Wednesday, 22 June 2011

June 17th to 22nd

Hi Folks, sorry about the delay, we had a few 'issues', one being the computer. This is the map of where we've been the last six days. I hope you all know to click on the pictures you want to enlarge.,-117.004395&spn=11.382131,14.611816
We headed out of Reno on Friday, the 17th, and took the road around the west side of Lake Tahoe. It was up in the snow again, even the lakes were still frozen over. By the time we reached the historic Main St. of Jackson it was hot enough to need some icecream. We spent the night near Jamestown, which is also a historic town. On the 18th, we took a very winding road that followed what used to be a mule train trail across the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We had breakfast at Priest Station, established in 1849 as a mule train depot.

Our planned trip to Yosemite Village was aborted because of a 3 hour wait to get into the valley, so we took Hwy 140 through the southern part of the park along a raging rivers and many magnificent waterfalls. Steve is testing the water which is freezing.

The California  coast is very rocky and wild and yet more temperate than Oregon. Rolling hills covered in wild flowers, and curvy roads along cliffs and through lush valleys. It is strange to see cattle grazing beside crashing waves below.

The route to Merced and on to Monterey is through some of  California's major agricultural areas. The next two nights, 19th and 20th were spent in Monteray, where we got our laundry done and relaxed  awhile.We took the "famed"
17-Mile Drive (at $9.50) around the Monterey Penninsula, which was interesting , but not so different from what we had already seen. The very rich live there in fabulous houses with fantastic views, and that is where the famous Pebble Beach concourse is held at one of the golf courses.

Then off down along the coast again to Cambia, and as there was so much to see, we only did 125 miles. At every view point we saw squirrels, sea gulls, cormorants, pelicans, and wild beautiful coastal scenes. At one of the viewpoints, we had a special treat of watching a large herd of elephant seals, who were sunning and sparring, just enjoying life on the beach. The fog was rollling off the sea so we had intermittant sun and fog.
Wednesday the 22nd, was same rolling fog, but at least it didn't rain and was a bit warmer. The vegetation is sub tropical and all in bloom. Jacaranda and Blue Gum trees as well as several varieties of palms. We got a large box of fresh California strawberries and  stood in front of the fruit stand and all pigged out. Delicious!!! 

 A quick visit to Moss motors for a couple of parts and a tour of the store for the guys. For those of you who are not car nuts, that is where most of thier parts come from.

This is the San Luis Obispo Mission built in 1772 by the Franciscans, who built a chain of missions along the California coast. The goal was to turn the native Chumash Indians into Spanish citizens. The goal was not acheived as the Indians were decimated by disease and the Mexican government refused to pay more money on the failing missions.They were secularized and served as courthouses and jails. In 1848 California became  part of the USA and the missions were returned to the church.
We spent the night in Santa Barbara