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Sat. June 2 to Fri. June 8- Fresno CA to Yosemite CA

Saturday- It was going to be very hot today in Fresno, 96 degrees, and hot at Yosemite, 90’s, so we left at 8:30 after dumping at the Elks Lodge. I still drove the car and Bob drove the MH.  We drove north on Hwy. 99 to several roads northeast. OMG, the first road thru Merced, Hwy 140,  said, once we were too far to turn around, that the road was closed. EEK! We ended up driving thru the construction area. They were working, but the road was not closed. We turned onto Hwy 49, following the GPS. It was thru ranch country. AGAIN, we were way down the road when we saw signs that the road was closed. This time they were not working on the road and there was absolutely no where to turn around. We turned onto Hwy 53. EEK! This road was thru the mountains. Two lane and very, very narrow. No closed signs, and no signs saying do not take a large rig thru! Three times on turns, the back wheels were off the road into the dirt/rocks. I really thought that the rig was going to scrape on the rocks sticking out into the road. Bob did an excellent job of driving this very difficult road. Both of us were grinding our teeth!

Whew, then we turned onto Hwy 120. The road was better, but up hill several thousand feet. Lots of traffic. Bob had to pull over into pull outs 3x to let cars pass. We were worried that he would not be able to get going again up the steep climb, but the rig did it really well, without overheating! The highest the temperature gage climbed was half way! We would never had made this climb on this two lane road before we had the MH repaired last year!

We traveled through the little town of Groveland, where the TT address is listed, but it is about 20 miles farther east towards Yosemite. We drove into the RV park at about 12:30. Signed in, ran around the park and found a nice 30 amp FHU site. It was either a 50 amp site under the trees, or a 30 amp FHU site with a clear satellite view. We chose the satellite. The temp was in the 90’s. We parked and set up. We had to run the roof air conditioner to get the rig cooled off.

We went over to the office and the Family/Adult Lodge to check them out. The Family Lodge is on the first floor, and the Adult Lodge on on the second floor. There are pool tables in the Adult area and a very large TV in the Family area. There was a nice deck with chairs and tables. There is no swimming pool or spa, which is unusual for a TT. They usually have both. There is swimming in the river which passes right by the resort.

We ate dinner and at around 8 we walked over to the Pavilion. They had a band and s’mores. That was a hoot. There are a number of rented, small Class C MH’s in the park. They are rented by Oriental folks touring the USA. The resort does not rent them. The folks had never heard of s’mores. So it was a hoot to watch them figure out how to roast marshmallows and put together the s’,mores. They had a great time. We roasted and ate ours. First time in years we have had them!

Sunday- We walked back over to the Pavilion, for the Pancake Breakfast. It was pretty good, $5 for two good size pancakes, two sausages links, OJ and coffee.

We returned to the MH. We are having a quiet day. No sense in going to the NP on the weekend fighting with the weekend crowds. There is a YARTS bus that stops in the park to take people to Yosemite, ($10 each round trip) but it stops here at 8:47 in am, but does not return until after 5 PM. We will not take it because of the dogs. There are shuttles in the park that we will use.

At lunch time we decided to drive to Groveland to use the internet and to eat lunch. We hopped into the car and drove the 6.6 miles to the overlook where they were supposed to have 4G internet. We tried to connect but there was only minimal 3G. I took some pictures on my phone of the valley and I have to wait to transfer those pic’s as I need internet to do that.

We continued the other 14 miles to town. We traveled through Groveland to Oak Flats and at the top of the worst part of the climb on Hwy 120, there was a restaurant called Priest Station Café and Store. It was at the intersection of Priest Station Road and Hwy 120. Priest Station Road drives up the mountain, parallel to Hwy 120. There were huge signs on both ends of the road  saying not to drive RV’s, trucks, or buses on this road. I think the road is shorter, so of course, steeper.

We had an excellent lunch. Bob had the brat plate and I had the turkey sandwich. We stopped for gas, $3.69 gal vs $4.09 on the rest of the road. We stopped on the way back to the resort, at the overlook,  and I tried to load last weeks blog. No way, there was not enough service. We returned to the park and had a quiet afternoon and evening.

Monday-  We left early, about 8:15, and traveled the 5 miles to the entrance to Yosemite. We stopped and took a picture of the sign.

Yosemite sign

We again saved $25 a day using our Geezer pass. From the Big Oak Flat  entrance, it is 24 miles to the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center and Theater. We had to drive thru 3 tunnels. The first of which was about 1/4 of a mile long.

Yosemite NP

We stopped at a pull out to take a look at one of the valleys.

Yosemite NP

We stopped to take a look at El Capitan. On Saturday, 3 experienced climbers had died climbing this rock.

Yosemite NP

We returned to the car, and were ready to leave our parking spot and Bob noticed a large waterfall. We got back out of the car and walked over to the famous Bridal Vail Falls. (The map that they give you is not very good!). It was a 1/4 of a mile walk into the falls.

Yosemite NP

Below is the water coming from the falls that we saw along the walk.

Yosemite NP

The last part of the walk is uphill on asphalt. There were a lot of people there, including a bunch of kids, who were not looking at the falls, just hanging around chatting with each other and standing in the way of the rest of us who wanted to take a look.

Yosemite NP

We walked back to the car and continued on our way.

Yosemite NP

We arrived at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center parking lot. It was a long way from the Visitor Center. We parked and took our backpack and lunch bag with us. We walked over to the Visitor Center, past a lot of buildings and some construction. We arrived and went to the Theater for the 20 minute film about the history of the park. Thank you John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt who saved this treasure from development!

We spoke with the ranger at the information desk and she suggested that we walk over to the Yosemite Falls. The walk was about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile to the entrance to the trail to the falls. We turned into the trail, which was 1.1 miles and walked the 1/2 mile to the lower falls overlook.

Below is the upper part of the falls.

Yosemite NP

Below is the lower falls from the viewing area.

Yosemite NP

We sat and looked at the falls for awhile and took a selfie.


Then we continued on the trail.  We saw this Native American type monument. The Native Americans leave these rock formations all over the country.

Yosemite NP

We stopped at a spot and could finally see the entire falls.

Yosemite NP

Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in the USA. It is the third tallest in the world. It is actually 3 falls. There is a 4 mile trail that goes up to the top, but we were not going to do that difficult hike!

We continued on to the rest room area where there were picnic tables. We ate lunch, but could not see the falls from the picnic area. We then went in search of Sentinel Bridge. The signage is poor everywhere! We found a bridge in an field and looked up to see Half Dome. Guess we found the right bridge!

Yosemite NP

We walked through the meadow on the meadow trail.

Yosemite NP

We returned to the car and dropped off the backpack and lunch bag. We took the #1suttle back to the Visitor Center. We visited the gift shop and the very expensive Ansel Adams Gallery.

We went to hop on the #10 shuttle and found that the line was very long. So we hopped on another shuttle and went to the #3 stop. It was the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly known as the Ahwahnee Lodge).  This Lodge was commissioned by the then head of the NPS in 1925. The building is made of stone, brick and concrete, using very little wood to prevent fires. Currently, the building is 150,000 sq. ft. with 93 rooms. The cornerstone was laid August 1, 1926. The building was converted to a hospital for the Navy during WWII.

Yosemite NP

Yosemite NP

We hopped on the next shuttle which took us back to the gift shop area. We walked over to the Grill and both ordered chocolate ice cream cones. We enjoyed the cones on the patio, hearing a lot of sirens. We also noted a faint smoke smell.

We walked back to the car and turned right out of the parking lot following the exit signs. It was about 2:30. We drove towards the Yosemite Lodge and ran into a vehicle standstill. We ended up spending almost 1/2 an hour circling as they Rangers had closed the exit road and the line up of cars was miles long. We quickly realized that there must be a fire somewhere.

The road in and out in this area is one way each way, but a two lane road. They had us circle back around to the entrance road and sent us out the entrance, staying in the right lane. There was only a few cars coming in on the other side, who must have been in the area. We then saw the smoke.

Yosemite NP

We were glad to be leaving!  As you can see, we had to pass by where the fire was located. We traveled along with the traffic, away from the smoke. When we arrived at the fork, they were routing everyone away from the Yosemite Visitor Center area. Many people had pulled off on the side of the road to wait for the park to re-open. We raced out of there!

We traveled the 30 miles back to the TT park, arriving at 4:30. We had a quiet evening at home.

Tuesday- We decided to have a quiet day again. We still have no internet or phone service which is driving us crazy. Bob needed to post on the Roadrunner FB group about the problem with the umbilical. I did some laundry and Bob worked on trying some of the suggestions from friends on how to get the umbilical to work. We left around 11 and drove to Groveland, stopping in a little park and connecting to the internet. Bob looked at what people had posted about the problem. Bob then called Freightliner for assistance. They suggested a specific fuse, #27.  I texted some friends and looked at various posts on FB. Bob called the Freightliner in Sacramento and attempted to make an appointment. We could not get an appointment for 2 weeks. Then we went to lunch at a little deli. From there we went to a Napa Auto parts to purchase a 30 amp fuse. We stopped for gas again, and returned to the RV park.

Bob tried the changing the fuse and this did not solve the problem. I continued with laundry and we decided to redo our plans. So now we had a different problem. Bob left and went back to Groveland and found a different Freightliner in Salem OR, the next Freightliner Oasis dealer. Oasis dealers specialize in motorhomes.

The washing machines at the RV park were finally working, so Bob took the towels over and washed them. We ate dinner and sat outside enjoying a campfire. Our neighbor, Steve, next door, had left us some firewood. Just as we were getting ready to go back in the MH, our neighbors on the other side returned home. The husband came over and asked us about being residents of South Dakota. Then he went and got his wife. She came over and we spent an hour talking with them. We finally went into the MH around 9:30.

Wednesday- We were out the door at 8:30. We took phone numbers with us and also took the dogs. We went straight into Yosemite, and drove to the Yosemite Visitor Center area. We parked and taking the dogs for a walk with us, went over to where the restaurant went to the picnic tables outside. We started making phone calls. Bob made an appointment for the 18th at the Salem Freightliner Oasis repair facility. Then he called the Casino in Redding, and made a change to our reservation with them. Then I called the RV park at Crater Lake. They could not accommodate a change, so we had to cancel the reservation.  I got online and found a state park. I called them and made a reservation for Crater Lake for 2 nights. That was all they could accommodate, not the three nights that we wanted, but at least we will finally be able to view Crater Lake. We have tried 3 times in the past!

We left and drove to Glacier Point. This first picture is from the Tunnel View overlook, looking back over the Valley. The waterfall on the right is Bridal Veil Falls.

Yosemite Glacier Point

We drove through the 1/2 mile tunnel and continued on Hwy. 41. We climbed several thousand feet in elevation and turned left onto Glacier Point Road. We continued to the overlook at  Washburn Point. This drive took an hour from the valley.This view is of Half Dome.

Yosemite NP Glacier Point 
Yosemite NP Glacier Point

This view is of Yosemite Falls and the glaciers in the background.

Yosemite NP Glacier Point

Below is Vernal Falls.

Yosemite NP Glacier Point

Here are the glaciers is the distance.

Yosemite NP Glacier Point

The views were spectacular! The temperature had also dropped at this elevation to 59 degrees. We continued on the road to Glacier Point, evidently along with everyone else! We ended up in a long line, cruising the parking lot for a place to park. We finally found one and sat in the car eating our picnic lunch. Supposedly there is a picnic area, but we could not find it. Then we took the dogs and walked up to the point. The elevation is 7214 ft. Below is Nevada Falls.

Yosemite NP Glacier Point

We walked up to the Geology Exhibit.

Yosemite NP Glacier Point

At the edge, looking down at Yosemite Village.

Yosemite NP Glacier Point

This picture below is of the with Mirror Lake. There is a 4 mile, each way, hike to Mirror Lake that we did not do.

Yosemite NP Glacier Point

Again, the views were spectacular, from across the valley from where we had been on Monday. We returned to the valley and back through the park. We exited the park and returned to the MH.

We had a quiet evening at home watching The Freestate of Jones. What an interesting movie!

“Is State of Jones a true story?

Premise. The story is based on the history of Jones County, Mississippi during the Civil War and the immediately following period. Although the plot of the movie is fiction, the overall story follows the history of Jones County, and many of the events portrayed are true. “From Wiki..  Neither of us knew that after the war, that the plantation owners would kidnap black children and forge paperwork claiming that they were apprentices, thereby putting them back into slavery.  Congress had to pass a law against it.. 

Thursday-  Moving day! We left at around 10 AM, with Bob driving the MH and I was driving the car behind him. We traveled Hwy. 120 back down the mountain. We luckily did not have any cars behind us on the zig-zag down the mountain. It is a 5 mile drop in altitude and we took it very slowly. When we hit the bottom Bob radioed that he hoped to never have to do that again!

We continued on Hwy 120 until we turned north on the 99 Freeway. We traveled north to Sacramento. Sacramento traffic was awful! We turned onto I-80 and went to a Pilot. We ate a late lunch there, and called the Elks Lodge in Carmichael. The volunteer at the Lodge told us that they had 4 available sites. We traveled about 13 miles to the Lodge, checked in, and parked. We have 50 A/W for $30 per night.

Bob had a $5 coupon for Texas Roadhouse, so we went to dinner there again. We had a nice dinner and stopped at the Costco for gas, $3.33/gal. We returned home and watched Hidden Figures which we had recorded. We had listened to the book on CD, but had not seen the movie.

Friday-  We slept in until 7, late for us. Then we did some tasks around the MH before leaving. We ran through Bubba’s Car Wash. Nice wash, but interesting name! We went to Kohl’s, then Best Buy for a new filter for the refrigerator. We stopped at Costco. From there we went to lunch at TOGO, which is a sandwich restaurant chain. They had nice subs. We both opted for a ‘mini’ which is half of a 6”sub. Then we went to Walmart Neighborhood Market. We returned to the MH to put away the groceries.

Bob took the dogs for a walk, and I had a knock on the door. The guy next door, Gary, came over asking about South Dakota residency. I invited Gary in and we sat and talked. Then Bob arrived and we continued the conversation. We talked for about 1.2 hours. Gary is from California, and the state is eating them alive, so they are seriously looking at ‘moving’ to South Dakota.

We went to dinner at the Fair Oak Pub. They had great beers. Bob liked all of the ones that he tasted. BUT the service was awful! First, they delivered the wrong beer Flight to the table. So they had to take that back and bring the correct one. We had ordered a pizza. It took about 1.25 hours for it to arrive. First they delivered the wrong pizza, then we think they had to re-cook the pizza. We know the waiter had the order right as he put it into an I-pad and repeated it to us. We spoke with several people including the manager about the situation. Finally, they brought the right pizza, which was not worth waiting for! It was pretty lousy. So we paid, and were getting up from the table when a waitress arrived with a cheesecake. It was a reward for their terrible service. Even it was mediocre. It was cheesecake on top, with yellow cake under, and raspberry on the bottom. There was a lot of whipped cream surrounding the cake, with a chocolate drizzle. Sounds good doesn’t it, but it did not taste all that great….

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