Well, today didn't turn out as originally planned but it was pretty much as expected. Rain.
Left Monterey this morning in light rain after waiting for it to ease from the steady rain that we had all night. Eased off once we were out of the built-up area as we headed for Hollister. This was a bit of a deliberate detour. Any serious motorcyclist would know where in motorcycling history Hollister fits. For anyone who doesn't, Hollister is pretty much accepted as the place where the outlaw motorcycle gang history started back on July 4, 1947 as a result of a ride where 1000's of motorcyclists arrived in town for the motorcycle races on the weekend and proceeded to have a bit of fun drinking, fighting and having motorcycle races up and down the streets.The event was immortalised in the Marlon Brando, (Johnny), movie, The Wild Ones. Seeing we were in the area I thought it would be worth a visit to a little cafe called Johnny's Bar & Grill. The idea was to stop there for a coffee but with us running later than intended and in all the wet gear with rain looming again in front of us, we settled for a photo instead.
Outside of Hollister heading for Mariposa, we passed the San Luis Reservoir. This is a massive body of water, though low at the moment but it has been constructed with a very long and high earth wall. This reserviour obviously provides water to the area as there was a lot of crop production visible from the road.
Into Mariposa with the rain starting to come down again, fueled up, visited the Visitors Center then headed for Yosemite National Park with the rain falling heavier and the clouds starting to get closer as we climbed into the park. By the time we got into the park, quickly thanks to the Ranger that took pity on the forlorn looking pair and just asked if we had a pass, took our word for it and sent us on our way saying with a grin, "Enjoy your stay".
While the park itself wasn't disappointing, there was a lot of road works going on, meaning detours and route changes from maps, poor signage, rain and with the cloud closed right in, it was not a lot of fun. With Fall coming, once again the colours of the trees was a sight to see and with the rain that had been falling for more than 24 hours, the waterfalls were magnificent. Locating and seeing any of the massive rock formations/mountains was almost impossible unless you were lucky enough to get a break in the cloud. Some photos but nothing to get excited about. Disappointing, but that's the way it can be. It is still bucketing down outside as I put this together but supposed to be be clearing tomorrow. Too far to worry about going back in tomorrow though.
We entered the park through the southern route and came back out via the northern road. This was another road that should have offered wonderful views over the valley as it topped out at 6,200 feet and 9 degrees C. Instead, it offered wonderful glimpses of the valley, constant views of thick cloud and the disappearing and reappearing view of the taillights of the Mustang convertible in front of us. This "clouded in" scenario is starting to get too familiar.
Tonight bought us into the little town of Coulterville, only about 150 people and a very old historic town and buildings. Knowing evening meals were not available at the motel, we stopped at the General Store and Cafe to grab something for dinner. Instead of a quick in and out, we stayed about 30 minutes talking with the owner and having a pot of coffee while we warmed up. Didn't see much of Therese though as there was a gift and specialties section of the shop which was quite fascinating and different. Very nice owner.
Then it was up to the Yosemite Gold Country Lodge for the night. Again, very nice owner who offered us hot bowls of his home made turkey soup. Very good and finished the warming up process started by the coffee. Now to dry everything out and hope for finer weather tomorrow.
463 klms today, total to date 15,844 klms.