Zig Zag on the western side, from there we went looking for an Italian Restaurant that we found 4 years ago. On that occasion we had decided to have a meal alone rather than have dinner with the 5 other couples that we were travelling with. Noela and I were sitting at a table for two when we saw the others coming up the road and they came to the very same Italian Restaurant. We ended up having a meal with them anyway.
    So, with Carl and Paola doing the night tour again we were intent on having that dinner for two. We located Piazza Pellegrini on Columbus Street and got talking to the owner and told him our story. He does not normally reserve tables but in our case he did. When we returned at about 7.30 there was our table with a big RESERVED on it. It was a great meal and awesome service.
    After finding our place we walked the Italian sector inside out and back to front and then waked to the downtown area. Here we picked up the Big Bus and headed to the Northern side of the GG bridge. The bus passes through the Haight Ashbury district that was the hippie epicentre in the 60s with Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin and others featuring heavilly in the tour commentaries. We did the walk across the bridge which was now shrouded in the fog that rolls in across the bay. It was freezing and blowing a gale by it really is a must do. With the Bridge walked it was into the city for some shopping, back to the room for a shower and then to our dinner engagement.
    As it turned out Carl and Paola did not get to do the night tour as the ticket for the night tour is a 1 off only.
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  • Day41

    Second Day in Los Angeles

    August 12 in the United States

    Only 38 degrees today!
    We had a bus trip to Hollywood and Beverley Hills then explored around the Hotel popping into buildings whenever we could to cool down with the airconditioning. The tour ends today. We have slept in 17 different beds and travelled over 7000km. We have lost count of how many states we have been through. We only had one hour of rain the whole trip, the rest of the time has been sunny and hot ranging from 24 degrees to 44.Read more

  • Day41

    Los Angeles

    August 12 in the United States

    We went through a lot of desert on the way from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. We stopped at an old silver mining town on the way. The temperature was 44 degrees but we are getting used to that heat now. This morning we are doing a city tour of LA including Hollywood.

You might also know this place by the following names:

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