Yosemite '09 - Day 3

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Total: 32 miles
Estimated time: 1:32 hours

[ Sunday - May 24, 2009 ]

It's early morning and the Sgt and Mr. Speedy is getting ready to head back.  Their hope is to get back to the greater Los Angeles region by noon or a little there after.  Mr. Speedy has a birthday engagement to attend and the Sgt just can't seem to go without his wife.  Whatever the real reason, they're saddling up to go.

The Captain thinks he's a squid.

Before leaving the rest of us behind, my Mom found out that she had just adopted two more kids into the family without know it.  I now have a black British bloke and a horny Philippino as brothers.  What has this world come to?  About 9:30am, they're off and running.  I later found out that the Sgt was having way too much fun with his bike and might have possibly hit the low triple digits on the way home.  Or so the rumor has it.

As for the remaining four of us, we are suppose to take a long 200+ mile loop through Shave Lake and back.  Time to get ready and head out.

It's lunch time and Tortino's is on my mind.  I haven't been there in ages.  They make a killer squid ink pasta.  I hope they're still around.  I see the restaurant and pull into the lot.  A closer look reveals that Tortino's is now a Mexican restaurant.  How disappointing.  Dashed are my hopes for an awesomely tasty squid ink pasta seafood dish.  Oh well, since we're here, we might as well chow down.  Fortunately, the Mexican version of the restaurant isn't all that bad.  In fact it was pretty good.

We need coffee before we continue on our long road.  On the way over to fueling and Starbucks, the Captain and I got separated from Nu and Winnie.  We ended up doing this entire run around.  Yeah, it's kind of like Abbott and Costello.  By the time the Captain and I sit down at a table with our mocha and tall coffee, the couple shows up.  There you have it, right on time.  Nu looks a bit teed, but whatever.  "Here, go get yourself a coffee." as I toss him a $10.  In the meanwhile, he made Winnie go get her own tea thermos.  What kind of boyfriend is he?

It's getting late in the day.  I don't think we can ride the entire 200 miles.  Let's cut it short and head to the climactic ending.  It's already 4:10pm by the time we decide to head straight to the Forestier Underground Gardens.  They have a showing every 20 minutes.  Let's hope we can get there in time for the 4:40 showing.  If we miss this, we have to try again next year.

We made it.  I see the park person closing the gates.  Uh oh, are we too late.  Wait, she's opening it again.  I guess we're OK.  As we're walking though the front gate she told us she was in the process of locking up the gate, but at the last minute she decided to let us in.  "Thank you, thank you.  We've been wanting to see this garden for a while now."  We are escorted to the front desk where we pay our entrance fees.  I thought the Underground Gardens is a State Park, but I'm told it's still privately owned.  The Forestier family had contemplated turning the garden over to the State of California, but in the end they decided to keep it within the family.  Smart move on their part.  During the course of the tour we're told that Baldasare Forestier, the genius behind this underground garden, had no formal engineering or architectural training.  He was actually a farm hand from the island of Sicily.  He came to the United States in the hopes of being able to start up his own orchards.  When he was swindled into buying this land near Fresno, he didn't realize that only a couple of inches below the surface is all hard pan.  Not the greatest of land for growing orchards.  However, Baldasare Forestier is adverse and inventive enough to figure out and alternate way of use his unfarmable land.  To get cooler in the hot Fresno summers, he started digging.  He might appear a simple man, but in my eyes he's a genius.  If you attempt this nowadays, you'll be blocked by uncountable number of city and/or state officials with their ridiculous city ordinances, state regulations, and whatever else they can think of.  The modern world, sure, that's what we are.  I sometimes wonder if we're not going backwards as we go forward.

Check out that Solas tapes.

At the surface level, these oranges are low hanging fruits.

Truly an oasis within a desert.

Baldasare's kitchen.

Come and check it out for yourself.  It's worth the time and effort.  We really should be living like this instead of living little boxes.  Of course this would make too much sense and save too much energy.

Written on: August, 17, 2009
Last modified: August 17, 2009