We left Don's house and headed south on some more fun roads. Don was leading and
he took us past a couple lakes and many, many vineyards. This is the edge of the
Napa Valley wine country, Of course there are vineyards!!!
He left us at the edge of the Highway 12 where we headed east on flat, fast roads
that are heavily traveled by many big trucks. The scenery consists of the trucks,
grass and windmills making electricity.
After crossing the wide, flat Sacramento Valley we headed up into the foothills of
the Sierra Nevada's. This is gold country with towns having names like Angels Camp
and San Andreas. Now the gold is gone and they live on the tourists. This is where
Mark Twain wrote some of his famous stories such as the famous jumping frog of Calaveras
County. We didn't stop and visit. Finally we arrived at Yosemite. We toured the
visitor's area and took pictures of waterfalls. Then we went to the little town
of El Portal. This is another checkpoint in the Grand Tour and where we spent the
The next morning we returned to the entrance of Yosemite and toured more of the park. Yes,
that is the west entrance to Yosemite. The exiting vehicles go around the other
side of the left hand rock. We came in the north, slept outside the west side (all
park campgrounds were full) and are now headed to the south entrance.
On the way south we stopped at this lookout and took early morning pictures up the
valley. The famous rock, Half Dome, is in the distant center.
We rode south through the San Joaquin Valley towards the town of Tehachapi where
there is a cheap county campground. The campground is on a small mountain and the
campsites are perched here and there along steep and winding roads at over 6,000
feet elevation (about 2,000 meters). We had a cold, (36 F-2 C) rainy and windy night
and left about six in the morning. We rode off the mountain and found this thunderstorm
just to our west. To the east are much smaller showers and some sun breaks. Thank
goodness we are going east and then south. We outran the storm and are now in a,
much nicer, flat, county campground east of San Diego. We plan to cross the border
tomorrow morning and head towards what we hope is more sun and warmer temperatures.
We have 12 days scheduled in Mexico. The next report will be from there.