We organized this trip with the idea to rent a car and to camp in the United States. The Dates were imposed to us (two weeks at the end of August), we had to choose a States ! California fast asserted after a study of the various possibilities. The South of California was very hot in August, so we visited the North.
We generally tried to alternate one day drive followed by two nights on the same place. Finally, we only have one regret. We tried to book a pelagic trip from Monterey Bay but there was no place. If you want to make such a cruise which I recommend warmly, You must reserve before leaving or you must be very lucky !
|19-August||Point Reyes Olema Ranch|
|20-August||Point Reyes Olema Ranch|
|21-August||Olema Ranch => Avenue of the Giants => Patrick's Point SP|
|22-August||Big Lagoon Trinidad Patrick's Point SP|
|23-August||Patrick's Point SP => Mac Arthur BurneyFalls|
|24-August||Mac Arthur BurneyFalls => Lassen NP|
|26-August||Lassen NP => Lake Almanor => Sierra Valley => Lake Tahoe|
|27-August||Lake Tahoe => Topaz Lake => Bridgeport Lake => Mono Lake Lee Vining Campground|
|28-August||Mono Lake Lee Vining Campground|
|29-August||Lee Vining Campground => Yosemite NP => Yosemite Village => San Luis NRA|
|30-August||San Luis NRA => Los Banos WR => San Luis WR => Andrew Molera Campground (au sud de Monterey Bay)|
|01-September||Andrew Molera Campground => Big Sur WR => Point Lobos WR => San Franscisco|
We stayed two days to Point Reyes Nationnal Seashore and that was not enough. It would be necessary to stay 3 or 4 days. The diversity of this area were amazing. The Pacific coast was really impressive and very well protected except near big towns. Unfortunatly the fog was often present. The small Trinidad's harbour was really charming without forgetting the presence of the Tufted Puffins. One of our most beatifull memory took place in the South of the Monterey bay. At the end of evening, we observed during more than two hours severals whales by small groups of one to four animals. In the same time, we already tracked down a group of dolphin. The day after almost at the same place, we saw thousands Sooty Shearwaters followed the coast in the direction of the bay!
The Lassen N.P. and the Mac Arthur Burney Falls Park were rather similar concerning the fauna and the nature. For all ornithologist visited north California, the Sierra Valley was inescapable. We discovered this site thanks to the book "Birders guide to Northern California". It was the most southern nesting site of the Sandhill Crane. The Mono lake with millions flies and thousands of Phalaropes was also inescapable . On the other hand, we were disappointed by the Yosemite Park. For me there was too many people. However the landscapes were really monumental.
About birds you can find easely "Roger T. Peterson" and the "Field Guide to the birds of north America" (Publishing National Geographic). Great quality for the third edition of the second. The Peterson seemed better for passerines but not for the rest. So, there were very additional.
"Peterson Field Guides : Mammals" : William H. Burt Richard, P. Grossenheider, Houghton Mifflin Company.
"Guides des mammifères marin du monde" : R. Wandrey ; Delachaux et Niestlé.
"Guide to Birdwatching Sites. Western U.S." & "Guide to Birdwatching Sites. Eastern U.S." : Mel White ; National Geographic.
"Birders guide to Northern California" : Lolo & Jim Westrich ; Gulf Publishing Company.