California is pretty cool state.  When driving a truck through California I was forever amazed at how often and quickly the landscape would change from one area to the next.

California – San Francisco, Las Angeles, San Diego

Redwood National Park – The Redwood National State Parks are located along the coast of northern California.  Comprising Redwood National Park (established 1968) and California’s Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks (dating from the 1920s), the combined parks contain 538 km2.  The four parks, together, protect 45% of all remaining Coastal Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) old-growth forests.  These trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on Earth.  In addition to the redwood forests, the park preserves 60 km of pristine coastline.

I love big old trees and look forward to seeing these trees.

Yosemite National Park – Yosemite National Park is one of the first wilderness parks in the United States.  Yosemite is nearly 3,081 km2 and is known for its water falls, ancient giant sequoias trees, vast wilderness and especially El Capitan.  El Capitan was formed 500 million years ago and is one of the largest lumps of Granite in the world towering at 910 meters high.  El Capitan is known as the Holy Grail of rock-climbing.  Yosemite National Park is 320 km from San Francisco. – I changed my route straight down the cost to LA bypassing Yosemite NP.

Death Valley – Death Valley is a desert valley located in Eastern California.  Situated within the Mojave Desert, it features the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America.  Located near the border of California and Nevada, in the Great Basin, east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Death Valley constitutes much of Death Valley National Park and is the principal feature of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve.

The hottest air temperature ever recorded in Death Valley was 134 °F (57 °C) on July 10, 1913, at Furnace Creek.  When I think of Death Valley it makes me wonder if I won’t get lost and disoriented in the desert and never to be found again.

Joshua Tree National Park – Joshua Tree National Park is located in south-eastern California.  Joshua tree was declared a U.S. National Park in 1994.  It is named for the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) forests native to the park.  It covers a land area of 3,200 km2 – an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island.  A large part of the park, some 1,739 km2, is a designated wilderness area.  [ I will be riding through Joshua Tree upon re-entering California after visiting the Grand Canyon.]


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