Yosemite '12

[ Day 1: Sunday - July 1, 2012 ]

Total: 291 miles
Time: ~8 hours

I can hardly believe, as we start on this journey, that it has been 3 years since we last went to Yosemite.  It feels like it was just last year that we went on that 4 day trip.  Sure enough, the SuperChunks archive shows August of 2009 was the previous Yosemite occurrence.  We missed a lot of stuff last time so perhaps this time we can make up for what we skipped.

Pine Canyon Road

On our way to Cerro Noroeste, we were passed by a chain of Ferrari, and Lamborghini.  I was wondering if they were headed to Cerro Noroeste also.  When I saw that they didn't take the Mil Potrero/Cerro Noroeste fork, "I guess they're headed somewhere else."  I later found out I was wrong.  We're doing a good clip and enjoyed every turn.  That is until we notice several Lamborghini sniffing our tailpipes.  Poor Eugene was in the back and was getting pressured.  He eventually let them through.  I saw this and attempted to put some distance between us and them.  I succeeded to a level but I couldn't keep up the pace and concentration.  Not to mention it's a bad idea to race with full luggage and a strapped on ice cooler.  In the end I backed off and waved them pass.  The Captain sped up after them.  I stayed behind and enjoyed what little is left of Cerro.  At the end I approached one of the drivers and spoke with him.  I said, "It was hard to keep up with you."  To this he responded, "That's all wheel drive for you."  My reply, "Yeah, and I only have one wheel drive."  I gave him a high-five and we bid each other a safe ride and a fond farewell.  Now it's off to the Central Valley and Fresno.

I was looking forward to some Greek food that the Golden Bull just west of Bakersfield.  Unfortunately, they close the place down for the entire month of July.  Bummer, I wanted to try their Gyro this time.  I guess we'll just have to put this off until some time in the future.  The Subway Sandwich as a replacement falls way short of the Golden Bull.

One thing is for sure, Hwy 43 is a massive speed trap between Shafter and Corcoran.  At one point we passed up a mini van the road only to be confronted by a CHP sitting on the side of the road in the opposite direction.  I look down at my speedometer and ugh... we're a bit fast.  I let off the throttle and we ease into a reasonable speed.  Not too far up the road, another CHP has pulled over some unlucky driver in the opposite direction.  OK, this road is a speed trap in the making.  Fortunately for us, we managed pass Corcoran and Hanford with out issues.  Once we touch the 99 Fwy, it's just 20 minutes to the parent's place.  We made good time and ended the day's ride around 4:30PM.

[ Day 2: Monday - July 2, 2012 ]

Total: 236 miles
Time: ~6:30 hours

Yosemite on a Monday.  Oh how beautiful it is.  That is after we passed the 18 wheeler climbing the mountain roads.  It's like this is our own personal road.  There's nobody to be seen in our direction.  The only real traffic was the opposite side heading south.  It must be people heading towards Fresno to go to work.

There is still occasional traffic here and there but it's nowhere near what we have experienced on pass Yosemite rides.

The Little Dragon was a bit disappointing because when we finally left he vista point, we ended being behind a moving truck and a truck that refuses to take any of the turn outs.  Eventually they finally took one of the turnouts.  We're off.  This time around, I decided to plot a different route instead of taking the new Priest Grade.  We hang a quick right at Coulterville taking the J132 Hwy.  It climbs and climbs.  Again we only see traffic on the opposite side heading towards Mariposa.  Even then, you can tell they're locals taking the side roads to avoid the tourists.  This road is awesome!

Yosemite was crowded but not insane.  The park is full up in capacity and there are no more campsites.  My buddy the Sgt is in the armed forces and manages to get us into the park for no fees.  That really nice of them.  I wouldn't have mind paying the fee as they need fund to keep the place open.  I thanked the park range as I entered without paying.  She said, "You're welcome."  Awesome!

Finally, we're able to stop near the very beginning of the Big Oak Flat road.  Now this is a sight to be seen.

Even the 41 on the way to the south gate is a pleasurable ride.  There were at most 2 cars in front of us and they both know how to drive the road (no excessive braking at every corner).  Once we reach Wawona, it was a mad house.  We fill up our bikes at $4.90 per gallon.  Thank god we only need a couple of gallons (3.2).  I feel sorry for all these cars waiting to put in 13 gallons.  Ouch!

Right before we reach the left turn to take Bass Lake, I pull over to the side of the Hwy and ask the guys, "So do you want to go to Bass Lake or do you want to head back?"  The Major/Captain responded, "I'm pretty tired."  When I poll the Sgt he said, "From a scale of 1 to 10, I'm 6 or 7."  OK, that's a sign they're both tired so it's time we head back to the parent's place.  The Sgt was also banking on Pho being available for diner.  That's as good a reason as any to head back home.

Below is what we're treated to when we're at the parent's place.  Yum......

Nothing beats Mom's Pho!

A closer look at the masterpiece that's going into my stomach.

[ Day 3: Tuesday - July 3, 2012 ]

All good things have to come to an end.  Some sooner than others.  Freeway riding all the way and we're home in 3-4 hours.

Written on: July 3, 2012
Last modified: August 11, 2014