Holidays Our little holiday diary

California 2013 Part Four

Part Four.

 

Sunday 23rd June.

Well, after a very pleasant few days in and around Yosemite Park, it’s time to pack up and head for the hills as they say. The plan today is to head right through Yosemite Park heading due east along the Tioga Pass staying on Highway 120 until we reach the 395 where we will turn south and head for Bishop and on down to Lone Pine where we have booked in for just the one night. The Tioga Pass road is a single lane each way so was just a little narrow in places for our big RV but Alf was making good time. The road is very winding and along the edges there are marker posts to show where the edge of the road is for when it is covered with snow. These posts are about five to six foot high. We had been driving for about an hourIMGA0282 when Alf had to drive very close to the edge of the road in order to pass a vehicle coming the other way. One of these marker posts was leaning a little out into the road and we hit the post with an almighty rattle and it broke the lower rear view mirror on the near side. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard Alf swear….. It was a real mouthful. The air turned blue. We were hoping to catch up with Steve, (who lives in Bishop), a friend of Alf’s who we met many years ago. He is the owner of “Jasmine” the smallest full sized buffalo in the world. Unfortunately, Steve was away on his wanderings. He’s a haulier. He actually has a reputation for moving elephants around North America. So, we carried on down to Lone Pine and Boulder Creek RV Park. According to the park shop, Lone Pine was the centre of the western movie making industry back in the early days of filming. Having looked on the town map in the shop we saw a road called movie drive which sounded very interesting to us. We asked Denise if she would drive us along it because we were expecting to some interesting views of the old cinema world. As it turned out, we drove for about six miles over an ever worsening road surface and saw nothing but rocks and wilderness. We could only assume that it was the area where they used to film cowboys galloping about fighting themselves and Indians. We spotted a film museum on the way to the road but of course it was closed when we called on the way back. All in all it was a disappointment to us and a wasted journey. On the other hand, it got us out of helping Alf set up camp for the evening. After going back into the camp shop for a few goodies to eat we settled down by a camp fire that was already on the plot. Alf had the foresight to have brought logs with us in the RV so we soon had the fire roaring away merrily and we sat round it in the darkness toasting marsh mallows to have with biscuits and chocolate.

 

Monday 24th June.

Lone Pine RV Park

Lone Pine RV Park

We would have like a bit longer into explore Lone Pine but Denise wanted to get back down to San Diego, concerned about some family matters. It took us till mid-morning to pack up and leave, heading on down the 395, then via the 15, 215, 78E on the way to Valley Centre and back to Paul and Chantelle.

 

There is very little to report for the next few days so I will be brief.

 

Tuesday 25th June.

Had the usual lazy morning and then after breakfast headed down to Ramona (which is where Alf and Denise used to live), Poway and San Marcos. We did some shopping in each of those towns before heading back to Valley Centre. Paul let me have a go on his quad bike round his own personal track. I have ridden motor bikes in the past but I have never been on a quad bike before. It was a strange experience. Because it has handlebars, I instinctively wanted to lean over on the bends and kept forgetting that it has four wheels instead of two so I kept making a mess on the corners. If you want to see and old man riding a quad bike at two mph round a track check out the video. Paul videoed me. (Watch Video) I feel I right idiot looking back at it.

 

Wednesday 26th June.

Across the valley and over the mountain opposite Paul’s house there is an Astronomical Museum called the Palomar Observatory. After a rather late breakfast (nothing new here) we decided we would have a drive round there and have a look Planetarium Signround. Quite enjoyable and we spent a few hours there before returning via a different route past Henshaw Lake. Spent the evening in and went to bed early.

 

Thursday 27th June.

My choice of where to go today so I picked San Diego Old Town. I have very fond memories of the place from a previous visit and was hoping that it hadn’t changed too much. It had….but it was still as enjoyable as last time. There seemed to be more to see this time. I’m glad we went back.

 

Friday 28th June.

On the way down from Lone Pine to here, was saw a sign advertising a Pechanga Pow Wow. It is a traditional Indian Tribal Dance Competition. It was on for three days starting today so we thought we would give it a look at. We got there at about 6.00pm just as the sun was setting. I’m telling you that because the video I took is crap. Watch video We were also a bit disappointed by the performers who didn’t seem to be making much of an effort. We think it’s was because they were only practicing for the real competition on Saturday and Sunday.

Pow Wow Dance

Pow Wow Dancethe real competition over the weekend. Either way, it wasn’t a very good evening. The only good thing is that it was free.

 

Saturday 29th June.

Took Alf and Denise out for breakfast at the Polar Bear Café  just down the road as a little thank you for all they had done for us. In the afternoon, we did a bit of last minute shopping on the way to Chris and Annette. (They are a couple from this area who moved out there some years ago and now run their own small engineering business). We’ve met them before and they had invited us round for a BBQ. Very nice.

 

Sunday 30th June.

Having already packed, Alf and Denise ran us to the airport. (To make sure we left!!)

We boarded the plane and sat there on the tarmac for just over three hours. It seemed that there were storms over Philadelphia which is where we were supposed to transfer. When we finally got there, we had missed our connecting flight so had to stay overnight. They only have one flight every 24 hours from Philadelphia to Manchester and the next one was 9.00pm on the next day. At the flight desk, they gave us a hotel voucher, telling us to phone them for a reservation number. It was now after ten o’clock at night and all the shops were closed in the airport. We couldn’t find any phones. After a lot of aggravation we found a small kiosk/office place who told us that there were phones further along the concourse. We found a bank of phones for various hotels. We chose the Days Inn Hotel who told us to go outside and wait for the shuttle bus. This we did. Half an hour later, we went back inside and phoned the hotel again. We were told rather curtly that we must have missed it and to go back out and wait again. It finally arrived and we got on along with a couple of airline crew. During our chat with them, they told us that they had stayed at this hotel before and that it was “alright” but if we went out, not to turn right because we would end up in the seedy part of town. Needless to say, we didn’t go out. When we arrived at the hotel, on presentation of the voucher from the airline desk, we were told very sharply that because we hadn’t called the reservation phone number (which was on the voucher) first to get a reference number, we couldn’t have the discount and had to pay the full room price. We were so tired that we didn’t bother arguing; we just paid and went straight to bed. Next morning, the plan was, after breakfast we would have a walk round the city No such luck, it was pouring down, plus the fact that the last shuttle bus for the airport left the hotel at mid-day and we weren’t going to pay for a taxi all the way to the airport. We stayed at the hotel and had breakfast. All in all, we found the hotel staff very rude, (not counting the café staff at breakfast) and a very poor room for $90 per night. There is no way we will use Days Inn hotels again. We caught the mid-day shuttle bus and spent the eight and a half hours people watching in the airport. The flight home was uneventful and we finally got indoors by about 11.00am. Whilst it’s very nice to go globe trotting, you can’t beat sleeping in your own bed. We saw very nearly everything we wanted to on this trip. The Pacific Highway, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park and other places. I’m sorry we missed Route 66. But what the heck, you can’t have everything you want can you!! We hope you enjoy. We have linked a few videos throughout this, and other write-ups. Hopefully you can spot them with the different coloured type.

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