The sun never sets in San Francisco

Greetings from Group 1

What a better way to spend the first weekend of the Summer Sessions than going on a road trip? After one week of lessons, our group decided to go on a road trip to the great outdoors that’s just a drive away from school. This road trip was planned way ahead of time, to get the best lodging and car rental deals before we hit the peak season of booking, as summer is the season where locals and tourists getaway to the nature reserves to embrace the scenery and escape the bustle of city life.

Our initial plan made in Singapore was a route to Yosemite National Park before eventually arriving at our hotel further in the forest to spend the night. However, due to the closure in highway 120, we had to re-route. The new route made was almost 2 hours longer than original (which was already 3 hours long), but oh well, this couldn’t be helped. Even though the new route was more roundabout, the sights and experiences we have taken back from it was more than enough to make up for it.

On the first day of the road trip, we drove from iHouse to our first rest stop, the midpoint between iHouse and the nature reserves, a small town named Oakdale. We refueled and took a breather before continuing on to the forest ahead.

Detour in Stanislaus National Forest

Our first stop in the forest was a trailhead named Sonora Trail. We were so surprised when we were greeted with frost covered grounds and chilly winds at the trail! We trekked through the trail, and after getting through the adventurous trail that was a mix of dry land and ice, we emerged at the summit of a small landform. The views that we enjoyed were breathtaking, definitely worth our effort of walking through the snow.

Walking along the Sonora Trail
Winter has come early?
Breathtaking scenery at the peak

Before we ended our first day, we decided to stop at one more scenic location, the Leavitt Creek. We made a quick stop at a camp ground to see the rushing river and seeing such a big river with raging waters was a first for quite a few of us, mesmerizing us.

Day 2 started pretty early, and after breakfast we left the hotel at 7.30am and made our way to Mono Basin, a lake in Mono city. It was a 2km trek to the edge of the lake from the Visitor Center and seeing such a vast and calm lake with the reflections of rock formations was amazing.

Morning stroll along the lake in Mono Basin

We then moved to Donnell Vista, and from that viewing point, we looked down to see the wonders of nature, We were almost 40 storeys from the rivers and lakes below us, and it was a magnificent view that we managed to grab before we left the forest to get back to iHouse.

Donnell Vista

This trip was an eye-opener for many of us, as we don’t really have an opportunity to see snow and climb mountains (or at least a part of a mountain) back in Singapore. Although its summer right now, some places are as cold as 2 °C, so you should bring a jacket along if you are coming to San Francisco Bay. We also realized how vastly different driving on Singapore roads was to drive on American roads, it can be quite challenging driving on the opposite side of the road, but thankfully we have an experienced driver to ferry us around.


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