On our way, we found a fun spot for Nathan to off road. After years of Pacific Northwest trail riding, taking a 450 lb KLR and all of our gear off road in the California desert was a piece of cake.
Back on our way, we climbed 8000 feet in 75 miles! The baby ninja had to be in 3rd gear, tapped out, to keep up with the KLR! I started to worry about her little engine, until we saw the sign at the summit saying we were 9975 feet above sea level. Nathan said rev it out on the uphills so it can get air, and let it recover on the downhills, and she'll be fine.
Relieved with this news, we reached Yosemite at Tioga Pass. I don't remember ever coming this way to Yosemite. In one hour we'd gone from desert to snow.
We entered the park, and stopped almost immediately to start taking pictures of the overwhelming beauty we found ourselves surrounded by.
We rode through, stopping for pictures, until lunch at the Awahanee.
To give you a sense of the scale, can you see the two itty bitty rock climbers way above us?
We made our way to the valley for lunch at the Awahanee. It is the first building of Yosemite. Not knowing when we'd be back, we didn't want to miss a chance to find there. Plus, Pat at the Orchard Hill Country Inn recommended it. :-)
Then Nathan had a brilliant idea. I could take pictures from the back of his bike! I was enjoying riding so much, I at first said no. But after pulling off and ungearing, regearing, ungearing, regearing, I realized this plan was brilliant. Plus u love riding on the back of Nathan's bike.
Leaving my bike and backpack on the side of the road, and trusting the good will of National Park tourists, we set off.
Of course, there are dozens more, but these capture the views of the valley. Someday I'd like to hike Half Dome, but this trip is a motorcycle trip, and I was eager to get back on my bike and exore the rest of Yosemite, stop in Jamestown, and then visit my cousin Rosie!
On our way to Jamestown, we found the most beautiful road.
Time to practice turns! I tried my best on the way down, and at the bottom, Nathan offered to do some mentoring. I have a tendency to get anxious, turn in too early, and then go wide, slow down in the wrong spot, and repeat. He let me follow him back up that magnificent road, coaching me the whole way. Then he followed me again down the hill, and telling me when u did it right, and letting me know when I could have waited longer. He said it was ten times better than my first try, and I felt good about that.
We stopped in Jamestown for a coke, and then headed on.
Visiting Cousin Rosie was a delight! Her home is beautiful, and it was fun to visit briefly. Like every piece of this trip, I wish it could be longer, and at the same time, I think the moments are a gift, the brevity making me cherish them more.
Rosie fed us popscicles, watermelon, and blueberries. She squeezed fresh lemons for lemonade. She made dinner, all after working 72 hours, with hours of charting left in her evening. She declined help, just happy we came to visit. April came by too, and we got to share stories of fun and adventure. April will be graduating from college this week!
We headed to bed, full of family love and coziness. These visits with family on our adventure are touchstones of our reality. The days left in our adventure are few, and we are determined to enjoy them as fully as possible.