|Awake again at 4 a.m. I still haven't adjusted to the time difference. So off I drive (once the sun came up, that is) round the rest of the June Lake Loop, 16 miles of awesome mountains and beautiful lakes and forests, punctuated on the way by a huge breakfast. I wasn't expecting it to be so huge, but ate it anyway. Some lovely places to stay round here, and camping would be nice, but frankly the bears have put me off that a bit, so I will just have to shell out on secure walls and roof.
I listen to the radio a lot as I drive, which is interesting, as there are a huge variety of stations. All too often though, I'm listening to some rocky number and perhaps thinking I should listen out for the name so I can alert Shea to some new music, when I realise that amongst the crunchy guitars someone is yelling about Jesus. Oh well.
So all these beautiful views and then a sudden transition back to the desert again as I approached Mono Lake. As well as extict volcanoes, this is famous for the tufa towers that stick up out of the lake atmospherically. Also there were these carpets of alkali flies on the lake beach, millions of them, though luckily they didn't bite.
As I was driving away from Mono Lake north towards Lake Tahoe, still driving along the eastern edge of the huge Sierras, I had to drive past the entrance to the eastern pass (10,000 foot road) into Yosemite. I felt a strong urge to go there right then, and even stopped to think about it, but decided to be patient and go there next week as planned.
Lake Tahoe was horribly crowded, not suprising on a Bank Holiday Saturday. I drove round the west side to Emerald Bay, also crowded but very beautiful indeed. I went there to see Vikingsholme, the house of this extremely rich dead person, built in the style of Nordic castles and palaces. It was lovely, and must have been an incredible place to live, especially as in those days you could only get there by boat. Very spiritually uplifting to see such a beautiful house.
And then a long drive to where I am now, San Carlos, in the San Francisco Bay area. Another gorgeous and awesome drive out of the mountains, then to Sacramento and down the Interstate through the central valley of California, then lots of highways amonsgt urban sprawl in the dark. I was quite pleased with myself for not ending up in Texas or Hawaii, but as planned finally arriving at Vlad and Marina's house, and an amazing house it is too, and with a very warm welcome.