Friday, September 10th, 2010

We survived the night at the Clown Motel, had a muffin and hit the road. We had perfect temperatures, were on the open road, and had little wind.  NOTHING could bring us down.  But something could definitely bring us to a halt.  An hour into the ride we had our first flat tire of the trip… on this road:

No one stopped to check on us.  Bad karma I guess.

No one stopped to check on us. Bad karma I guess.

We were still in a good mood and laughed at the fact that we were just talking about trying to make good time driving to Yosemite park so we had more time to spend going through it.  On the side of the road, we realized that we had a lug wrench but no jack-stand.  No problem… Greg spots a big rock not more than 20 feet away (there were no other rocks this size in the area; a perfect place to break down).  We empty out some weight from the trailer, lift it up and set it right on top of the rock.  Perfect.

Thank you Mr. Rock.

Thank you Mr. Rock.

After a quick swap, we checked the tire pressure.  That’s weird… this tire has no valve stem.  “Don’t laugh at me but…”.  Before Jerry had the chance to finish his sentence, Greg started to laugh at him.  He put the tire on backwards.  We made the switch, checked the tire pressure, then hit the road.  Well, Greg hit the road then realized Jerry wasn’t following… he had sunk into the gravel and was stuck!  Laughing again, we were fortunate and Greg was able to push Jerry out as he hit the throttle.  Good to go, we are Yosemite bound!

Tired out.

Tired out.

Driving through Yosemite was awe-inspiring and fatigue was a non-issue as we were fully captivated.  Even driving into Yosemite was a fun experience as we weaved in and out where the road took us and dipped down and up.  We felt like kids on a rollercoaster and giggled like school girls who had a secret.  This was a very enjoyable ride.

Fun Fun

Fun Fun

At one moment, Greg had a stare down with a deer as he straddled the middle line, both debating what the other was going to do.  Eventually, the deer blinked and moved on across the highway.  The riding was fantastic and we decided to continue on through the park instead of going into the valley and will save that for another visit.

Not sure the name, so we'll call it Lake Beautiful.

Not sure the name, so we'll call it Lake Beautiful.

It was all downhill from here on out.  Both in altitude and beauty.  Driving through California was enjoyable until you hit the cities during Friday afternoon traffic.  It was hot, slow, and we had to be constantly aware of everyone around us.  California is the land of impatience and it’s obvious when driving on the highway.  Getting stuck in traffic was not fun, but we were pleasantly awarded as we arrived at Liana and her parent’s house… we were spoiled!  (Greg met Liana in Spain and were best buddies at the school they taught at.)

We were welcomed in with smiles and hugs, and had a beverage in our hands before our boots were off.  The house was decorated with ‘Happy Birthday’ posters for Jerry, and we all instantly hit it off.  (We wish we had a picture of all of us :()

After a marvelous dinner, the surprise dessert was yet to come!  Liana stepped up, snuck to the fridge, and pulled out a German chocolate cake with a coconut frosting on top… Jerry’s personal favorite.  There was a solo version of the Happy Birthday song and we split the cake up and enjoyed the chocolate splendor.  Jerry celebrated an early birthday with complete strangers (to him) that welcomed us into their home.

Hurry... blow!

Hurry... blow!

We each had a comfortable place to lay our heads and slept like babies (the good ones that don’t wake up in the middle of the night).

———-

Liana’s friend visited… and as it turned out, all three of us have our birthdays on February 12th.  Welcome to the club:

February 12th Bdays.  All one year apart.  25, 23, and 24.

February 12th Bdays. All one year apart. 25, 23, and 24.