Installment Three – The Rest of the Way

How many blogs have I authored?  It feels like thousands at this point.  Not even 500, truth be told.  So why the heck can’t I get my pictures where I want them on my posts?  I fear an update.  Oh, lord.

So rather than publish without pictures, I will stop trying to figure it out and just write.  Much more satisfying.

Today was a grand Mal day.  We miraculously set our iPhone alarm clock correctly and it woke us at 5:30.  We hit the trail a bit after 6 a.m.  Way early for this kid.  But we wanted to get into Yosemite before all the maddening crowd.  The gates open at 6 a.m. so that is what we were hoping for but, we didn’t miss it by much.  No cars, no traffic at the gate.

We then took the northern route locally referred to as Tuolumee Meadows.  What a fabulous drive.  Here are some of the pictures, with explanations.  

This is a sign on the road into the Park. We saw these announcements on many signs in the San Joaquin valley.

This is a sign on the road into the Park. We saw these announcements on many signs in the San Joaquin valley.

The backside of Half Dome.   Below is a lake pretending to be a mirror.







This sequence shows a small deer peering up at me as I snap the shot.  The other picture shows the hind legs of another deer.  Look closely for the legs behind the big rock.  That deer never moved a muscle while hiding.  So sweet, really.

Deer legs and shadows.

All ears.




Sheer granite.


Note:  I posted a video on FB if you want a ride down the hill!

We exited the park on the east at Lee Vining, CA.  Not too far from NV.  Mono Lake is there.  We attempted to get into the Visitor’s Center, but it was closed.  Had to relieve ourselves in the bushes.  Ran.

We came upon hurdles but I’m not going to spoil my high with faux pas tonight.  Just not going to do it.  Don’t worry, dear reader, there will be plenty of faux pas to report on in the future!!

So, the ride is like trees, trees, trees interrupted by mountains of granite, scrubbed by wind, rain, sleet and snow.  The beauty of the place just overwhelms your senses.  This grandeur of monster mountains, green meadows full of life, …where the mountains are hard as…I was going to say rock but that would be too too.  

Then the brooks, the streams, the river too low of water, the lakes, the reflections on the lakes…it is just too much to believe.  We are so blessed to have these natural wonders in our state, our nation, our planet.  

The flip side is all the burnt trees we had to look at in a cocktail of sadness and fear.  Our planet is crying out for help and human beings in power around the world are not coming to her aid.  George Carlin put it another way, “The planet is fine.  The people are fucked,”    He argued that the planet will repair itself after it has rid it of us.  After all, that has happened before.  

Traveling is both wonderful and a pain.  There is nothing easy about it.  It opens new vistas and ideas and thinking as you muddle about trying to get about.  And it is made more difficult with a doggie.  Just making the reservations and then keeping track of them is a challenge.  I try to keep them digitally, but I almost always make a copy…it is as if I don’t trust digital.  Seems reasonable to me.

Finding food is easier than it was when you had to keep or catch your supper but on the road, finding a place to eat outside with our Beau is not without its challenges as well.  One place flat out turned us away today.  Luckily our second try netted a table outside with shade and a breeze.  As luck would have it, a hiker sat down at the next table and we struck up a conversation.  He had been hiking the Pacific Coast Trail since mid-Apr but he had to stop today because his fibia or was it tibia? was broken not from a fall, just hiking…  He lived in VA so it will take him a time to get home.  He was not a young man.  Quite interesting

It is time to retire for the day so I will continue this when I figure out my app issues.  

Your Intrepid Reporter,  Dianna

Hi again.  I’m back.

Carson City was where we decamped on our second night.  Our Home or My Home…a new hotel chain that I give 3 stars.  It was clean, modern, but it sat between a major artery, a freeway, an off ramp so opening a window was a fool’s errand.  A stuffy room was the result but we made the best of it and checked out after a delicious bowl of Crunchy Raisin Bran that came prepackaged in a bowl.  It was too sweet, but we paid, didn’t we?  

The other thing worth noting was that we arrived at 1:30 and they offered to let us check in early for $50.  AYKM?  That resulted in us killing time by getting the car washed, and finding the restaurant for late lunch/early dinner.  We also wandered into the Sportsman store where I observed a lifetimes worth of camo jackets, pants, underwear, hats, gloves, boots.  If you need to blend into the woods, this is the store for you.  And, there was a gun department with several men waiting on several patrons.  I wanted to throw up but decided, no I did not.  Instead I engaged with the man that was helping us find dog booties so Beau’s paws could be protected while he gingerly pranced over hot parking lots sans trees/shade or cook an egg on the sidewalk hot sidewalks.  The guy was from Iowa temporarily because he was helping his mom post surgery.  I expressed sympathy that he lived in Iowa.  He corrected my poor thinking by saying he loved Iowa.  “But, they are so hostile to women”, I offered.  He said he understood but he didn’t approve of abortion and that is where we left it.  Those guns give me pause.

Moving right along.  Some pictures.

f you can see the buildings, they show how high these “hills” were.

Look, ma, no cars.

Pano of the alkaline lake…it reminded us of the Great Salt Lake. It went on for miles and miles, and miles. Perhaps a preview of what the Salton Sea will be soon enough.

Our drive consisted of driving to  Burns, OR.  Burns is in the high desert and we have never been there before.  Ryan suggested we stay two night because of geology so we made a reservation at a Day’s Inn which was one of three places that allowed pets.  So that is where we were heading

Along the way we got hungry and so we stopped at a restaurant in Alturus that was featured in an article in the L.A. Times that I read in December.  An Italian joint.  When I went inside to order, there wasn’t a soul there.  Then a woman emerged and I ordered spaghetti after I discovered we could eat outside on the sidewalk.  As it turned out, it is hard to eat slippery spaghetti with a plastic fork.  Noodles just slip off like rain on a window.  Key learning, there.

After our lunch sans wine because they couldn’t serve us wine outside, a local rule, I suspect, we got back in the car and continued north.  The landscape was amazing and we were one of four cars on the road.  Two lanes, no traffic, hardly a car or truck at all.  It was nirvana.  And we had the January 6 affair to listen to on the radio.  The miles went by quickly doing 55 MPH.  

OMG.  The Jan 6 hearing was jaw dropping and I was so happy to hear a young woman testify.  What a patriot.  Wouldn’t it be ironic if it was women that saved the Republic?  Between Cassidy and Cheney, the ingredients are certainly there.  They are making the apologists for Trump look like fools…either that or fooled by the grifter that reminds me as more or a Mob leader in more ways than one.

When we arrived in Burns, we were given a smoking room.  I was adamant.  “I’’m not staying in this room”,  I told the kid behind the desk.  It reeks of smoke.  Do you have a non-smoking room”?  

Upon learning it was their only room left, we left.  The room had a sagging bed with an old Sears and Roebuck flowered bedspread, a wall air-condition that looked ominous, like a good example of a Legionnaires disease spreader.  God, it was horrible.  There might have been another room but the hotel was going thru a renovation and half the place was uninhabitable.  

Where did we go?  Dead tired after 6 hours on the road, we went west to Bend.  There was no place to stay that was any better than Day’s Inn in Burns that would take Beau.  

About 8:30 we arrived at La Quinta in Bend, we lugged our stuff up stairs to find our room.  Rayman walked the dog, I ordered tacos from GrubHub, and when it arrived, Rayman ate at the desk in the room while I sat on the bed and used the night stand as my table.  Flushing down the mediocre taco with gulps of beer, we finished eating, got ready for bed, and called it a day.  It was 10:30.

This brings us to yesterday.  With a three hour trip in front of us, we took our time leaving and arrived back at the SHIP in Portland in early afternoon.  In one pieceand very excited that we had such a beautiful trip.  The scenery was out of this world, we only got angry once or twice, and we toodled all the way to Portland.  Very successful trip.   

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