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Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite

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How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 09, 2014 06:25PM
Since there are so many people so far this year needing assistance!!!

1. Drive the speed limit. Don't speed. Animals like to cross the road once in a while, as do horses with passengers, hikers, and the occasional ranger.

2. Drive the speed limit. Don't slowpoke. If you must slow poke, because the rental RV is unfamiliar or the baby's sleeping or you're just nervous about the road, USE PULLOUTS WHEN YOU NOTICE PEOPLE ON YOUR BUMPER. BECAUSE - YOU WILL DRIVE THEM CRAZAZZZZZY! angry smiley angry smiley angry smiley angry smiley angry smiley angry smiley angry smiley Seriously, if you creep along 10 miles an hour with 20 cars bumper to bumper behind you and refuse to let anyone go by? You are not only pissing off the drivers, potentially making Yosemite employees late to work, and breaking a law - YES THERE IS ONE - you are being a MEGA RUDE A-HOLE.

If there are five cars behind you - use one of the many pullouts! The person you save may just be YOU.

I was stuck behind someone in a small SUV doing this - I was behind him, the 19 cars behind me were honking, flashing lights, and PISSED. Mile after mile after mile after slow-f'ing-mile.... Rolling by one nice paved pullout after another. s.l.o.w.l.y. I have never been so on the verge of just whipping around someone on a double yellow line. (I whipped around him using the empty Glacier Point pullout - ssshhhhhh... but it was morning, no one was there, and I was so mad I even flipped the bird going by...)

3. When you are in the Valley, and you are staying the night - leave the car at your temporary residence and walk, bike, ride a shuttle or tram. Nature thanks you for not contributing to the fumes.

4. When you are in the valley for the day, to avoid nightmarish traffic jams... take it easy. For some reason the mornings are fine, but in the middle of the day the cars roll out of the woodwork - campers leaving, people showing up, people who don't feel they can walk from Curry to the Village - and the afternoon jams are EPIC. I sat in a line for an hour one afternoon around 4 trying to get past the Village. My strategy these days is to park in the Village day use area in the morning first thing and jump on a shuttle to wherever I'm going, and do the same coming back - cuts off that most congested piece of road between there and Curry. Things are slow past that point because of tourists crossing the road but at least it isn't a traffic jam.

5. Be careful on Tioga Road. Do the speed limit. Be aware at all times that even if you do that, you can still get into trouble - the only time I had a traffic incident in the park was coming around a corner after crossing Yosemite Creek. The car that had been zipping along in front of me had stopped in the road, a ranger in an SUV stopped in the other lane. She had misunderstood the ranger gesturing at her to mean "stop" - what he actually meant was "slow down, there is a bear down the hill from the road and I don't want you to hit him" - not sure why he thought he could manage to communicate that with a hand wave, but there you go. I came around the corner, accelerating slightly, and WHOOPS there she was! Having a small car, I zipped between the two vehicles and got through with just a bumper kiss. (The ranger did an incident report but no ticket. My insurance was wonderful about it.)

And then there was the Honda I drove past - it was in the ditch, neatly tipped on the passenger side. The family was across the road - humiliated looking man, screaming woman, and two teenagers about a dozen paces away looking anywhere but at their parents. Please don't speed and gawk.

6. Don't make up your own parking spaces. Keep a clean car. Follow food storage rules - put it all in the bear lockers. And don't take things that aren't yours out of the lockers when you leave!
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 09, 2014 07:15PM
Amen! Been there, done that except for the accident.
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 09, 2014 07:17PM
Another helpful hint; locate your GPS navigation system. Grasp it firmly between both hands. Give it a very hard pull. When it comes loose; throw it out the window... and into the nearest recycling bin. Use the map they gave you at the entrance station.
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 09, 2014 10:59PM
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Dave
Another helpful hint; locate your GPS navigation system. Grasp it firmly between both hands. Give it a very hard pull. When it comes loose; throw it out the window... and into the nearest recycling bin. Use the map they gave you at the entrance station.

That is really good advice. Once time we were walking on Henness Circle in Yosemite West. The same car drove by us multiple times and finally stopped to ask us directions because they had been driving around Yosemite West for almost an hour. They were looking for the Hodgdon Meadows Campgrounds and their GPS said that they could get there from Yosemite West. Needless to say they were not happy that they had to get back on the 41 and go down to the valley so they could get on the 120.
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 10, 2014 10:54AM
A friend's GPS wanted us to turn onto Old Coulterville Road. I disagreed.


http://yosemitephotos.net/main.php/v/yosemite/sh-DSC_3812.JPG.html
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 10, 2014 03:00PM
That's the way the cookie crumbles.
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 10, 2014 07:15PM
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Dave
That's the way the cookie crumbles.

I don't want to mention details and spoil it for others who may not get that joke but I confess that I only recently found out the name of a certain feature in that area which lets me get it! winking smiley
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 11, 2014 06:46AM
It's loads of fun to follow those down long winding roads that suddenly have a gate...
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 11, 2014 09:16AM
I don't mind. I have the key. Grinning Devil
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 09, 2014 07:56PM
Always bear proof your car at night

  • leave nothing in view
  • they know what a backpack or ice chest looks like, and WILL get into the car to get it
  • they may think your messy car looks inviting and break in just to rummage through it all
  • dig under the seats for that forgotten french fry ar candy bar, otherwise the bear will do it for you after trashing the car
  • if it has a smell, even if it's not food, it goes into the bear box, not the car
  • make sure the bear box is LATCHED, the bears know how to get into an unlatched box
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 10, 2014 03:34PM
The bike paths and roads make it so easy to get from place to place, and see all of the valleys amazing sights. Often faster than cars too. Once we get to the park and find our lodging, we don't even look at the car till time to go home. We either bring our bikes, or rent them for a day. We can stop as often as we like for the photos we take, and boy is it easy to find a parking spot with a bike, pretty much everywhere. Getting around by car is such a pain in the valley, and so unnecessary too. With shuttles as well as so many paths that are away from the roads and in the trees and along the rivers and creeks.

As a side note, we have actually watched a bear try to tear a window on a car door in half. So we take it seriously when we get to the park. We remove everything, and I mean everything. Windex, gum and candy wrappers and boxes. Bears can smell it all and will eat it all. Don't think that putting it in a storage compartment or under the seats will do any good either. Clean out your car and save a bear.
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 11, 2014 06:41PM
Excellent tips, all. And not just for Yosemite.

We park our car first thing, and never get back into it until it is time to leave. And we've met some great people on the shuttles around the park.

(THanks for the note about driving slowly, too. It's perfectly fine to be a tourist in Yosemite (or in Napa where we live) but please be a nice tourist. Pull over and let the people who live and work here get to where they are going....)



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 11, 2014 06:59PM
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AlmostThere
If there are five cars behind you - use one of the many pullouts!

Especially if you are one of those drives that wets his pants at every tiny curve in the road but puts it to the floor on the straight!
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 11, 2014 11:06PM
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AlmostThere

2. Drive the speed limit. Don't slowpoke. If you must slow poke, because the rental RV is unfamiliar or the baby's sleeping or you're just nervous about the road, USE PULLOUTS WHEN YOU NOTICE PEOPLE ON YOUR BUMPER. BECAUSE - YOU WILL DRIVE THEM CRAZAZZZZZY! angry smiley angry smiley angry smiley angry smiley angry smiley angry smiley angry smiley Seriously, if you creep along 10 miles an hour with 20 cars bumper to bumper behind you and refuse to let anyone go by? You are not only pissing off the drivers, potentially making Yosemite employees late to work, and breaking a law - YES THERE IS ONE - you are being a MEGA RUDE A-HOLE.


I think that driver left the park today. On my way driving out on Big Oak Flat Road (BOFR), halfway between the valley and Crane Flat, I end up at the rear of a slow moving caravan already about 18 cars (if not longer in length) going about 20 MPH. By the time we reached Crane Flat, there were at least 15 vehicles behind ME!

Fortunately, the slow poke made a right on Tioga Road (thank you, thank you, thank you!) and those of us continuing on BOFR promptly got back up to the 40 MPH speed limit (once we left the Crane Flat 25 MPH zone).

(I was starting to dread that I might have to deal with this sucker all the way to Buck Meadows and beyond.)

.
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 07:23AM
And his brother was driving an Escalade out 41 Saturday afternoon... again, honking and flashing lights and so forth had no effect.

I think a neon sign across the top of the windshield is in order. Something that blinks.
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 07:29AM
Hopefully Google builds this into their autonomous car project (auto-using turnouts, not the giant flashing sign...).
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 12:11PM
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AlmostThere
I think a neon sign across the top of the windshield is in order. Something that blinks.

Or maybe a clue-by-four?
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 12:25PM
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eeek
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AlmostThere
I think a neon sign across the top of the windshield is in order. Something that blinks.

Or maybe a clue-by-four?

Some of those big blinky YOU ARE GOING 2 MILES PER HOUR - USE A TURNOUT BEFORE THOSE PEOPLE BEHIND YOU MOB YOU AND BREAK YOUR FEET signs about 1/4 of a mile before the next turnout....
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 02:49PM
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AlmostThere


Some of those big blinky YOU ARE GOING 2 MILES PER HOUR - USE A TURNOUT BEFORE THOSE PEOPLE BEHIND YOU MOB YOU AND BREAK YOUR FEET signs about 1/4 of a mile before the next turnout....

In all honesty, it's something that Yosemite's LE rangers (who are already parked on the side of the roads watching out for speeders with their radar/laser guns) could easily enforce since it's against the law to impede traffic (i.e. having five or more vehicles stuck behind you). They could easily take a radar reading of the slowpoke and pull him/her over and cite them for driving too slow and not using the turnouts. At the very least, they should pull over the offending driver and give them a warning (and in the meanwhile let all the vehicles that were stuck behind the slowpoke pass).

Driving too slow creates hazards just like driving too fast. The L.E. rangers shouldn't just focus on speeders and drunks, but cite slowpokes too.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/12/2014 03:53PM by plawrence.
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 07:11PM
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plawrence
....Driving too slow creates hazards just like driving too fast. The L.E. rangers shouldn't just focus on speeders and drunks, but cite slowpokes too.
So, you want LE to risk their lives because you have been inconvenienced for a few minutes? It's the speeders than kill, not the slow drivers. Drunk drivers kill, not slow ones. Those passing slow drivers on corners and passing on the double yellow are the ones creating the danger, not the slow driver. They made the choice to do something dangerous, not the slow driver. The fast drivers kill wildlife, not the slow drivers.
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 08:56PM
I'd argue that the slow drivers are creating a hazard that leads to the other incidents - road rage, illegal and dangerous passing, etc. I am a relatively laid back driver and am happy cruising along at or below the speed limit when I'm not blocking traffic, but put an RV going 20 MPH in front of me on Tioga road and my hulk side comes out. At least I'll just sit behind him and fume, whereas I've seen plenty of others speed around dangerously. Get rid of the slow road boulders, it dials back the other dangerous behavior.

Also, I've noticed that those are also the drivers that tend to not understand the lane markings. That 20mph RV is over the double yellow half the time - I've seen plenty of other vehicles coming the other direction have to swerve out of their way. I think the slow speed is an indication of someone who is very uncomfortable on the road and should probably take a breather. In a turn out lane. So the rest of us can pass.
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 09:40PM
I believe in people taking responsibility for their own actions. Those undertaking unsafe passing are completely responsible for their own actions. They made the choice. Those getting tickets, or causing accidents, for unsafe passing, soon realize the courts agree with me. So does the law.


V C Section 21751 Passing Without Sufficient Clearance
Passing Without Sufficient Clearance

21751. On a two-lane highway, no vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless the left side is clearly visible and free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 09:42PM
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Dave
I believe in people taking responsibility for their own actions. Those undertaking unsafe passing are completely responsible for their own actions. They made the choice. Those getting tickets, or causing accidents, for unsafe passing, soon realize the courts agree with me. So does the law.


V C Section 21751 Passing Without Sufficient Clearance
Passing Without Sufficient Clearance

21751. On a two-lane highway, no vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless the left side is clearly visible and free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.

If you're going to start citing VC, make sure you cite all the pertinent subsections.

Minimum Speed Law

22400. (a) No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, unless the reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, because of a grade, or in compliance with law.

No person shall bring a vehicle to a complete stop upon a highway so as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic unless the stop is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 09:43PM
Unsafe passing of slow drivers causes more accidents than the slow drivers. Yes, it is illegal. If there are 4 cars behind you, no matter how fast you are going, you have to pull over. In no way does that excuse those passing on curves, or across a double yellow. The slow drivers do not cause the accident; those passing unsafely cause the accident.
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 13, 2014 12:42AM
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Dave
I believe in people taking responsibility for their own actions. Those undertaking unsafe passing are completely responsible for their own actions. They made the choice.

They people coming the other direction didn't make the choice to have a head-on. That's the real problem.
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 13, 2014 09:07AM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Dave
I believe in people taking responsibility for their own actions. Those undertaking unsafe passing are completely responsible for their own actions. They made the choice.
They people coming the other direction didn't make the choice to have a head-on. That's the real problem.

The flashing lights would stop the oncoming car.
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 10:48PM
If a driver passes a overly slow driver in a reckless fashion and causes an accident they're BOTH at fault in my mind.

The slow driver for going too slow
The passer for a reckless pass

Can someone explain to me what the slow drivers are so afraid of? It's only a road, not even that bad compared to some. Now you want to talk BAD . . .
( ok I'm biased, I've been driving on roads like that my whole life )
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 13, 2014 12:41AM
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calipidder
but put an RV going 20 MPH in front of me on Tioga road and my hulk side comes out.

Are you saying I wouldn't like your driving when you are angry?
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 09:40PM
Quote
Dave
Quote
plawrence
....Driving too slow creates hazards just like driving too fast. The L.E. rangers shouldn't just focus on speeders and drunks, but cite slowpokes too.
So, you want LE to risk their lives because you have been inconvenienced for a few minutes? It's the speeders than kill, not the slow drivers. Drunk drivers kill, not slow ones. Those passing slow drivers on corners and passing on the double yellow are the ones creating the danger, not the slow driver. They made the choice to do something dangerous, not the slow driver. The fast drivers kill wildlife, not the slow drivers.

No, not really. Slow drivers can cause all sorts of accidents; I've responded to more than a few.

That, and it's against the vehicle code in CA to drive too slowly.

That and studies consistently show that slow drivers do cause accidents.
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 09:46PM
Try inconvenienced for an HOUR. A whole hour behind schedule.

If you want to argue that side of things, go ahead - but there are far less patient people than me out there and I am smart enough to be afraid of them.
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 09:59PM
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Dave
So, you want LE to risk their lives because you have been inconvenienced for a few minutes? It's the speeders than kill, not the slow drivers. Drunk drivers kill, not slow ones. Those passing slow drivers on corners and passing on the double yellow are the ones creating the danger, not the slow driver. They made the choice to do something dangerous, not the slow driver. The fast drivers kill wildlife, not the slow drivers.
y

Why would LE rangers be risking their life? Unsafe passing? I would expect them to use their lights to have the other vehicles pull out of their way. I'm quite sure that rangers would pull over a slow vehicle followed by 20 cars but there are not enough of them to go around for every instance.

As far as faster drivers killing wildlife: the only deer I've ever hit, with my dad driving, was at or below the speed limit leaving Yosemite after my big day hike a few years ago.
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 10:05PM
Quote
chicagocwright
Quote
Dave
So, you want LE to risk their lives because you have been inconvenienced for a few minutes? It's the speeders than kill, not the slow drivers. Drunk drivers kill, not slow ones. Those passing slow drivers on corners and passing on the double yellow are the ones creating the danger, not the slow driver. They made the choice to do something dangerous, not the slow driver. The fast drivers kill wildlife, not the slow drivers.
y

Why would LE rangers be risking their life? Unsafe passing? I would expect them to use their lights to have the other vehicles pull out of their way. I'm quite sure that rangers would pull over a slow vehicle followed by 20 cars but there are not enough of them to go around for every instance.

As far as faster drivers killing wildlife: the only deer I've ever hit, with my dad driving, was at or below the speed limit leaving Yosemite after my big day hike a few years ago.

Easy answer: they wouldn't be risking their lives.
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 10:07PM
Apparently some here don't understand the position I am putting forth. All I can say is that if you make an unsafe pass; you are the one creating the dangerous situation. That's not my opinion, it's the law.

No, ANY law enforcement unit, local, park, state, will NOT pass 20 cars to pull over one slow driver. It's just not safe.
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 10:16PM
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Dave
Apparently some here don't understand the position I am putting forth. All I can say is that if you make an unsafe pass; you are the one creating the dangerous situation. That's not my opinion, it's the law.

No, ANY law enforcement unit, local, park, state, will NOT pass 20 cars to pull over one slow driver. It's just not safe.

No, they wouldn't pass them.

They'd activate emergency lights and sirens, use the in-car PA system if necessary, and watch the cars ahead of them pull over to the shoulder, allowing the officer to reach the car of interest.

Basic procedure. Not particularly complicated or difficult.
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 12, 2014 10:20PM
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Dave
Apparently some here don't understand the position I am putting forth. All I can say is that if you make an unsafe pass; you are the one creating the dangerous situation. That's not my opinion, it's the law.

No, ANY law enforcement unit, local, park, state, will NOT pass 20 cars to pull over one slow driver. It's just not safe.

I don't disagree with your first point. I've found myself in the situation and I just find a pullout myself to enjoy for 10-15 minutes if it is apparent the slow driver isn't going to use one. But I have never found myself in a hurry at Yosemite either (or other National Parks for that matter).

The second point I don't think is fully accurate. Depends on the situation. LE can and will use lights to get other cars out of their way to get to an offender. I've seen it done. They will not do it in an unsafe manner.
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 13, 2014 12:46AM
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chicagocwright
the only deer I've ever hit, with my dad driving, was at or below the speed limit

The only bear I've ever hit was well below the speed limit following a line of slow drivers. But at least the bear got up and ran away. (Still makes me sick.)
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 14, 2014 01:37PM
The only deer I ever hit was in Yosemite going 30 in a 35 zone. Actually, the deer hit me, launching itself off the opposite high embankment into the side of my rental. I never even saw it until it shook itself off in my rear view mirror. Now when driving in the park my head is on a swivel. Wildlife can come out of nowhere. Got to be on your toes every second.
avatar Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 14, 2014 02:12PM
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tomdisco
The only deer I ever hit was in Yosemite going 30 in a 35 zone. Actually, the deer hit me, launching itself off the opposite high embankment into the side of my rental. I never even saw it until it shook itself off in my rear view mirror. Now when driving in the park my head is on a swivel. Wildlife can come out of nowhere. Got to be on your toes every second.

Had one jump out in front of me one night here: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=34.158427,-118.995602&z=16&t=t4
Re: How to navigate your car in Yosemite
May 14, 2014 06:09PM
One evening my dad was driving me home (I was ten or eleven) and we were coming down a hill starting into a corner when a doe jumped in front of us. We stopped and the doe ran straight at the car, rammed the headlight, wobbled away into the brush and jumped a fence. The headlight pointed away to the side for years after that.
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