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The 59th National Park

Pinnacles National monument status was updated in 2013 to become Pinnacles National Park, the 59th National Park in America. We decided to take Yub Nub for a visit, we started our journey Friday evening after work to get a jump start so that we weren't driving all day on Saturday. We made it to Los Banos and spent the night at Walmart. The next morning we woke, at breakfast and started off to Pinnacles. On the way we stopped off to enjoy views of San Luis Reservoir.

We made it to Pinnacles around 11 am only to find out that the parking lots were full and everyone was being turned away. This was a total bummer as this is what we had planned for the day. The ranger suggested to check back later in the day. What was there to do other than to drive and explore. We went for a drive up on Coalinga Rd where there was BLM land. The views were nice, however the roads were not, somewhat bumpy. I guess MLK weekend everyone had similar ideas as even the BLM spots were full. After about a hour of driving, we headed back Pinnacles and arrived around 2pm. OMG, we were able to get in the park and found a spot to park near the visitor center. We went on a short 2 hour hike along Chalon Creek. We found an interesting fact that Pinnacles is believed to be part of the Pinnacles-Neenach Volcanic Field that happened some 23 million years ago near Lancaster, CA. It is believed that San Andreas split the volcano and the Pacific Plate carried the Pinnacles 190 plus miles north to were it is today. Earthquakes are believed to have constructed the talus caves, an attraction I really wanted to see. Unfortunately, It was closed. Bummer!

We headed out around 5pm as we had reservations at the Inn Tres Pinos Restaurant a Harvest Host location. Tres Pinos is a small town in the County of San Benito's rolling hills ranches and is located about a 25 minute drive from Pinnacles NP. It reminds me of a town you would see in a Western movie. They set up socially distanced fire pits to be able to enjoy dinner outdoors. This immediately has become my favorite Harvest Host spot to date and look forward to visiting again.

We woke early the next morning and drove back to Pinnacles, the old adage 'the early bird gets the best parking spot' we parked near Bear Gulch.

We made a hearty breakfast before we started our hike. We hike up to High Peaks from there. The hike was amazing, and the views from the top were incredible. I would have loved to hike all day, however, we did not prepare for more than a 2-3 hour venture. There is so much still to explore, we will definitely plan another trip here.

That afternoon we left and headed for the coast. Monterey and up to Santa Cruz to visit our son who is a 3rd year Banana Slug. First stop in Santa Cruz, Taqueria Los Pericos! We then found a great spot on West Cliff Dr. and enjoyed the ocean views and sounds until 11pm and they found a quiet neighborhood to park and sleep for the night. We woke early the next morning and found an even better spot on West Cliff Dr. to enjoy the sunrise, surfers and called it home for the day.


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