Pinnacles National Park is just two hours drive from San Jose, the home of Silicon Valley, and the city which I call home for the last few years. One spring Sunday morning, when I woke up by the beam of morning light on my eyes, something in me wanted to follow that light. I went out and saw a beautiful morning awaiting with its wide open arms. I wanted to taste that morning glory slowly like one drinks a glass of wine. So, away from the hustle and bustle and ever busyness of city life, wilderness beckoned and off I went without any plans and expectations. Here I present a photo essay, or perhaps more appropriately, postcards from Pinnacles National Park.

I wanted to taste that morning glory slowly like one drinks a glass of wine. So, away from the hustle and bustle and ever busyness of city life, wilderness beckoned and off I went without any plans and expectations. #Travel… Click To Tweet

On the way to Pinnacles National Park

As my car rolled at the speed of 65 miles per hour and went past the city, slowly a verdant California unfolded in front. On the way to Pinnacles National Park, my eyes savored the greenery and pumped in me a fresh impetus to indulge with all my senses.

As my car rolled at the speed of 65 miles per hour and went past the city, slowly a verdant California unfolded in front. #Travel #California #Travels Click To Tweet
On the way to Pinnacles National Park, my eyes savored the greenery and pumped in me a fresh impetus to indulge with all my senses. #Travel #Wanderlust #FindYourPark Click To Tweet
Postcards from Pinnacles National Park, Travel Realizations
Can you see those yellow buttercups, the spring flowers blooming silently?

Meeting a visitor from the clouds

All of a sudden the blue of the sky and the clouds started competing with each other and the clouds won. The golden sunshine melted amidst the clouds and gifted me a soft white light that indeed has a charm like a glass of wine. My wish got fulfilled and on top of that meeting, my most favorite visitor from the clouds was a bonus. You got it right; refreshing rain rejuvenated me!

Postcards from Pinnacles National Park, Travel Realizations
Mountains are my all time favorite. They are not like our shifting thoughts.
They stand still for years.

I am a lover of rain as much as the sunshine. So when the visitor from afar visited and the front windowpane of my car welcomed it with trumpets, I too opened the car and went out to shake hands with it.

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I was on my way to the Pinnacles National Park in California. The sky was dramatic; clouds, sun and rain were all taking their own turn. I, from the comfort of my cozy seat inside the car, was waiting eagerly to get down. At some point, the rain stopped but the clouds had spread a thick and dark blanket on the sky. It was just perfect for a dreamer like me. . I was looking as far as possible; my vision is limited to a few miles but my mind's eyes already took a flight to a distant land. Exactly at that moment, one of my favorite songs began in my car's stereo system; " How many roads must a man walk down Before you call him a man? How many seas must a white dove sail Before she sleeps in the sand?" . All of a sudden I saw a green field and without thinking anything else, I stopped the car and got down. The door remained open. The song still on – "Yes, and how many years can a mountain exist Before it's washed to the sea?" . I was lost amidst the greenery in front. The mountain, one beautiful blue colored bird, Bob Dylan's romantic voice and I stood under the thick blanket of dark clouds, cherishing each moment. Far away from the all-encompassing consumerism, profit and loss, give and take, modern society, digital world, I stood still and the song was still on. "Yes, and how many times must a man look up Before he can see the sky? The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind The answer is blowin' in the wind" . #travelrealizations

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Postcards from Pinnacles National Park, Travel Realizations
Such beautiful realities give shape to our beautiful dreams. Isn’t it?
Postcards from Pinnacles National Park, Travel Realizations
Beautiful winding roads on our way!

After reaching Pinnacles National Park

After the soothing two hours drive, the visitor from afar bid me farewell and finally, I saw the welcome message and took my signature shots after reaching Pinnacles National Park.

Postcards from Pinnacles National Park, Travel Realizations, Entrance gate to Pinnacles
This is a must take shot before entering any National Park! Don’t you agree.
Postcards from Pinnacles National Park, Travel Realizations
On my way to wilderness!

Just before reaching the visitor center, we were greeted by a deer.

Postcards from Pinnacles National Park, Travel Realizations, deer
Hi dude! hope that fresh grass of spring is delicious!

Pinnacles Visitor Center

The Pinnacles visitor center is relatively new. It has a small shop, some picnic tables nearby and restrooms. I was delighted to meet two lovely squirrels on the ground and California condors up in the sky.

Postcards from Pinnacles National Park, Travel Realizations, visitor center
I love the rustic look of the national park’s visitor centers
Postcards from Pinnacles National Park, Travel Realizations, visitor center area
I would love to do a picnic here on my next visit!
Postcards from Pinnacles National Park, Travel Realizations, squirrels
Hi cutie!

Meeting a musician amidst wilderness

Serendipity in travels are gifts. A sweet story alert for you all!

Postcards from Pinnacles National Park, Travel Realizations, Didgeridoo
The musician with a didgeridoo

I was trying to decide which trail to follow for a short hike and then suddenly saw a man with a large pipe (almost 4ft) in his mouth. I heard a lovely sound that came out of that long pipe. I enquired about the musical instrument. He said, it is a musical instrument called Didgeridoo developed by indigenous Australians and that he is a musician.

 

 

Meeting a musician amidst the wilderness was a sweet story that added an extra pointer to remember the beautiful Pinnacles that centers around rugged red rocks.

Serendipity in travels are gifts. #Travel #Wanderlust #FindYourPark #Wanderer Click To Tweet

Things to do and see in Pinnacles National Park

National Parks in America and its wilderness let me step into silence and stillness; a much-cherished luxury for me. After the serendipitous meeting with a musician, I came across a gently flowing stream, surrounded by mountains. It was hard for me not to stop and spend a few precious moments amidst pristine nature.

National Parks in America and its wilderness let me step into silence and stillness; a much-cherished luxury for me. #Travel #Wanderlust #Wanderer Click To Tweet
Postcards from Pinnacles National Park, Travel Realizations,
Beside the flowing stream!

Reservoir Caves and High Peaks

After spending some quiet time by the stream, I hiked a trail and loved seeing the caves and beautiful rock formations. You can choose a different trail and go for a hike or can choose to do rock climbing or simply indulge in bird watching. it all depends on your mood and tenacity.

How were the Pinnacles formed?

After seeing the beautiful rock formation while hiking, I was intrigued and tried reading about the formation of the red rocks. It was interesting to know that those rocks are all that’s left of a 23,000,000-year-old volcano called Neenatch. The San Andreas Fault ripped the old volcano in half and took the rocks for a millions-of-years-long ride to today’s location. According to the National Park Service, they’re still moving – about an inch per year. At that rate, they’ll be near where San Francisco is now in another 6 million years.

Perhaps the best way to understand how Pinnacles originated is to imagine that you are watching a video shot some 60 million years ago ending at the present time. Not wishing to view something that is milleniums-long, you speed up the action by keeping your finger on the fast-forward button. No matter. In the end, you still know the story well enough to repeat it.

National Park Service
Postcards from Pinnacles National Park, Travel Realizations, peaks
Peaks in Pinnacles National Park
Perhaps the best way to understand how Pinnacles originated is to imagine that you are watching a video shot some 60 million years ago ending at the present time. #Travel #FindYourPark #Wanderlust Click To Tweet

Pinnacles National Park FAQ

Now time for some practical information and tips. Let’s go!

How many entrances are there in Pinnacles National Park?

There are two entrances to Pinnacles National Park. East Entrance and West Entrance. Hiking trails connect two entrances. You cannot drive across it.

What is the difference between the East and West Entrances in Pinnacles National Park?

You have to drive through Hollister about 30 miles, then turn right onto CA Hwy 146 to reach the East Entrance. If you plan to camp overnight or visit Bear Gulch Cave then East entrance is the best.

You have to take US Hwy 101 to Soledad, then follow the signs for 14 miles to reach West Entrance. It offers spectacular and beautiful views of the rock formations from the parking lot. It also has the easiest 2.4-mile round-trip loop hike.

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Travel Realizations

Nature is an escape from the polarizing and paralyzing effect of the all-encompassing technical world we live in. I love floating in its healing realm. Pinnacles National Park is an easy escape for all San Francisco and Bay Area dwellers. You can come prepared with all the information on hiking trails or without any, like me. No matter how you come, you will go back with contentment. Just say yes to the wilderness and feel its magic.

Nature is an escape from the polarizing and paralyzing effect of the all-encompassing technical world we live in. I love floating in its healing realm. #Travel #Wanderlust #Wanderer Click To Tweet

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