Another morning, another Denny’s, and a drive out of San Jose past a classic Roadside America sight, a car wash built to look like an old riverboat, the Delta Clean – followed by a drive south through Santa Clara County, where at the southern end of the county is Gilroy, garlic capital of the world.
We were stunned at the cheap prices of garlic and avocados posted on signs along the way. Ten avocados for a $1.00 is less than the cost of one avocado in Columbus. Leaving the Valley of Garlic, the route took us through Pacheco Pass by the San Luis Rey Reservoir to Los Banos. This route across the Central Valley took us through the massive farms full of produce, as we continued to Merced.
After passing through the small town of Mariposa, a small town with a western theme and a famous old jail, we began to climb into the mountains. Finally we arrived at Yosemite and immediately saw beautiful landscapes of water rapids, hills and mountains of granite. Having reserved a cabin for the night, we dropped the bags off then hurried out to see more.
The rest of the afternoon was taken up with an eight-mile hike, passing under Half Dome and Yosemite’s Upper and Lower falls. There was stunning scenery in every direction as we walked to Mirror Lake, named for the reflection of the mountains in the lake’s water. Mirror Lake is a seasonal lake and is fullest when the snowmelt flows into it in spring and early summer.
A few hours later we were back at Half Dome Village, recently renamed from Curry Village after the National Park Service and one of their suppliers had a legal dispute.
After a lunch break of eating pizza, we wandered again on the trails. Glacier Point Trail was closed due to ice and snow that lingered on the top of the mountain so we hiked from Station 13 to Station 8. We walked nearly 3/4 of the park then took the shuttle to the Half Dome Village.
Since the hockey playoffs were still on I was able to convince a worker to turn one of the TVs in the lounge to the Penguins game, occuring at the same time as a basketball playoff game. The many Californians cheered as they watched the Golden State Warriors play against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the basketball championships. Some young college guys joined us to watch the hockey game as we all ate dinner from the cafeteria line at the lounge. The Penguins lost the game in overtime 4-3. We went back to our cabin tired and disappointed about the game.
The cabin had a private bath and a double bed. The room had a slight mustiness to it and we had a hard time getting to sleep despite the excessive amount of exercise we got during the day. It seemed as if I was bitten by a bug so we turned on the lights to check the bed to find black specks on the sheets. We were unsure if these were bedbugs but we swept off the sheets and went back to bed, finding no evidence of problems in the morning. Ah nature…