Monday, September 17, 2007

Vacation '07, Chapter II

I've said it before, and I think I finally got someone to agree with me, Yosemite is not a day trip destination. We spent more time looking for lunch than we did looking at Half Dome.

It is a wondrous valley, broad meadows ringed by tall pine trees, dwarfed by sheer, ancient granite walls, some stained by waterfalls that mostly trickle this time of year. I did gain a few moments peace on a fallen log in the shade, listening to the wind through the pines, as Emma sat down, clothes and all, into the river.
Yosemite is in the lower part of Gold Country, and we drove through Coarsegold, China Camp, and other historic remnants of what will soon be the events of two centuries ago. Once one leaves the Sierra's sharp cutbacks, the roads divide broad sections of almost rolling hills, covered with ankle-high golden grasses, dotted with oak trees. Much of the Golden State really is this color, most of the year. Eventually, heading East, you drop further into the Central Valley with its industrial farms that feed most of us. Interstate 5 and highway 99 are high speed (not by statute, but by practice) arteries through this central valley. They meet in Sacramento, where we settled into a great find, a two bedroom condo with a kitchen and garage(!). We found groceries and dinner was done by about 9:30. We're off to downtown and old town (if they ever get out of bed) today, staying here again tonight. At least there won't be much car time. In the midst of all there is to do, I am enjoying myself as much as I am able to, cynical curmudgeon that I am. Just don't tell anyone.