Last night’s sleep was rough. I woke up at 3am and decided to drive. We both knew this would happen. I made it until 3:30 when we found a large lot, also full of semi trucks, near a gas station and parked to sleep for two hours. Breakfast would consist of new trail mix we found in a gas station last night – Cracker Jack’d, and then later carrots with peanut butter from home. We decided to drive to Patriarch Grove to see if we could find the oldest Bristlecone Pine – some 10,000 years old.
Last time we made it halfway on the park road that was closed due to snow. This time we dealt with 12 miles of graded road to deliver us past snow-capped mountains, tall pine trees, and vast fields to a hill covered in rocks and old trees. We might not have found Methuselah, we might not have come close, but we enjoyed the ride. Of course our next stop would be Erick Schat’s Bakkery in Bishop – a must every time. We got two sandwiches because I wanted the egg salad and Caleb the veggie with Gouda so we could have half now and switch later, day old cinnamon rolls, and a loaf of garlic cheese bread.
We were going to visit Devil’s Postpile, but as we turned on the 203 the sign said it was closed. We didn’t get upset. This just meant that we would continue to Yosemite and drive through, but as I write this it reminds me that we will not be making it to Bodie – also a place that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for us just now. We stopped at the Mobil Gas Station to get hummus for the bread and found some of Barbara’s Fig Newtons too.
The temperature has been flexible today, as I knew it would. It’s ten degrees cooler than it was in San Diego (enough to issue a heat warning) and the low in Yosemite was 58. The dogs are doing amazingly well. I hope they are able to enjoy this trip as much as they can before the stress of being shipped (flown for a day and a half in the back of a plane without us) to Bahrain. The attendants will have to listen to Sparky cry as it’s unsafe to sedate your pets before leaving them with strangers while locked in a plastic box, but that’s not for another two weeks. Back to our vacation…
From Yosemite we will drive to San Francisco for a rustic tomato soup bowl from Boudin Bakery near 43 1/2 pier. There is an express version on Pier 39. We parked a mile and a half away for a $1.00 that gave us two hours. We didn’t need much more time arriving at sunset. I kept my sunglasses on to keep the wind out of my eyes, we enjoyed our dinner by the fire (the only people eating outside – and in shorts), listened to the man playing the saxophone, and ordered a garlic sesame loaf and a brownie to go.
Walking around in the wind and next to the water I imagined what it would be like to live in this city – expensive, loud, and fun – the city with the highest minimum wage and HOV lanes that require three people per vehicle. We like the lights, shops, and street performers – not too many out tonight and the temperature is still in the high 50s – is this global warming or cooling? Caleb wonders why we don’t get a pedicab offer and I let him know it’s because we don’t look like we’re from out-of-town with a long walk ahead in our shorts and jackets and energetic pace.
Walking back to the car I noticed the Golden Gate Bridge and remembered the art installation lights that we attempt to get pictures of after getting passed by a local inline-skate group – vibrant and varied. They brought smiles to the people they passed. Back at the car there is a limo parked in a lane so that its ten passengers can have a photo shoot with the bridge and an art piece in the background. We are parked near some grass and want to walk the dogs, but can’t find their bag with their flea/tick/heart-worm medication or leashes or poop bags or jackets or anything for that matter in the car. We still let them out to pee and put them back in before they notice the French Bulldog approaching.
Part of me wants to freak out but that won’t do us any good. We can buy the pills at any vet or pet store and will be limited where we can let them out without leashes unless we make some or buy more of those too. I’m a bit upset with myself that after eleven months of knowing I was moving and with plenty of weeks of packing and planning that I wasn’t able to get all our ‘don’t pack’ bags in the same place so they wouldn’t end up in a cardboard box wrapped in paper and attacked with a roll of tape that’s not even stuck on all the way.
The toll to go from Oakland to San Fran is $4.00 and a bit of a wait, maybe ten minutes. The cost to leave San Francisco is $5.00 with three cars in front of us at the toll booth. We didn’t want to sleep in San Fran to save money and didn’t want to sleep in Vallejo because we didn’t feel safe – and we’ve been in some shady places. So we found a spot in American Canyon to call it a night at 11pm.