Well no tigers but with all the local sightings of mountain lions and black bears we were on high alert for our time in Yosemite. Saw nothing bigger than deer who are as stupid as they are beautiful. A stand off meters apart on a main road is only ended by sounding the horn at which point they causally saunter off into the woods.
We worked out we've driven 2800 miles over 59 hours so far and we're tired. As such decided to stay put in Oakhurst for a few nights.
Day 2 Slept in, did laundry and then went to the local flicks. Kept open by membership from the locals ($20 p/m) it wasn't that bad for an indie in the middle of nowhere. Watched a double bill of Carrie and Captain Phillips (not a natural marriage but needs must).
Day 3 went in search of the giant redwoods (sequoias). Good fun pretending to be Lilliputian for a few hours. Then drove behind the worlds slowest driver to Glacier point where you can see the whole stretch of the South Park.
It was at is point we decided that we don't really like Yosemite that much. It's big, but almost too big to get to grips with. Every trail head requires a 90 min drive to get to the startpoint (less of an issue in summer but when daylight hours are reduced it's a pain. Even with our trusty head-torches we didn't want to be out in the dark when the creatures starting prowling!). Also the views are pretty monotonous - granite, fir trees and they odd waterfall. Compared to the palette of the GC, Bryce and Death Valley it feels fairly dull. Unlike the other state parks we've been in, Yosemite feels hard to navigate and the lack of info offered (like trail maps which are kept in the Deli rather than the visitors centre) gave us the impression they'd like people to stay on the buses, get off at the vista points for a photo then move on to the next designated Ooooh point.
Think we're maybe a bit Vista'd out.
Things we've learnt so far:
- hiking means walking. Trekking means hiking. To get these two mixed up leads you to hiking trails as long as a mile at a time. What type of crazy fool would tackle such a feat. Despite the toddler-distance we are still advised to carry a quart (no idea) of water p/hour. P/hour to walk a mile?!
- nice people don't go to bars outside of the city. We tried both of Oakhursts bars and concluded that only loons, bikers and raging alcoholics frequent them. The first one was half portacabin, half chicken shack and was covered in hilarious slogans (favourite being a cartoon of a voluptuous g-stringed woman quipping 'don't sweat the petty stuff, pet the sweaty stuff'. Nice). The helium voiced bar maid was beside herself with mirth at a new video they'd just found on YouTube and proceeded to sing Crazy Frog at us. We smiled somewhere between polite and alarmed and were thankful at the end of verse 2 (which I believe to have been improv) when she stopped and handed us our beers.
Ignoring C and I, the cumulative amount of teeth in the bar must have totalled 20. And it was quite busy.
Next bar looked normal but inside had the party atmosphere of The Accused. Barflys growling about how much they hate their women, and 2 good ol' boys soaked in whiskey, arguing who was the poorest and dancing to the Eagles on loop on the jukebox. Quickest. Drink. Ever.
- it's ok to talk during films providing the actors aren't. And take dogs in your handbag. And feed them m&Ms through the film.
Road trip then down to Santa Barbara back on the west coast. Wealthy Californians skateboard their way around town. Good fun place. Good wine. Of which we drank way too much and had our first hangover of the trip so far.
It was Halloween Saturday (like mad Friday but with random costumes) and we ended up tailgating a frat party group (led by a woman dressed as Rainbow Bright) around too many bars. Ended up at someone's wedding party, got locked in a park and had to climb over spiky railings to get out (on sober inspection the next day we were not locked in and could've walked 20m on and out). Thus Sunday was spent lying in the sun and moaning. And not in a good way.