Yosemite to Bakersfield, CA

I woke up this morning around 6:30. I laid in bed until almost 7:00. Coffee is available at 8:00 downstairs and breakfast is at 8:30. We are packing the car before breakfast so we can get on the road immediately afterwards. It is a 4-hour drive to Sequoia NP, our next stop.

Stopped in Fresno for lunch at In-N-Out burger.

It took a long time to get to Kings Canyon NP and the to drive on to Sequoia NP. We really didn’t have much on our list to see, but we did see the General Sherman the largest, by volume, of any tree in the world. The giant Sequoias are impressive to see.

After stopping to see the General Sherman, we drove out of the park on a curvy mountain road. It took much longer than we thought because you could only go slow it was so curvy. At one point, a construction crew had torn up two miles of road down to the dirt. It was one lane driving through it.

By the time we were at the bottom of the mountain, it was beginning to get dark. We drove through some citrus groves on our way to Visalia and then on to Bakersfield. We arrived in Bakersfield around 8:00. We stopped at a Panera Bread for dinner.

While driving to Bakersfield on CA-99 we saw the sunset. It is worth noting because the land is so flat in that area that the final view of the sun just looks like a ball on the edge of the world. I’m not describing it well, but it was an interesting site to see.

After checking in the hotel, we took our bags up to the room. Shari did one load of laundry in the guest laundry. It was around 10:30 before she finished, and we went to bed.

Yosemite National Park

I woke up this morning at 5:40. I slept all night and I only remember waking up briefly for a drink of water. We slept with the windows open and my throat was dry.

I got up and worked on my journal adding details about our last two days. It always surprises me how much time it can take to add all the memorable details to a journal.

We went down for breakfast a little after 8:00 this morning. Our hostess had prepared a vegetarian quiche, sausages, and fruit for breakfast. It was all delicious.

We left the B&B around 9:30 and headed back to Yosemite NP. We parked in the main parking lot and walked to find a bus, we just saw a bus leave the stop. The time table posted at the bus stop indicated that the next bus wouldn’t be for 30 minutes. We decided to walk to the Vernal Fall trail head. At one point we go a little disoriented and came up on a bridge. This was the view from the bridge.

Shari found a park employee and confirmed we were headed in the right direction. We continued walking for another 30 minutes through part of the park we would not have normally visited. It was interesting.

The Vernal Falls hike was steep in the beginning and I had to stop several times to catch my breath. We made it to the bridge which had a majestic view. At the bridge we decided to walk the rest of the trail up to the falls. Another 3/4 of a mile of steep trail and rock steps as we reached closer to the falls.

After the hike we took a shuttle bus back to the Village and then another to the hotel where we ate lunch in the bar. I had a three bar-b-que pork sliders plate. Each slider was a different style of bar-b-que. I thought the Korean one tasted the best. It also came with chips that included sweet potatoes and blue potatoes. It was a colorful plate.

After lunch we walked around the hotel and bought some souvenirs. Then we went back to the car and drove up to Taft Point and hiked the 1.1 miles to the end of the overlook where we watched the sunset. Looking down from taft point you could see cars at Yosemite Park below.

Since the sun was setting, we couldn’t stay long at Taft Point. We walked quickly back to the car and drove back to the B&B. Once back at the B&B I squeezed my car into an available parking space, and we went next door and had pizza and beer for dinner. We sat outside and ate. It was considerably warmer down here than it had been at Taft Point.

To Yosemite

I woke up at 4:00 and went back to sleep until 6:00. Shari and Albert were sleeping soundly, so I laid in bed until 6:30. Then I got up and made a cup of coffee. Shari woke up around 7:15 and Albert shortly thereafter. Around 8:15 we went down for breakfast. Belgian waffles were the specialty of the house, so we each had one. I had mine with Nutella and banana. I really enjoyed it. We check out of the hotel a little after 9:00 and headed south to Yosemite.

From Lake Tahoe we followed CA-89 over the mountains. The ride was fantastic and beautiful. Not much fall color with all the conifers, but every now and again there would be a patch of Aspens with deep yellow leaves. It was really spectacular. After descending from the mountains, we drove for a long time through Hope Valley to Markleeville where we started to climb another mountain. Before descending we stopped at an overlook where you could see Mono Lake below. Very Beautiful. After Lee Vinings, CA we left US-395 for CA 120 which took us to and entrance to Yosemite National Park. We drove 59 miles along CA-120 to get to the main part of the park. The drive was spectacular. I know I’ve used the word “spectacular’ a lot, but I really don’t know another word to describe what we saw.

It was after 2:00 before we arrived at the main part of Yosemite NP. We drove down the main drag stopping near El Capitan to take pictures. We did a short hike to the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls. Everything is so beautiful it almost hard to process. We drove through the valley and then found a parking spot near the visitor center. We walked to the visitor’s center, but there wasn’t much to see there. We walked back to the car and stopped in a few shops along the way. Once back at the car, we drove out of the park and to our hotel.

The hotel was not very far outside the park. It was a little hard to find because it was tucked behind another hotel complex. We check in with Liz out hostess and unloaded the car. Since we skipped lunch, we decided to have an early dinner and walked over to the River restaurant that was near the hotel.

After dinner we went to the hotel in front of ours because they had a small shop with provisions. We bought a bottle of wine and a few souvenirs. We walked back to our hotel and when we arrived, Liz let us know she had cookies in the common area. We went upstairs to our room and dropped off a few things and then went downstairs and had cookies. Liz and Shari talked about what hikes we should do tomorrow.

We went back upstairs to our room and we all enjoyed the bottle of wine on the deck outside out room. The deck overlooks the Merced River. A full moon was rising over the mountain and it had a Halloween look to it. After we finished off the bottle of wine, Shari and I stayed outside for a little while discussing how fortunate we are that we can make this trip. We went inside and went to bed.

Lake Tahoe, California

Left the house this morning at 3:45am to make a 6:00 flight.

Slept on the flight to Denver. I enjoyed having to change planes in Denver. It was a nice break.

We arrived in Reno, Nevada a little before 10:00 in the morning local time. Our luggage was waiting for us when we arrived at baggage claim. We walked over to the National Rental Car kiosk in the parking garage and claimed our 2018 Nissan Murano with California license plates. I want to look like a local.

We took I-580 South from Reno and the exited onto NV-431 Mount Rose Hwy. We drove past the Rose Mountain Ski Resort and on to Incline Village where we took NV-28 along Lake Tahoe. We drove along stopping occasionally to enjoy the vistas. We turned on US-50 and took it into California. At the Nevada-California state line there are a few large casinos and then you cross into California. The only State Line marker I saw looked like a street sign.

We located our hotel for the evening, but check-in isn’t until 3:00, so we drove back to the main part of town and found a restaurant for lunch. We ate the Cold Water Brewery and Grill. Nice place, I had the fish tacos and a Mr. Toads Wild Rye beer. The plate had two tacos and corn on the cob. Just the right amount of food. Mr. Toads Wild Rye was an amber beer with a slightly hoppy flavor. I enjoyed both.

After lunch we wanted to take a hike near Lake Tahoe. Our first choice of a trail was Lower Eagle Falls near Emerald Bay. The drive there was spectacular, unfortunately when we arrived, there were no parking spots available. A CHIPS officer was writing ticket for all the cars illegally parked. We drove back to the Taylor Creek Visitor Center where we found a couple of hikes. At first ,we took the Rainbow trail which takes you through Taylor marsh and along Taylor Creek. Then we took the Lake of the Sky trail which took us down to the shore of Lake Tahoe. It was a beautiful view of the lake along the rocky shoreline.

After our hike we went to the hotel to check-in. Shari made us reservations at Fireside Lodge Bed and Breakfast. My first impression as we drove past, was not good. From the street it looked like an old motor lodge that had been refurbished. But this place was fantastic. Each of the ten rooms has a theme. We stayed in the “Field and Stream” Room. It was decorated with antique fishing gear and old Field and Stream magazine art. It was a cozy and comfortable room. The common areas are wonderful. There is a living room that doubles as the breakfast room in the morning, a game room with working vintage arcade games and an air hockey table, a dry sauna and relaxation area, an outdoor fire pit where we made s’mores. The breakfast was great with the main entre being Belgian Waffles with a large variety of toppings. I had one with Nutella and banana. Delicious.

Cowboy Boots

I had a pair of cowboy boots when I was five or six years old. I wore them everywhere, mostly with shorts. I used to romp, play, and explore the woods across the street from my house in them. I was Fess Parker, my favorite actor in the Daniel Boone TV series. As you can tell, I have lifelong fond memories of them. So, it is a bit of a mystery why it took me fifty years to get another pair. Here’s to new adventures in my cowboy boots.

Under the Lights

My son baseball team had a rare night game tonight. It was the perfect evening for baseball. Cool without bugs. 😃