Our Trip August to November 2012 (November 18-23)

Friday  November 23

All Good Things…

After a 9-hour drive, which we shared in two shifts each, we are now in a Holiday Inn in Roseburg, Oregon. The drive was mostly on the I-5, but pretty nonetheless:

Rollin’ down the highway

Mt. Shasta

By this time tomorrow, we hope to be with Lisa and Carolyn in Vancouver, so this will be the last post until after we return hope. We’ll post some final thoughts early next week

Thursday  November 22

A Bass Lake Thanksgiving

We went for a walk down to the lakeshore this morning, and spent an enjoyable hour sitting in the warm sun. At 2:00, we went down to the Clubhouse for a fabulous turkey dinner:

Ready for dinner

Sharing a table with our American friends, Rick and Lynn

There’s always room for dessert!

The turkeys were prepared in an interesting way. A fire was started in a large pit last evening, using a cord of oak wood and some hot stones.

The turkey pit

The frozen stuffed turkeys were wrapped in aluminum foils and burlap, put in the pit, then covered with dirt. They cooked for several hours, and came out absolutely juicy and tender.

The end result

We helped with the cleanup of the pots, pans and roasters, a small way to pay back the hospitality we have been shown here.

The cleanup crew

We leave early tomorrow morning for Medford Oregon.

Wednesday  November 21

A Down Day

As the weather has not been great today, we spent the morning discussing the schedule for the next few days, and the afternoon reading in the Clubhouse. It has gotten busier during the day, with many new people arriving for Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow we will attend the Thanksgiving dinner at 2:00, and we have offered to help clean up afterward. On Friday we will be on the road by 8:00 (hopefully), and hope to get as far into Oregon as possible. We will likely find a hotel, then plan to arrive in Vancouver by early evening on Saturday. We will be staying at Lisa’s overnight, and with Carolyn there as well, it’s a party! On Sunday, we plan to visit an RV dealership in Langley just before noon. We will then catch the Duke Point ferry, arriving home in late afternoon, if all goes well. Friday and Saturday will be long driving days, but since the weather has turned and many campgrounds are now closed, it seems like the best option.

Tuesday  November 20

A Great Tour

The 30-passenger bus picked us up just after 8:00, then picked up the other 25 passengers at a Lodge just up the road. The weather couldn’t have been better; a clear sky and about 60 degrees Fahrenheit on the valley floor. After a very scenic winding drive of about an hour, we entered the Park for the full-day tour that included stops at Mariposa Grove, a stand of Giant Sequoias, one of which is over 3500 years old:

Giant Sequoia – they can survive insects, drought, fire and lightning strikes because of the vast amounts of tannins they contain

The “Fallen Monarch” – its fall predates even the original Indian tribes who lived here

The Wawona Hotel, built in 1857 as a stage stop:

Wawona Hotel

The resident Raven

Immediately after exiting a mile-long tunnel, one of the most photographed views in the world:

El Capitan (left) and Half-Dome (back centre)

Two sets of waterfalls; their water volume is less than half of what it will be in the Spring:

Bridal Veil Fall

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls

Speaking of water volume:

The water level of a surprise flash flood on New Year’s Day, 1997. Miraculously, there were no deaths

Grant, the driver and guide, had an encylcopedic knowledge of the park, its history and its flora and fauna. It was a wonderful day, and was worth every penny. We would highly recommend this tour to anyone; it is a great alternative to taking your vehicle into the park. It even included lunch!

We took our hot dogs down to the Clubhouse kitchen and cooked them up for supper; the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Monday  November 19

Taken For A Ride (Or Two)

True to their word, our new friends Rick and Lynn showed up promptly at 9:00 and drove us into Oakmont to do some shopping, then dropped us off at our campsite:

Bass Lake campsite

In the afternoon, they took us on a drive around the lake;

Bass Lake – it is virtually emptied during the winter, which makes for a strange sight

Upon returning, we phoned and made arrangements for a guided bus tour of Yosemite National Park, considered one of the 3 “Crown Jewels” of the National Park System (the other two being Grand Canyon and Yellowstone), which means we will have completed the Trifecta. In the evening, we lit a fire in the Clubhouse and read watched TV on their big flatscreen. We were the only ones there, but things will start to get busier in the next couple of days.

Sunday  November 18

The Kindness of Strangers

We decided to do what they call “self-assist” to speed up debarkation from the ship this morning, which essentially meant looking after all our own luggage and getting off the boat by 7:30 a.m. We breezed through Immigration and then had about a half-hour wait for the shuttle to come and take us back to pick up Priscilla. We were on the road before 9:00, and after a 4 1/2 hour drive, we arrived at the Bass Lake Resort, which is in a beautiful setting at about 3600 feet above the San Joaquin Valley in the Sierra National Forest. The original intent was to be here for one night, but the best-laid plans….

We went walkabout and ended up in the resort kitchen, where we were greeted effusively by the local ladies, who had just finished stuffing 20 turkeys for the resort Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, which they insisted we attend. Long story short, we have decided to stay until Friday morning, which in turn means that our arrival back home will be delayed. We are still planning on being home sometime on Monday, but we will be doing a couple of long days of driving. We will be taking the I-5 instead of the Pacific Coast Highway. Part of our reason for staying is that Yosemite Park is only an hour away, so we thought we should take advantage as long as we are this close.

The hospitality here seems to know no bounds. A couple of the locals insisted we come down into the local village for Mexican food, where we met all the other locals. At the end of dinner, one lady finagled her husband into driving us into Oakmont, about 8 miles away, to pick up some groceries. He seemed perfectly happy to do it. These are real down-to-earth, hospitable folk, who seem to have taken us under their wing.

2 thoughts on “Our Trip August to November 2012 (November 18-23)

  1. What a lovely time you seem to have had of it! So glad for you. Other than Argos are in and B.C. is out for the Grey Cup, nothing startlingly new where I am sitting.

  2. I am glad that you are having a great time. I am looking at all the photos and am in awe of some of the spectacular sights that you are seeing. You have inspired us to do the same thing at some point or another. Now come home safely, we all miss you tons. Love you both very much 🙂

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