Friday, April 15, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, and Thursday, April 14, 2011: At Yosemite Lakes:
The trip on Wednesday was about 250 miles, much of it on nice, straight roads. However, a significant part was on not-so-nice, not-so-straight roads that made the trip much longer than we expected. The upside was that on the stretch northward from Merced (70 miles away) we saw some spectacular scenery. We arrived at the Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes preserve located on the Tuolumne River in Groveland, five miles from the west entrance to Yosemite National Park, in early afternoon. We’ve never been here before. It’s a nice place, quite large (254 RV sites, plus a number of cabins, tent sites, very livable yurts,

etc.), with extensive other facilities. There are very few people here now (maybe 20 RVs; the season starts at the end of April) and there is not much nearby. (The nearest post office is 18 miles away in “central” Groveland.) There is no cell phone service here and limited internet access. Most important to us, there is no satellite TV service. Since our satellite radio works, though, we won’t be totally isolated. Somehow, we will survive. One might wonder why we came here. The answer is that we are committed adventurers.

Another glitch in our new RV showed up Wednesday night. One of the burners on our stove was erratic, having a flame in the designated place and also nearby, and also did not fire up consistently. Another burner did not fire up with the sparker. I opened up the stove and discovered that, once again, either the rig was built incorrectly or was messed with at the dealership. Either way, the pre-delivery inspection was a farce. I spent five minutes with a screwdriver and my massive intellect and solved (I hope) all the problems.

On Thursday, we ventured to central Groveland to pick up mail and take a look at this old gold mining town. It’s definitely a throwback, but cute and friendly. We stopped by the Groveland Hotel, harking back through several incarnations to 1852. We also had a drink (I had two) at the Iron Door Saloon,

said to be the oldest drinking establishment in California. We ran into two old timers (read: barflies) there, who regaled us with stories. They were both fun and harmless. We had a good time.

We decided to cut our original stay here a bit short. We went from 8 days to 2 days. It’s a bit too isolated for our taste. We will leave on Friday and head for Morgan Hill, where we believe (and certainly hope) civilization still exists.

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