As you know, last month was Women’s History Month and the month in which Women in Aviation International (WAI) has their big, annual convention. This year, it was held in Reno, Nevada, which happens to be within a few hours drive from some of the most beautiful places in the United States.
As Melody and I were making our travel plans for WAI, we decided it would be a great opportunity to see some of these beautiful places. We flew into Bakersfield, California which has a really a small airport. By the time we arrived, all the car rental places were closed. We spent the night at a local hotel and picked up our rental car in the morning and started our adventure.
At the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the temperature was a balmy 70°F. The road up into the mountains was full of twists and turns, and really sharp switch-backs. We took our time to enjoy the amazing views that, as we ascended, changed from green leaves, grass, and flowers to wintery mountains with feet of snow.
Our first stop was Sequoia National Park, where we bought some supplies including winter clothing, snow boots and snow chains. Once provisioned, we took in the sight of Sequoia National Park’s famed General Sherman Tree. The largest living thing in the world (as measured by pure mass). When we walked up the snow-covered path, we came upon a sign, saying, “There it is.” I of coursed looked to the closest tree and said well there it is. We took several pictures of the tree and of us by the tree. We later learned that this was not the General Sherman tree. It was the tree across the field. After our short stay at Wuksachi Lodge we stopped by the genuine General Sherman tree and took more pictures.
We then headed to Yosemite National Park. The northern roads were closed due to excessive snow fall, so we had to head back down the way we had come. By the time we got to Yosemite National Park, the park rangers at the entrances had left for the day. We thought we had seen the best spots for a sunset view but we finally found the perfect one. Little did we know we were just minutes from Tunnel View, the first view of Yosemite Valley.
We stayed two nights in the valley, took some amazing pictures, hiked until we couldn’t hike anymore and then hiked back, all while it rained and drizzled. Despite the rain, we still had an amazing time and took some amazing photos. Next on the agenda was the long drive to Reno.
We opted to take the more scenic Route 88 through Carson Pass. Thankfully, the road was open and the temperatures never really dropped below freezing. It was still raining so it could have been so much worse. The sides of the road were piled with more snow than either of us had ever seen. We were a little concerned when we saw the “Avalanche Area Ahead, No Stopping” sign. In that areas, snow was deep on the hillside, straight up on one side of the road with a large drop-off on the other. Luckily, we made it through with only happy memories.
A couple of hours later, we arrived in Reno and checked into the Peppermill Hotel. The next few days we enjoyed the WAI conference. Read more about the conference here.
Spring is coming. Right?
Craig Pieper, Publisher