stillhowlyn's travels 2008 travel blog

BYWAY MAP

OFF WE GO!

MASSIVE GRANITE DOMES!

MOUNTAIN STREAMS!

MEADOWS OF WILD FLOWERS!

PATCHES OF SNOW OVER 7000'!

NATURE'S MAGIC!

MAMMOTH POOLS RESERVOIR

SMOKEY HAZE FROM "MILE HIGH" VIEWPOINT!

CIVILIZATION?!

SMOKEY OVERLOOK CLAIMS GEOGRAPHICAL CENTER OF CA!

LUNCH IN BOOTJACK, CA!

NOTICE ANYTHING DIFFERENT?


We'll start with the wildfires first! When I first started writing this chapter there were 800 fires burning in CA. That amount is now up to 1100! Here at our pristine location near Yosemite we are completely surrounded by fires and the smoke has caused seriously dangerous health conditions. We are no longer able to spend much time outside, let alone walk up and down the steep hills here within Park Sierra and do any hiking on our scenic outings. Therefore, the beauty of mobility may once again come in handy and we will most likely leave here next Tuesday, July 1st. Stephanie and Gary are on their way up for the weekend (as we speak) so hopefully our Saturday drive into Yosemite Valley will be nice. On Monday we've scheduled carpet cleaning so Tuesday looks like departure day, and yes, we still plan to put our name on the lot waiting list. We will head up to OR. and possibly on to Anacortes, WA. (unless of course we don't).

The Sierra Vista Scenic Byway meanders for 100 miles through outstanding scenery with remarkable views of the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Massive granite domes, majestic peaks, sheer canyon walls formed by the San Joaquin river, and expansive high mountain meadows, now loaded with wildflowers, are all evident along the way.

When one decides to tour the Byway, one makes an all day or at least 6 hour commitment! The road is narrow, steep with an elevation gain of 5,000', partially paved with rutty gravel sections and incredibly, well...scenic!

Evidence of glaciation is present at sites such as Arch Rock, Jackass Rock, Globe Rock and more. A half-mile walk (not today!) takes visitors to the top of Fresno Dome where glaciation can be observed up-close and boundless views of the Sierra Nevada, rolling foothills and the San Joaquin Valley are spectacular. Unfortunately, smoke conditions marred many of the viewpoints but you still "get the picture"!

The following day (June 24th) just happened to be our 14th wedding anniversary (Thank you, very much!) so we thought we'd drive the Golden Highway 49 in search of yet more scenery and an interesting place to have lunch. The fires were more active along this route so we pulled off in Bootjack, CA. (how could you resist), which is part-way between Oakhurst and Mariposa to the north. Our choice of restaurants was easy as there are maybe 2, so the Outlaw Barbecue & Grill was it. We were the only customers that day and very pleasantly surprised to find the barbecue was indeed the "real deal" and homemade. The owner was formerly a dot.commer from Sunnyvale who relocated after the "bust" to buy acreage and raise show horses and try her hand at restaurant ownership. Our choice of pulled pork sandwiches proved a good one and when we said as much were told the recipe was from "mom" in MN. (where they do things differently) with the sauce having a great fruity-spicy-BBQ flavor. You Betcha!

And finally, do you notice anything different in the last photo above, being the front of the motorhome? Yes, it is somewhat clean and debugged but the big news is we now are officially Texans since being recently kicked out of Montana where we first licensed in order to avoid paying sales tax on our "new" rig (shame on us!). We had formed an LLC (limited liability corporation), perfectly legal in 2001, but now the "wording" on the title and registration no longer meets the state requirements. A call to Polk County, TX and were pleasantly surprised to find out they would indeed like to have our business and due to the advanced age of our coach no sales tax would be due! Yes, we do have a TX address for mail forwarding and drivers' licenses, so now the circle is complete. Well, not exactly....we do have a CA address for our Kaiser benefits. What games we gypsies play!



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