Cellpic Sunday – 28 November 2021

Pinnacles National Park, California.

On our way through California, we’d planned to stop at Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks, all reasonably co-located, and we’d planned a two- to three-day stop to be sure we saw them all. We’d been keeping an eye toward the wildfires that closed the Sequoia National Forest, but noticed on the respective web pages that the parks were still open, that is they were open until we got into the area. By the time we arrived, all park personnel was evacuated from both Kings Canyon and Sequoia Parks. At least we got to make our first visit to Yosemite, and we found it to be every bit as spectacular as we’d expected.

Our journey next would take us to the Pacific Coast where the plan to follow the coast to San Fransisco would be our route. On the way to the coast, we discovered a relatively small national park, Pinnacles, not far from the coast, southeast of Salinas. From Pinnacles, we headed to Santa Cruz where we picked up Highway 1. It was less than a two-hour drive total from Pinnacles to the coastal highway, with an overnight at Gilroy. Of course, you can expect a Travel Tuesday post about Pinnacles, but this post is about the cars we saw in the visitor center in the park.

About the photo: We noticed many of the vehicles were parked, hoods wide open. It was September 24, and it was a warm day in the park, but surely not that warm. As we passed an area of the park where only park personnel could go, we could see the park pickups and other vehicles in that lot mostly had their hoods open. Our first assumption is that leaving the hoods open provides a quicker cooldown for the engines in the hot California summer.

We stopped at the visitor center on our way out of the park, and when the ranger had a few moments, I asked about the open hoods. She noted that the locals and park personnel keep their hoods open if they are away from their car for any length of time. Squirrels like to eat the wiring under the hoods, or even try to nest there. They can create hundreds of dollars worth of damage in only a few hours. Keeping the hoods open discourages that activity. An Internet search confirmed that this is a relatively common solution to the problem where it exists.

The photo was processed with Adobe Lightroom with a final touch-up via Luminar AI. You can click on the image above to pixel peep in 2K HD via my Flickr site.

I encourage fellow bloggers to create their own Cellpic Sunday posts. I never have a specific topic for this feature, and the only rules are that the photo must be captured with a cell phone, iPad, or another mobile device… If you have an image from a drone, that’s acceptable as well. The second rule is to link your challenge-response to this post or leave a comment here with a link to your post in the comment.

John Steiner


  1. Interesting post John. I would think that opening the hood would allow more creatures in?? I’m sorry you missed Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. They are my favorites. It’s sad that the usually fire resistant Sequoias succumbed to the fire.

  2. I don’t miss the California wildfires, John, a bummer that the timing was bad for your trip. There are fires going on in Santa Barbara even now! I’m told by park rangers that pine trees release their seeds when hit by fire so a new forest is ready to grow. How interesting about the card hoods being open. Here is my link to cellpic Sunday. The eagle pics were taken with the camera, but everything is mobile! https://secondwindleisure.com/2021/11/28/sunday-stills-getting-cozy/

  3. You went right by our old neighborhood. We lived about 40 minutes down the hill from the Sequoia National Park. I can’t imagine how bad it looks right now. It was a very scary time for our friends living in Three Rivers. The air quality was super unhealthy for months where we had lived.

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