Monday morning. Descartes is clearly on vacation because he cannot sleep in. He dosed me with cold medicine last night so I'm groggy as all get out which we decide is pretty funny since it appears this may be about the only way to get me to be quiet. I do not fully wake up for hours...I sleep with my eyes open through breakfast and the drive into the park.
We pack it up and head back to downtown Groveland to drop off our room key and eat the free breakfast. Back in Yosemite National Park we park our car and unload bikes. It is a beautiful day. I'm nut sure where all those people are from last night, but they aren't here now.
Riding bikes on the valley floor is fairly easy, but we do find one small (still paved) trail to huff and puff up for a very short while. We end up at Mirror Lake, where we lock up and do a little trail walking. In spite of the wildfire smoke, it is beautiful as well. I keep saying, "Wow I feel lucky today."
We decide we should have lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel. It is an old skool place. If you have never seen it, I put it in the same category as the Claremont in Berkeley and the Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki Beach. We sat on the patio of the Ahwahnee Bar and were pleasantly surprised by how good the food was, having heard not so many raving reviews. The cheese plate was really high-end, with pistachios, dried cherries and a very yummy goat cheese being my favorites of the selection. I drink a sidecar, because I figure we are in the perfect place to have one, and I miss my friend Squid who loves them. It was perfect. Little munchkin chikarees race around our feet as we eat and I am thinking this is possibly the best day I have had in a long time.
We call it a day for the valley floor, pack up our bikes and head out of YNP toward Tuolumne Meadows and on to Mono Lake. Mono Lake is interesting, but as far as I can tell, I actually don't need to go there again.
Total miles driven on the trip so far 519
We make a left on 395, marvel at the crazy amount of smoke from the wildfires and drive straight through to...RENO.
Seriously? Yes. We stayed at John Asquaga's Nugget. More for a joke than anything else. We went here a long time ago with very good friends and had a terrific time. This time we get upgraded at the desk, and stayed in a very nice redecorated room that had a freeway running right outside the window. We dined at Trader Dick's and for nostalgia's sake we had a Scorpion bowl.
Between the two of us lost a total of $39.00 and managed to play video poker and some roulette for hours.. so I am thinking we got our money's worth.
In the morning, the smoke outside from the wildfires is so think it seems that Reno is on fire. Poor Nevada..bad enough to live in Reno, but they have all of this horrible smoke from California and no ocean breeze to knock it away any time soon. It's just sitting there hanging. A satellite image from MODIS. We learn on the news that there are over 800 wildfires buring in California. We decide that we will head west. It is 81 degrees at 8:30am. Ugh.