Posted by Thomas Sun, 13 May 2007 02:39:24 +0000

Holy shnikees. Yay I didn’t die in the wilderness! Ok, let me back up. I had to check out of my current digs at a posh hotel at noon today. I had been playing around with the idea of driving up to Yosemite some weekend, because, well, I should, and who knows if or when I’ll ever be out here like this again. On Friday over lunch, someone from work suggested I go see Lake Tahoe or Monterey. This fit somewhat into my previous leanings. I printed out my plan, to drive up through Yosemite, then up to Tahoe, then back down through Sacramento (my plan). A sort of long journey, over 600 miles, but doable in a weekend, right?

Ok, so the first leg went well. I managed my first U-y and thought it a good sign (as no trip is complete without one). But the directions got a little hairy. By this time I hadn’t gotten a map of California, so I stopped at a convenience store, bought some dp, a full map of California, and one of those cool easy fold maps of Northern California. These would prove invaluable by the end of the day. So just after I stopped to buy the maps and got back on the road, I had a better idea of where to head, I exited and mostly followed the signs. After a lot of forested and windy driving, I arrived at Yosemite. I paid my $20 entry fee, saw some Sequoias, drove around the park, saw the major sites, took a bunch of pictures, and bought a t-shirt. By the time I had done all this, it was getting dark. I had in my mind that I was going to drive all the way across it, and then stumble upon a place to crash. This is where the flaw in my plans started to show. I drove, by myself, under a moonless night, seeing very few cars. Man it was pitch black. And super windy. It would have been better if I would have had a car to follow or lead, but no real luck. Mile after mile I saw no one. I would see parked cars every once in a while, which was unnerving. I would hope they were camping for the night. So that was pretty hairy in and of itself. I dunno why, but my mind was really racing, and I kept having these irrational fears about having an accident or running into a bear or something, I dunno. I finally made it through the park. Every bit more of civilization I saw I relished. The first town I ran into (Lee Vining) was totally booked up. Plenty of No Vacancy signs in the windows at the several lodges in town. Laurie helped me out a bunch and called around to see if there were any free rooms. I started to head south, not really knowing what I would find. The cities seem to be few and small and far between. And they don’t put up too much signage on how far the next town is. They’ll say that Los Angeles is 350 miles away, but not what the next town is. :( Anyway, Laurie had found out that Mammoth would be a likely target. I saw a sign for Mammoth and took it. Every time ventured out, I felt like I was taking my life in my own hands, veering off the beaten path so it were. By this time I still had a quarter of a tank of gas, which would net me maybe 100 miles, but who knew how far I would have to go to find a place to stay, and if I’d have to drive really far, only to have to turn around. Needless to say, I was freaking out. But, my hunch paid off, and I finally saw a city limit sign for Mammoth Lakes. I took a few good turns, and finally found the hotels Laurie had been picking out online. I figured I wouldn’t cut any corners after my harrowing experience of the night, so I stayed with the known, and am writing this from my hotel room at a Holiday Inn. So, I didn’t die. I didn’t run out of gas. I still haven’t had any more supper than my snickers from the Yosemite general store. :( Plus, now I’ve driven through the park, but I didn’t see it! I’m thinking I should just fore go Lake Tahoe and just retrace my steps. Much more the safe way to go. Plus, I’m tired of driving. I’ve gone over 300 miles today. I just want to be home. I’ve been feeling more and more home-sick for Atlanta. Between the added stress of new and more job responsibility, living out of a hotel, having a rental car, I guess it’s finally getting to me. It’s been nice to have an entire room and bathroom to myself at the hotel, but there’s also something nice about having nice cable and having someone around that makes me feel like I shouldn’t get up at 1pm and should try and see the city and stuff. Anyway, I’m rambling and I need to get some sleep, ’cause I have an 11am checkout time. Yay for not dieing in the wilderness!

Posted in General | 4 Comments


  1. bigbrother0074 said on May 14, 2007 @ 2:19 am:

    That sounds awesome, Thomas! I hope the rest of your adventure works out wonderfully for you!

  2. mindy said on May 14, 2007 @ 7:29 pm:

    dude – yosemite is awesome. mark & i want to go and spend 7 days there instead of the 2 we spent. there’s some awesome hikes & views off from the road. but yeah, it’s in the middle of nowhere. all of cali is like that. glad you got to go. monterey is pretty, also. so is The Pinnacles Nat’l Park – within about 2-3 hours from Yosemite.

  3. Thomas said on May 14, 2007 @ 11:35 pm:

    Totally. I can see spending days and days out there. I don’t know how many really major landmarks there are, but including an hour or two for each of those, plus if you hit up every lake and trail and stuff, I can imagine staying there for days and days — did I mention you could spend a bunch of time there? And, then today, I was poking around http://wikimapia.org/ and saw so many campsites way out into the wilderness. Even staying in one of the lodges or the half-camping that it looked like there was some of looked really cool. I guess you could really easily hike all day, then come back and sit around a campfire after dark, without having to worry too much about a roof over your head. Sounds like a pretty decent getaway…

  4. Marc said on May 23, 2007 @ 7:38 am:

    GAH!!!! Google Maps has an “Add Destination” Feature! I’ve been waiting for that forever!

    Ok… back to actually reading your post.

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