Monday, June 28, 2010

Yosemite to Monterey

It was a crazy couple of days.  I originally planned to go from Sacramento, north to Fort Bragg, but while waiting for checkout time at the Howard Johnsons, I turned on the TV and flipped to some program about the National Parks.  I was inspired by stories of how life-changing so many visits to the Parks were, and when I looked at a map I realized I was within a couple hours of Yosemite, so I headed that way. 

I arrived at the “Park Information Station” (still about 70 miles from the park) to learn that I showed up on the hottest day of the year (101).  Can I time it, or what?  I rode towards the park in hopes of finding a campsite close to the entrance.  I got lucky, and quickly set up the tent and grabbed a quick nap.  As I was getting ready to head into the park, a ranger came over and informed me that there was a mixup, and she had promised the site to another couple.  They had driven quite a distance and had no where else to go, so we decided to share the site.  That was one of the highlights of my trip.  Here’s to Jeff and Jen (and I hope I got those names right).  I really enjoyed our conversation, and if I’m ever in your neck of the woods, and I’m trying to land my plane by “The Merc”, I’ll be sure to watch for new street signs.  Loved your moose and cougar stories.  Hope the rest of your trip is fabulous!  I’ll think of you as I’m driving down the “Avenue of the Giants”. . .

I was up early today (4:30am) , and had a brisk ride in the 50 degree weather as I rose in altitude in the park.  I left the park around  9:00 or so and headed west.  I got my first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean at exactly 3:30.  WOW.  I took my friend Joe’s advice and headed down to Carmel to drive the “17 Mile Drive”  through Pebble Beach.  I was informed that motorcycles aren’t allowed on the drive, but the lady at the gate told me how to loop around Pebble Beach and pick up the road back into Monterey.  I must say, that’s not a bad way to live.  The ocean is amazing!

What I learned today.  I needed the heat to appreciate cool water. . . I needed the cold morning to appreciate the sunlight. . . it’s always the “bad” that makes us appreciate the “good”. . .

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