OT - Yosemite
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Ok so our trip begins with packing. While packing is a necessity, when riding a motorcycle it becomes an art. I want you all to pack for 4 days of traveling. It must fit in a paper bag and must be rolled down to half its volume.

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Our journey begins, first stop gas. And this is where we hear it’s going to be breezy thru Cajon Pass. Bah it’s always windy up there. We are not fazed. As we hit the pass it is in fact very windy, but nothing we can’t handle. Then we continue on the 395 thru the Mohave Desert. That is when the wind from h*ll descended on us. We are now leaning at a 45 degree angle. My nose starts to run, but for fear of having my visor ripped off I opt not to wipe my nose. Mistake as a small snail trail is now working its way from my left nostril to the outside corner of my left eye. This starts a laughing fit. Now tears are running down my face…wait…that is not entirely true. Tears are being whipped around in my helmet making the inside of my visor look like its raining. A tear that normally would have fallen down my cheek is ripped off my face and blown up my right nostril that I feel it hit the back of my throat. Both of my eyes are looking thru my right lens on my eye glasses. My helmet is now pushed up the side of my face that I laugh harder thinking how I must look like Rick Moranis.

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Finally we hit the top of the Tehachapi pass and the winds calm down. A few hours later we arrive at our bed and breakfast destination. The Ben Maddox house in Visalia.

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Our room was the one near the front on the left and it had its own private entrance from the porch and an adorable seating area. You can kind of see the bay window on the left. Our innkeeper Lucy was just a delight! She is from Ireland and has 2 b&b’s there. But what she is known for is her French toast. OMG this was THE best French toast I have ever eaten in my life! We didn’t even put syrup on it as I feel that would have been a disgrace.

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Lucy told us that when we leave we must stop in the town of Exeter. It’s a farming community, but it is known for its murals. What a terrific stop that was!

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We are now off to Sequoia National Forest.

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As we arrive we decide it’s time to walk among the giants.

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The dogwood trees were in full bloom and this is when it hits me. The smell. I live near the mountains here in S. Calif and go to them often. I love the fresh air up there. But this…this was different. Take giant fir trees, spruce, sequoia’s, eucalyptus, lilac, blue berries, dogwood, mulch, wet earth, clean air, and plethora of others I cannot begin to mention and you have such an intoxicating smell that it causes one to totally stop and take slow deep breaths. I couldn’t get enough of the stuff.

Then we pass thru the tunnel and come to Yosemite. For those that have never been, go. It is incredible! A few pics.

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What a trip this was! The only down side was we checked the weather and were told that it would get down to the low 40’s at night and mid 60’s during the day. So we packed appropriately. Not knowing the heat wave that ripped thru this area would also affect them. We had to buy a few short sleeve shirts to survive. We never once wore our leathers, gauntlets, scarves, face protectors etc. At night it did get chilly, but during the day it was in the mid 80’s. Then came the time to head home. As we descended into the valley the heat slowly begins to climb. We have always made it a practice to stop about every hour or so and hydrate up, get the easy bake ovens off our heads and regulate the heat. But we were not prepared for 105 by the time we were going thru Fresno area. At this point my head is well done. I never knew that Denny’s could be an oasis. But there in the middle of nowhere was one. We stayed for 2 hours and drank about a gallon of water. The rest of the journey home was hot. And when we finally got home I told my husband “Well give me a banana and stick me in a zoo cause I have the worst case of monkey butt!”.

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Now we’re getting excited for our Grand Canyon trip this Sept. We’re making a few a changes in the times we travel. And we have even added a luggage rack to the top of the trunk.

We so enjoyed this trip that we were <-> this close to going up to San Fran. Unfortunately I did have to get back to work. But that’s ok, in 3 months time we’ll be going up to move my daughter into college.
  Re: OT - Yosemite by DFen911 (Ok so our trip begin...)
Wow, what an incredible trip! Beautiful pictures. Do you mind if I ask what type of camera you have - digital? What brand. The pictures were beautiful, and we are in the market for anew digital camera. Just not happy with ours.

That french toast looks so good. I could have inhaled it right now!
Mom to three wonderful 7th graders!
The time is flying by.
  Re: Re: OT - Yosemite by esgunn (Wow, what an incredi...)
Denise, what wonderful pictures you have. Looks like a great time. There is so much of this country that I haven't seen yet and your pics really make me want to see it all. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. Oh, and that french toast really does look spectacular.


"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Re: OT - Yosemite by esgunn (Wow, what an incredi...)
What a wonderful trip...I am so happy for you that you got to go to these places. I am envious of course but I've done the Grand Canyon a few times. Love that area...
"Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected, by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table."-Charles Pierre Monselet, French author(1825-1888)
  Re: OT - Yosemite by DFen911 (Ok so our trip begin...)
What an incredible trip!!! Beautiful pictures. I love Yosemite. It's such a beautiful place. Most of the times I've been there were in the winter or very early spring.

That French Toast looks spectacular.
You only live once . . . but if you do it right once should be enough!
  Re: Re: OT - Yosemite by esgunn (Wow, what an incredi...)
Hey ES - I went and bought this camera for this trip and get this..it has a special setting for taking pictures of food

It is the Panasonic DMC TZ5. I even have some great video I'm going to upload onto YouTube as soon as I figure out how. The camera is very easy to use and I was able to switch from 4:3 to 16:9 for the wide angle with 2 buttons pushes. It has an auto feature that knows if I'm taking landscape shots, portraits or macro. Perfect for me
  Re: Re: OT - Yosemite by DFen911 (Hey ES - I went and ...)

One hint for packing for a motorcycle trip - put clothes in a large freezer bag and suck the h*ll out of it and it collapses to nothing and you can pack lots. (Plus, they don't wrinkle either!!)

What a fantastic trip!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: OT - Yosemite by DFen911 (Ok so our trip begin...)
Great trip and great pictures, Denise. We've been there twice and would love to back again.
  Re: Re: OT - Yosemite by HomeCulinarian (Great trip and great...)
Oh how GORGEOUS! Your pictures were fabulous and that French Toast....YUM! I agree with Maryann, there is so much of the country I have not seen and DH even less. What a wonderful getaway!
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: OT - Yosemite by Gourmet_Mom (Oh how GORGEOUS! Yo...)
Wow!! Incredible!
Practice safe lunch. Use a condiment.

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