|Said goodbye to LA and headed over the canyons to Malibu beach and thence up the coast. Stopped for a picnic lunch in the gorgeous Spanish colonial town of Santa Barbara, then continued up to San Luis Obispo, a university town, where we had a great stay and a good feed. This morning we turned inland, going up and over a few sets of mountains, and then down, down, down into the enormous and very flat San Joaquin Valley, California's food basket [over 1 million acres of irrigated cropland]. It is such a big valley you can hardly see the huge mountains which surround it.
Stopped in the regional centre of Fresno [pop. 480,000] at the local Automobile Club to pick up some maps, and the guy behind the counter turned out to be from Ballarat. Small world!
Tonight we're staying just south of Yosemite Park, where tomorrow we've planned to spend the whole day.
The scenery here in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas is already spectacular. It's about 20degrees C here, but you can see the snowcovered peaks [el. 5000ft] and some of the Park roads are closed for the winter! We've stopped to picnic at little crystalline lakes surrounded by pine forests, and it's all an alpine wonderland.
Have been taking lots of pix, but haven't yet gotten to a place where we can upload them...
Andrew saw some more squirrels and he's delighted. Haven't really missed French Island's mosquitos and flies and snakes....this place is remarkably pest-free [except for those pesky squirrels].
The town names are very funny....there's Raisin City [in the Valley], Coarsegold and Finegold [in the Gold Country], etc.....Andrew decided we'd be the Sultan and Sultana of Raisin City....