The Road to Yosemite
Monday 27th April Ė Yosemite National Park
Well, didnít I choose a good hotel to stay at last night !! What I didnít see in the dark last night as I arrived was ..... a set of railway tracks. I reckon every 45 minutes a whopping big freight train came through town. They werenít satisfied with just clunk clunk, clunk clunking past. No sirree Bob, they had to blow their damned horns and not just once but constantly.... Level crossing right outside !!!! What a good choice, I never realised that I could get to watch the Santa Fe express all night long without having to pay extra for it.
Well, may as well have an early start while Iím awake. As I head west in the direction of the Pacific Ocean, leaving behind Mojave, I come across a series of mountain tops absolutely filled with wind turbines. Man, what a good place to have them. After those winds last night they must be generating enough electricity to supply the whole west coast. There were hundreds of them.
From there I head over the hills into Bakersfield. What a change in scenery. Out of the starkness of the desert and into lush green flat fields. The change is unbelievable. The whole region is used for dairy farming, nuts, fruit and wines. Have you seen oranges with Ďgrown in Californiaí? Itís all here. I stopped off and bought some. I also got a packet of fresh beef jerky and a packet of honey coated almonds.
The run up to Yosemite is pretty uninteresting. Just highway running until you get into Oakhurst. I drop into Yosemite Gateway Inn (Best Western) and drop my bag off. Talking to a local biker, I discover that the run up to the National Park is a 120 mile loop, finishing back in Oakhurst.
The road is a great run. Being a Monday, thereís next to no traffic. Single lane all the way, no wind and glorious sunshine. Itís the best riding roads Iíve encountered so far and hook in. But WHOA!! All of a sudden as Iím heading up through the hills, I realise that there are no railings between me and some huge drop offs . They may not do much anyway, but they have a habit of making one feel a bit more warm and fuzzy when theyíre there.
The scenery improves and I have to decide what I want to do, rip in and enjoy the ride or slow down and enjoy the scenery. Maybe Iíll have to come back tomorrow for the scenery.... ahh, I donít think so. Slow down and enjoy it, ok. I feel as though Iím stopping every five minutes, ripping the gloves and helmet off, taking a photo and putting them back on again. Itís worth it. The area is beautiful.
This is not the gob smacking ďoh wowĒ like The Grand Canyon, or the unusual features seen down in Sedona. This is just beautiful, fast running rivers,
rapids and high rising cliffs with some fantastic waterfalls.
As I get a bit further up, itís obvious there is still plenty of snow about and that melting snow is feeding the rivers. What a sight.
After stopping to take some photographs of the Bridal Veil waterfall, I discover a few keen (female) photographers have set up their equipment behind the bike. One offers to move her equipment, I tell them not to bother, theyíve got some great equipment. Time to have a bit of a yarn, to see if they can help me with my equipment. So, I ask them about how I get the blurring effect when taking water shots. They try to help me with my basic camera, but itís a little too primitive and are unable to help me with my equipment problem. Oh well, on ya bike fella and head back to the hotel. The run back down is spoilt by damned car drivers wanting to obey the 35 mph speed limit. Curse Ďem.
Anyway, a great day was had and tomorrow I hope to achieve the goal...... Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, coast to coast in San Francisco. Then Iíll head down to LA to see John Travolta to tell him what it really feels like to do it. ;-)
Posted by Paul Brealey at April 28, 2009 06:26 AM GMT