For those of you who have stuck around even after I stopped writing, Thank you. Those of you who are new Welcome.
I want to apologize (again) for falling of the face of the earth, but in my defense, I was a little bummed out when the “Great American Road Trip2” fizzled out, though this time at least we made it out of the state.
For anyone who was following along, and for anyone who doesn’t know, well you’ll catch up…
“The Great American Road Trip2” started out just fine, we were packed and ready, the car was (finally) road worthy (mostly) and the sun had not yet turned Las Vegas into a blazing inferno. By the time the day really started to cook, we had arrived in the high country at Beatty, NV, the furthest extent of “The Great American Road Trip”.
Much to our surprise, Nevada is really quite boring when driving along the western edge, by default I suppose that means that California is really quite boring when driving along its eastern edge. I (and the rest of the family) gained a far greater appreciation of the hardship the early pioneers must have endured when traveling by horseback across the miles and miles of barren wasteland, that comprises that part of the country. Are deserts beautiful? Sure, but I really wouldn’t want to spend a month attempting to cross one in a covered wagon pulled by horses.
We finally crossed in to the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and determined that a 20+ year old SUV is not the best vehicle for pulling a trailer, especially when you are behind a RENTAL Motor home (why they ever let those on the road I will never know). After an interminable drive (SR120 is an older two lane highway from Benton, CA to I-395 into Yosemite National Park – I do not recommend it, unless you are in a sports car and don’t have any other traffic to contend with – then it becomes pretty cool.), we finally made it to the I-395 SR 120 interchange at Lee Vining where the rental RV turned off at the ‘whoa Nellie Deli’ for Lunch (presumably they not only couldn’t drive, but none of the occupants could cook).
Going up the hill into Yosemite then became a real challenge, the grade is one I would not recommend for anything as old a the little red truck, especially towing a trailer. We managed to maintain approximately 30-40 miles an hour, but with limited places to pass, I felt like a jerk.
Once in the park, it became apparent that at least the SR-120 section of Yosemite had become THE place for the Granola Crowd to use a day trip into the “Wilderness™”. Prius’ and other pretentious city cars were packed bumper to bumper with busses (real live city-type busses with stops and everything) full of hippies. We finally realized why “Cali-fornians” are always preaching about littering… I have never seen so much trash left behind in my life.
We found a campground that wasn’t completely full called white wolf (http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wwcamp.htm), and as nice as the campground was, and the people (with the exception of the smelly hippies) it seems to me that camping in California felt like I was camping in Germany during the Forties. There were no trails I could take my dog, even though this was a “pet friendly” campground. We were restricted on where or when we could have food out (I understand there are Bears around, but I don’t remember hearing about any daylight bear attacks). They even have restrictions on how much water you can use and where to dispose of it (even though there is a river running through the camp).
What made this worse for me at least, I’m a purist, I admit, were the “Glampinig” Tents (ok, maybe not this bad, but please… http://goglamping.net/location/americas/usa/). As well as the Restaurant, and Cabins… have we really isolated ourselves from the outdoors that “roughing it” is a two star hotel?
After two nights of Yosemite we’d had all the fun we could (there are some beautiful meadows with wild flowers around – for looking at not for running through and certainly not for picking) we moved on.
Of course nothing is that simple, on the way down the mountain (remember those grades going up, just a bad on the western side going down) we smoked the brakes. Of course that was after the fight between me and the missus about the sounds and smells coming out of the car. In fairness I wanted to push on, but my lovely and more pragmatic wife wanted to turn around and head home. We compromised with trying to make it to the Ocean; San Francisco isn’t that far after all. The burning smell from the brakes made the decision for us, home it was.
After eighteen grueling hours behind the wheel (stopping only for gas, food and potty breaks), we finally pulled into the driveway back home safe, but exhausted in Las Vegas.
So, at least for now I guess God has a different plan for us, I will keep pushing the limit on Going Galt for as long as I can, and I promise I will try to post more regularly for the people who are reading this little rant of a blog, even if it’s only the wife.