Week 9 – Closed for the Season

On the road...

So, we were sitting in the middle of Death Valley on Black Friday when we realized that the drive back towards Los Angeles and then Sequoia National Park were really far.  And going backwards seemed like a less than good idea.  So we made the decision to push on towards Yosemite.  Which in the end was an even worse idea.

We stayed in a minuscule town outside Mammoth Lakes called Bishop, CA.  There was one room.  It was a smoking room.  My entire childhood came flooding back through my nostrils.  All those years of inhaling second hand smoke.  The many hotel rooms we shared with my dad who did not give a hoot about our potential lung health (and I might point out that he is currently and forever deceased).  I woke up in the morning with a headache, sneezing and coughing.  And I told my dad, “See I told you I was not imagining all of that as a child.”  But he can’t hear me now, much like he didn’t hear me then.

We learned something in Bishop, CA.  We learned that in November the eastern mountain road crossing the Sierras through Yosemite to the west closes.  For the season.  Ugh.  And also, when there is a winter storm crossing the Sierras, all the other mountain roads close too.

While we missed most of our bucket list California National Parks, this story ends well.  We pushed up the eastern side of the Sierras to Lake Tahoe, where it is a lovely winter wonderland.  As we were sitting at lunch pondering our next steps, we found out Aunt Katie was not using her time share in, guess where?  Lake Tahoe.  So for the next few days we will be sledding and snowshoeing from our digs at the lake.  Thank you, Aunt Katie.  Those words are not nearly enough, but we are so thrilled to get to spend time here.

All of this to say, that we spent an amazing week in Arizona.  Flagstaff was pretty fabulous.  We went to Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert National Park, Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano and Wapatki National Monuments, and of course the Grand Canyon!  We caught up with friends near Phoenix and spent Thanksgiving in Las Vegas.  And I repeat the sentiment…what makes you more thankful for the things you have than Las Vegas?  We spent the most memorable holiday looking out over the lights of the city eating a delightful meal made mostly in the microwave.  A to the Men.

Next week:  The Redwoods then Oregon.  Bend, Tillamook, Mt. Hood, and Multnomah Falls.  I’m excited to relive the LC Posse days in Portland and spend some nights in Astoria.  Those were the days…