Day 30: Passing on to Paso Robles

We changed our plans a bit today…we originally thought we would would spend one more day and night in Yosemite, but the activities we wanted to do were crossed off our list when we learned of the very low, and, in some cases, nonexistent bodies of water currently in Yosemite.  (Remember yesterday when we rode our bikes to see Mirror Lake, only to find a lakebed of dirt, with absolutely no water?)  For example, we wanted to do a water rafting trip, but what’s the fun when there’s no rapids?? :/ Besides, we’re starting to feel “home sweet home” beckoning us!  I mean after all, it HAS been a month!  So we head on to our next stop, Paso Robles.

The drive between Yosemite and Paso Robles was dry, dry, dry, as I’m sure you can imagine.  Seeing the herds of cows on the side of the highway, grazing on dried grass and dirt…so sad to see. How are they surviving?  Obviously ranchers and farmers trying to work the land are among those hardest hit by the drought…Oh how we all pray for rain!

As we get closer to Paso Robles, things start to look a bit greener, which is such a welcome sight.  Thankfully, our RV park for the night, Wine Country RV, is able to accommodate us a day early.

We’re delighted to see it’s a nice campground, with friendly office staff who gave us great recommendation for local restaurants in town. Were we ever glad!  At 4:00 pm, this was our first and only meal for the day (coming full circle, we’re back to the RV Starvation Diet.)

We find a good parking place in the shade, so the doggies can stay cool with the generator on (it’s in the 90’s) and head over to a cute place next to the Paso Robles town square called Artisan.  We have a small bite to eat there, thinking we’ll sample a few different restaurants in the immediate area.  Suddenly, a blanket of sleepiness falls upon us, so when we go back to the RV to “water” the dogs, we find ourselves taking a nap in the cool RV.  This is proof that the Champ and I are getting to the end of our trip…napping in the middle of the day!! We like the Artisan restaurant so much, we go back for a second round of ‘eats’…yummy the second time too!

After our feast of abalone, rabbit stroganoff and goat cheese fondue, we squeeze in one more treat for the day.  The local theatre is showing “War Room” (starring Priscilla Shirer, a bible teacher whose video series I really appreciate.)  We highly recommend this flick!! It is a must see!!

With full hearts and happy tummies, we went back to the campground, for our very last night sleeping in the RV!!

Day 29: Riding Through Yosemite!

With a full day ahead of us, we venture out to explore Yosemite.  We drove to the the Big Oak Flat Entrance and met a super nice ranger that  told us, upon looking at Greg’s ID, that because he is 62, he can pay $10 for a lifetime free pass into any National Park!  Darn!  Wish we would have known that at the beginning of our trip, instead of paying entrance fees at the several parks we visited prior to today.  Oh well!  Now we know!  I’m sticking with this guy for all future freebies!

Once inside the park, we are excited to catch a glimpse of the famous Half Dome.  Unfortunately, due to the Rough Wildfires, which are still burning, having scorched 97,000 acres so far, the air is very smoky and visibility is very bad.

The lower we get into the valley, the more the smoke clears, giving us a much better view of the splendor of Yosemite Valley!

We’ve always heard of the Ahwahnee Hotel, so we knew this was a “must see” place!  Did you know that it opened in 1927?  Did you know that it was created at the order of America’s first director of the National Park Service Stephen P. Mather, to attract people of influence and power?  Did you know that Steve Jobs (Apple) was married there? (Haha! We just finished listening to his unabridged biography audio book…took us about a week to hear the whole recording!) Well it was time for lunch and to see this beautiful landmark.  So we parked our car, jumped on our bikes and rode on over!

After a yummy lunch, we had a most delightful treat!  We actually had enough of a signal to be able to FaceTime with Mike and Val…wow!  Have we ever missed them!


Then, we found our way to the Visitor Center…which is a stop we have come to love whenever we visited the national parks during this trip.  We love watching the documentary films about each park and, I confess, I always catch a little nap in the dark, comfy movie theatres! At the advice of the park ranger, we take a bike ride on a beautiful paved trail to MIrror Lake, where we will be able to get a better view of half dome.  The ride was wonderful, and safer than the one in Napa (no cars whizzing past us!)  Sadly, there was no water in MIrror Lake, but we had to pose anyway, just to show we made it!

The highlight of the bike ride was the beautiful deer that was completely unafraid of crossing the road, only a few feet from us!

You’ve probably noticed that I am running out of words….I guess that’s to be expected, given that we are nearing the end of our trip.  Tomorrow is our last stop in Paso Robles.  Stay tuned for one more day of adventures, and my thoughts as we return home!  Good night!