San Diego and Beyond!

August 3, Sunday

We awoke this morning, another beautiful day to drive to Acton, CA, which was about 6 hours away. We arrived at our Californian RV Resort around 4:30 that afternoon and just rested for our next day’s drive to Lancaster, home of Lance Travel Trailer Company, not far away.


August 4, Monday

IMG_0125 Lance co webWe left for Lancaster early so we would be there at 8:15 for our travel trailer to be serviced. After eating a light breakfast, did our laundry & returned to Lance to check on everything. We learned that we needed to stay over one more day. The Lance people were so accommodating & we were able to stay on the property there so they could work on our camper early on Monday.




August 5, Tuesday

We left around noon from Lancaster and arrived at our All Season RV park around 3:30 that afternoon.  This was our view of the lake and mountains; even though it was an older park, with some full time residents, it was very peaceful and the folks here were just super.

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The park was only about 5 minutes away from our friends, Dwain & LuAnn who were renting a villa at nearby Tuscany Resort for 3 months. After setting up the camper, we were able to see them. LuAnn had prepared a delicious meal & the weather was so nice that we ate out on the beautiful patio overlooking the golf course there. We enjoyed our first afternoon together in several months. After dinner, we planned our itinerary for the week.  No question about it, just like all the other places we visited, there is not enough time to see all the great things about our country . . . and we only have one week in the San Diego area!!!!


August 6, Wednesday


This morning, we went to Old Town San Diego to buy our tickets for the two tours that we would take this week.

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Today, we boarded the Old Town Trolley which took us on a 2 hour tour of San Diego, where we saw San Diego Harbor, Seaport Village, Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter, Coronado Beach,



Balboa Park, Zoo, Little Italy & other shops & restaurants.

We enjoyed our tour guide, Chris who told us about the history of the places we visited. We really enjoyed the beautiful weather but still needed a light jacket. As we traveled through this lovely & unique city, I found myself recalling the photos that had been taken when I was just a year old. My dad had been stationed there for the first year that I was born, so my mom & I went out to be with him at the Naval Base. It was so much fun to now experience this beautiful city again, as an adult.


After our tour, we walked around Old Town to an authentic Mexican Cantina; John was more fascinated with the FOWL than the food. The weather was so nice that we ate out on the patio & enjoyed the music & the delicious cuisine.

IMG_1171 (Copy)We even “lost” him for a bit while he strayed away to photograph the Historic San Diego Union newspaper museum.  When he was 19, he photographed a boat rescue in the San Diego area and they published his photo on the front page.  The photos in this slide show present pictures of the early days of printing.  The “California Case” where the handset type was kept and the large “letter” press.


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The sunset at Coronado Beach was awesome! Pelicans were diving straight down into the ocean for food.


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Pelicans diving straight DOWN to catch their dinner!!!!


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Ocean view of Hotel Del Coronado considered the largest wooden structure of it’s kind in America. It was also the location for the movie, “Some Like It Hot”. A fabulous hotel with a lot of history.

Dwain drove us up to Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma.

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Dwain struck a “Cabrillo” pose.



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We walked up to the Old Lighthouse which is on the Pacific Ocean. John climbed the steps to the top where he was able to get a few photos of the living quarters.







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We learned that a dedicated keeper of the lighthouse was on- duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no vacations. Finally in 1891, they boarded up the old lighthouse and moved it down the hill to it’s present location On the bayside of the Point, we walked down to the statue of.


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Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo, who was the first European to set foot on the west coast of the United States. We were able to get some nice photos of the monument & San Diego’s beautiful coastline. We were able to photograph the military cemetery at Point Loma.  John commented, that it took the death of so many to bring America to her greatness and safety.


August 7 Thursday

Our day started around 11:30 when LuAnn & I had our hair cut while Dwain took John to get a haircut Later they took our faithful Dodge Durango to the car wash, and it looks brand new all over again. The guys met us at Soup Plantation for a delicious lunch which featured unlimited servings of salad, soup, bread, pizza and an assortment of other foods & desserts at a very reasonable price.

We drove on to beautiful Oceanside where we walked down the pier & spent several hours observing & photographing the surfersMVI_1380 hi res surfer girl pano web as they exhibited their exceptional abilities on the surfboard. IMG_1371While John was taking photos, we decided to walk a little further to Ruby’s on the pier for a light snack. We enjoyed our time there to just sit & relax a few minutes. When we returned, John had photographed & taken video of the surfers & a beach preacher, so it was a nice way to end the day.


August 8, Friday

Dwain & LuAnn picked us up that afternoon and we started our day at Seaport Villageseal tour boat where we boarded the amphibious “Seal”which is similar to Branson’s “Ride the Duck”. At first we were able to see the points of interest in San Diego, much of which had been covered on the Trolley tour, but what was so different about this tour was how we were able to experience this unique city by water. This tour was the most interesting way to experience the points of interest & viewing the seals, sea lions & seagulls in their protected environment.



We were able to get close enough to photograph their whiskers as they were sunning themselves on a barge. We learned from our tour guide, Big Maddie that the dolphins and sea lions were so intelligent that they were trained by the military to search for explosive devices in the ocean waters.



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August 9 Saturday

This was a day of shopping, playing one of my favorite card games, Canasta & eating a delicious Chinese meal at Peking Wok in Bonsall to celebrate Dwain & LuAnn’s 53rd anniversary. That evening we went to the Welk Resorts; in their clubhouse we found some interesting items about the Lennon Sisters. We also drove up to the top of the resort roads and saw Lawrence Welk’s home.

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August 10 Sunday

Sunday we went to church with Dwain & LuAnn, along with their youngest son, Dirk & his family.


The pastor, John Ettore had an inspiring message & we really enjoyed hearing about the teen’s recent Summer Camp. Several of the youth told of their spiritual experience with such enthusiasm.

After church, we all met to eat a light lunch. .We had a chance to meet Dana, Dwain & LuAnn’s middle son for a few minutes but had some time with their youngest son, Dirk, his lovely wife, Katherine & their two precious daughters, Grace & Abigail, a very talented young lady who plays guitar, piano & sings.

After we had lunch, we managed to have a photo taken with Dirk,IMG_2856 Our time together was much too short, would loved to have had more time to be with this family.

After lunch, Dwain drove us to Balboa Park where we enjoyed the Spreckles Organ concert on the largest organ in the Western Hemisphere.

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We arrived at the concert 10 minutes early, but by the time we found the best location , got our umbrellas to shield us from the warm 80 degree weather, the concert was upon us. The Spreckels Pipe Organ contains 4,518 pipes, comprising 76 ranks. (This year on December 31, there will be a special Centennial concert there at the Pavillion to dedicate the new pipes which will be webcast.. This will be the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ once the new pipes are added, 5000 total.)

Dr. Carol Williams is the Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society and she performed an hour long concert filled with some classical pieces for the organ as well as a fugue by J.S. Bach & some familiar selections, America, Greensleeves, a medley from “Phantom of the Opera & last, our beloved National Anthem. There was also a guest artist from Arizona State University who performed. At the close of the concert with the flag waving high & a plane in the sky, the National Anthem was heard throughout the park & I thought how moving it was to see people who loved their country & honored the American flag that we hold so dear.


August 11 Monday

We decided to use this time to work on our 6 weeks blog here in San Diego. On our final day here, we met with our dear friends, who had set aside time each day to spend with us, for our last meal together. We had a wonderful time here in San Diego and we hope to return someday.

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A Royal “Holiday”

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July 28 Monday

We arrived late in the afternoon at our campsite at the Modesto, CA Reservoir.  What a great, quiet place!

There were Canadian geese on the lake & John took some nice photos of a beautiful sunrise at our location. We never left our site, just enjoyed the 2 nights of rest at the reservoir before leaving the next morning for Santa Cruz.

July 29 Tuesday

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We finally arrived at Santa Cruz Harbor around 3pm. How beautiful the weather was there, mild 70’s. We were overlooking the harbor where it seemed that millions of boats were docked. Our neighbors were so friendly & helpful that it was a real pleasure to be there. After we set up our camper & had a light lunch, we decided to explore Santa Cruz. IMG_9321 Santa Cruz harbor sign - Copy (Copy)We first went to the famous Boardwalk, lots of rides & just like at the carnival. We were able to walk to the beach, took our beach chairs & just enjoyed the weather.




IMG_9435 - Copy (Copy)We had to empty our shoes of the beach sand.




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John took several photos there & I experimented with several shots of the amusement ride, Pirates Jack.





We left the Boardwalk & went a short distance to the Mark Abbott Lighthouse, location for the Santa Cruz Surfer’s Museum.  Along the way we discovered the bronze statue commemorating the Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve.

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July 30, Wednesday

Today was our grandson, Tavin’s 11th birthday so we were able to talk with him. We left early for our drive to Monterey, which was about thirty minutes away from Santa Cruz.

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The sign appears BLURRY because it is a NEON sign photographed in DAYLIGHT rather than in the evening.

When we arrived in Monterey, we had a chance to talk with our friends, Kathy & Jim & they recommended a restaurant called Old Fishermen’s Grotto on Fishermen’s WharfIMG_9568 (Copy) so we parked our car and enjoyed the half mile walk to the wharf. We feasted on appetizers of popcorn shrimp, an entree of salmon & the most delicious sour & chiabatta bread. After we walked back to the car, we decided to go to Ghiardelli’s Chocolate Company on Cannery Row where we split a delicious hot fudge sundae, which is the world famous dish at the ice cream & candy store.

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We left there and drove to Carmel by the Sea, a short distance away.

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We stopped several places to take photos, especially driving the scenic route around the town. As John was driving, I saw Clint Eastwood’s place, Mission Ranch & realized that he had been the mayor of Carmel for several years. It was a beautiful drive from Carmel to Big Sur. We photographed several places along the Pacific Coast Highway, but the fog was still too heavy to provide good photo spots. After the drive to Big Sur, we decided to drive back to Santa Cruz to a McDonalds so John could upload our photos for the blog.


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July 31 Thursday

Today was our grandaughter, Hannah’s 5th birthday in Miami where she was celebrating with her family in Orlando at Universal Studio. Thanks to all of you who are hanging with us as we continue our travel.. It has been a challenge to try & get the blogs out without cell or internet. John has a hotspot on his phone to work on the internet but since we didn’t have any cell service, it became impossible for us to have access to it. This is our last day in beautiful Santa Cruz; we still have no internet but some cell phone service.

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We left Santa Cruz this morning for our Yanks RV Resort in Greenfield. We arrived there in the early afternoon, checked in & had plenty of time to set up our camper & rest.


IMG_2027 (Copy)Our RV Park was really nice, surrounded by lovely mountains & each site had ample parking for our trailer & car. We learned that the wind was extremely gusty in the afternoons so we were advised not to put our awning out.

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August 2, Saturday

We left around 8am for San Simeon for our 11:30 tour of Hearst Castle.

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When we arrived, we learned that due to the severe water shortage, all the indoor restroom facilities had been closed, but they had provided plenty of alternatives.

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We had time before our tour bus departed to go to the Hearst Theatre & see the 40 minute video about the Hearst Castle.

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The tour bus took us up a steep mountain for a 10 minute ride. We noticed how hot it had become since we rode to the top, around high 90’s. I’m so happy we had taken a bottle of water with us to keep us hydrated. We followed our tour guide as he told us about William Randolph Hearst, who had the vision to see a castle built on this steep mountain which was part of the Santa Lucia mountains. It was truly fascinating to experience this amazing castle with all it’s grandeur. We noticed that none of the fountains were on, due to the water shortage & the Neptune Pool had to be drained due to a leak. We did get a photo of the pool without the water. After the 45 minute guided tour, we could just walk around the grounds which were not closed off to the public.We saw a lot of the beautiful flowers & fruit trees on the grounds. Our guide shared with us that Hearst had provided food for most of his staff by raising everything from fruits, vegetables, cows, chickens & beef. At one time, he also had a wildlife preserve on the grounds.


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We did NOT eat lunch here!!!!

We ate a light lunch & then drove back down the mountain for scenic Morrow Bay and then on to San Luis Obispo.

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581 foot Morro Rock rises out of the Pacific Ocean coastline in Morro Bay; just too foggy to photograph much else.

Due to the heavy fog, we were unable to get the photos we wanted; but we did take a few before we drove the 2 hours back to our park.

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Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; – Isaiah 44:24

Look out, San Diego, the Freeds are coming!!!!!!



Week #4 We’ve been TREED!!!!!

IMG_1890 (Copy)With inches to spare we drove THRU the Chandelier Redwood Tree!!!!! in Leggett, CA.

We’re Not IN the Woods, We ARE The Woods!!!!

. . . and now, the rest of the story!

July 19 Saturday

IMG_8238 cape Meares lighthouse (Copy)When we visited Tillamook, the kind cashier had given John a map to Cape Meares State Park, OR, an historic lighthouse which was about 15 miles away. We decided to take the time & explore that area. It was very chilly around 8pm but John wanted to get several photos here until dark.  We met Dave Cross, former keeper of the lighthouse. His wife, Heather is the youngest volunteer in the state park service and their grandson, Isaac, a youthful math wizard. We left our campsite the next morning.


IMG_8187 sunset Cape Meares Three Arch Rocks (Copy)Designated as the first National Wildlife Refuge west of the Mississippi River, Three Arch Rocks Refuge lies ½ mile offshore of the community of Oceanside. One of the Oregon coast’s best-known landmarks, the refuge consists of three large and six smaller rocks totaling 15 acres. The refuge is one of the smallest National Wilderness Areas in the country.

 July 20 Sunday

 On this morning, we left early for Crater Lake & decided to take the scenic Oregon Coastal Highway.IMG_8273 (Copy)

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We stopped at a coastal town, Seaside on the beautiful Oregon coast to have lunch.

IMG_5074 (Copy) IMG_5075 sams seaside salmon webJohn actually ate a grilled salmon sandwich!!!

IMG_8099 (Copy)We found out that this community was the end of the trail for Lewis & Clarke Expedition. John photographed the statue of Lewis & Clark there at the Prom circle which overlooks the Pacific Ocean.  The 18 month, 4,000 mile journey from Saint Louis to the Oregon Coast is commemorated by the statue.

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We left Seaside & continued driving down the coast to Depoe Bay. John had stopped along Rocky Creek to take a photo when Bob, a nice man who lived nearby came up to talk to us. He told John that we had a flat tire on our trailer. We were so grateful that we had a strong enough of a signal to call AAA. The traffic was so heavy in nearby Lincoln City that it took the service man from AAA about an hour to finally get to us. DJ, the AAA service man, from Lincoln City Towing, switched out the tire with the spare and we only lost about 2 hours out of our day but we were so thankful that we found out about the tire before we started back out on the road. We know that God was with us & he sent Bob to help us, especially being on a Sunday when everything was closed.

Due to the flat tire, we didn’t arrive until after 9pm that night, but we called to let them know that we were going to be arriving late. After we set up the electric for AC and the water, we were so tired that we waited until daylight to level the travel trailer.

July 21 Monday

The next day at our rv park, we decided to take a day to rest . . . much needed rest after driving the steep mountain roads the day before. Later in the day we drove to Klamath Falls, OR, to purchase a new tire from Basin Tire Service .  You will have to look all over the country to find nicer folks and better deals.  Thanks, Mike for taking such excellent care of us.

July 22 Tuesday

We left for Crater Lake National Park around 10am. We drove several hours to see as much as we could in a day. “Annie Falls” was John’s first photo stop; then “Vidae Falls”.  John snapped a picture of me photographing “Vidae Falls”.

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“Annie Falls” gave us our first look at the skinny, pointed trees.
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“Vidae Falls”, Photo by BARB !!!!
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Barb Photographing “Vidae Falls”

We chose to go to the Eastern side first, because we arrived in the morning and we knew the sun would shine best on the western side of the Crater. By the time we had driven around to the Western side, the sun illuminated the Eastern slopes of the Crater.

IMG_8441 (Copy)We stopped half way around the loop to eat lunch at a very windy & cold picnic area with Mt. Scott in the background, which is the highest peak in the park. Throughout the day, we stopped at beautiful spots to take photos.

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“The Pinnacles at Crater Lake”
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“Wizard Island” at Crater Lake, Photo by Barb She’s catching onto this picture thing!!!!!

Some of the cliffs were very steep where we wanted to take pictures, so we had to select safe locations such as this one, at “The Pinnacles” and the one of Wizard Island near the western side of Crater Lake lookout point.

Here’s a slide show of several other photos of Crater Lake and the beautiful drive up to the crater.


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July 23 Wednesday

On our way to  our new campsite, we learned about the Lava Beds National Park.

IMG_8715 (Copy)We drove about an hour out of our way to visit the park & photograph some of the huge lava rocks. They almost looked like deep, dark crevices that also appeared as large mountains of lava rock. We also visited their information center & watched a short video on the park. IMG_8735 (Copy)  IMG_8798 (Copy)


We continued on our trip, not realizing how mountainous & tedious of a drive lay ahead of us. It seemed like we drove for several hours in the dark up & down the mountains, but finally after being in the car for 15 hours, with the exception of the visit to the Lava Beds park, we arrived at the Redwoods River Resort in Leggett, California that night around 11:45pm. Needless to say, we were exhausted. Nearly 5 weeks into our journey, and this is the FIRST RV RESORT to live up to the title RESORT!!!!, of the other resorts we stayed in offered a few shade trees and a swimming pool and a few extras. Redwoods River Resort is an excellent place to put up the RV, especially if you have kids or you just want some peace and quiet. The park is absolutely bloated with large redwood trees!

The next day, we photographed One Log House and the Chandelier Tree, which was the drive through tree & the One Tree Log House near our campsite.

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“Tiny” John & “Ity Bity” Barb beside the Super Duper Redwood Tree just next to our Travel Trailer.


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Yes, we are IN the woods!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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It was a real tight squeeze for the Durango as we drove through the Chandelier Tree, Leggett, CA.



July 24 Thursday

We rested at our campsite & took the day to work on our blog, although we had no cell or internet service. We found out that we could drive to Garberville at a Treats Ice Cream shop about 16 miles away. While we were enjoying our ice cream, we were able to catch up on missed calls & emails for an hour. We were not able to stay long enough to work on our blog so did what we needed to do at that time. We decided to come back the next afternoon for lunch so we could have cell & internet. We have been dealing with this problem for almost a month now, very little cell or internet, you almost feel completely isolated from the rest of the world.


July 25 Friday

We awoke this beautiful morning & decided to drive to Shelter Cove, near the Pacific Coast. What a long & winding road! It took us about an hour but it was worth the drive to the site. John met a nice couple, Mark & his wife, Nancy who had been at Shelter Cove for 10 years. They told us about the Lighthouse & Seal Rock where we saw seals sunning themselves on the rocks.       IMG_1767 (Copy)

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We also saw a family of deer crossing in front of us, you would think they live here and have free reign of the turf … oh, they do!!!!

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After the drive back to Garberville, we took in the One Log House, which was very interesting. In 1946, the tree was hollowed out for a home on wheels which traveled America as an exhibition before having a permanent home in Garberville.

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We arrived back at our campsite and packed up everything for our trip the next day to Yosemite.


July 26 Saturday

This is the day that we are driving to Yosemite. Our rv park, Yosemite Lakes is only 5 miles from the Western Yosemite entrance so we plan to leave early this morning knowing just how mountainous and long of a drive it will be. It took us about 9 hours to get there and it wasn’t easy pulling a trailer up the mountains with all of the hairpin curves, but John knew how to keep us safe. We finally arrived around 6pm which gave us plenty of time to set up.

IMG_1989 (Copy) IMG_1990 (Copy)When we arrived and checked in, we found out that due to the forest fires in that area, they had already evacuated a nearby rv park.

The lady at the desk told John that so far, Yosemite park was still open so we planned to rest that night & go to the park the next day. That night, John was able to get a few photos to show the extent of the smoke around our park. We prayed about it & decided to stay the night.


July 27 Sunday

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The smoke was pretty intense and too close for comfort to our camper and car!!!!
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Due to the heavy smoke and a ZERO contained fire nearly 15 miles away from our campsite, WE LEFT!!!!



The next morning, we learned that our entrance to Yosemite had been closed due to the Mariposa location of the fire. We would have had to drive 90 miles around the mountains to get to the next location. We were afraid that if we stayed much longer on the mountain, we would be caught having to evacuate with everyone else and be trapped there on the mountain. After talking with someone there, we decided it would be safer if we left that afternoon. We were disappointed that we didn’t even get to go into the park at all, but we felt this was the only decision that we could make at this time. When we left, the sky was filled with smoke & a 12 yr. Old girl had to be taken to a nearby hospital due to needing oxygen. After discussing our next destination, we decided to travel 58 miles to Modesto. It would free us from the threat of the forest fires & we could find a place to stay the remaining two nights before heading to Santa Cruz. We stopped at a McDonalds in Oakdale & were able to get on the internet. John called & found us a place outside of Modesto at a reservoir on a lake.

Now that we are in the “Land of WiFi” (close to the Silicon Valley California), we will have more info  coming your way!

Thanks for sticking with us.

John and Barb