This is part 11 of a collection of diary entries by Dennis Fuller (Vikki‘s dad) during his holiday in Los Angeles (from London), January 2005. Links to earlier entries at the end of this post.
Woke up reasonably early so tidied up my bags and sorted out the boot of the car. Had a stroll down Chestnut Street to visit the A.T.M I withdrew $260. The little coffee shop I had been using was closed so I headed for the 101and Yosemite Park. Made a complete balls up and ended up driving around San Francisco for an hour, finally asked a pedestrian for directions, He directed me to Chavez Close and on to the 101to Gilroy. Stopped in Gilroy for a burger, coffee and a refresher the MacDonaldís out here are totally different to the ones in London it is like a mini meal and very cheap at $5.29cents. On to 152 through to 99, not sure what happened here but I think I must have been on Highway 41and it went across some pretty high passes and mountains, I think I must be very lucky because there has been some heavy snow here. I stopped at a little General Store and spoke to the owner who told me that it was about 2 miles to the Park and that the Rangers would give me a map and advise me on conditions in the Park. As I stopped at the gate to the park the Ranger (attractive young lady, or maybe it was the uniform) pointed at the 5.00pm closed sign and waved me on. In hindsight I should have backed up right there and gone and found somewhere to stay the night, needless to say I carried on. I saw photographed and cam corded some of the most fantastic scenery that I have ever seen, but by the time I got down to the ëvillageí it was very dark and icy. I went to the lodge but was told it would cost $150 for the night. I thought this was mercenary, so I got directions and aimed for 140. As ever I missed the turn off and ended up going back the same way as I had come. In the end it was a blessing as it saved me from going well out of my way, but it was a very hairy drive. I think it was 6,000ft up at some point and in future any Highway I see that starts with the No 40 I will do my best to avoid. Highway 41 is even scarier than 46 especially with the snow and ice and in the dark.
Anyway the first town I came to, Oakhurst, had a Days Inn Motel which is just that bit better than other Motels. Walked across the highway to what I thought was a restaurant only to find it was a souvenir shop and closed, crossed back over to another Chinese, very nice people told me that I should not cross the highway on foot. Had a Chicken Chowder soup starter and Oyster Beef strips for my main meal. Walked back to the motel to get the Stratus as the bar was on the other side of the Highway. Figured I could chance a couple of beers and drive 100 yards back to the motel. As I drove in a cop on a motorbike pulled out and I could not park the sodding car, so feeling a total woos I went back to the Motel had a few Coors and finished off with scotch on the rocks, mind you had a great time listening to the stones an my sonís MP3.