“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher.
So I had a little blogging break, but I’m back with Day 5 of my USA Roadtrip.
Day 5: Yosemite to Bishop
Day 5 started with our very first early morning camp pack away. The aim was to get up and pack our tents away and then we had an hour between breakfast (and lunch prep stuff) being put out and the bus pulling out of the camp. The time we left varied slightly but it was between 7 and 9 every morning. Bear in mind that not only did all your personal belongings and tent have to be packed onto the trailer but also all of the communal stuff like food, the cooking equipment, chairs etc. I’m not a morning person anyway, and that coupled with having slept in a tent and having to wake up as early as 5.30am some mornings was not a good mix! This process was something that me and Liv did not get better at as the time went on. I think there was about one day in the entire trip where we weren’t the very last to pack our tent away. Our excuse is that we made our tents all cute and cosy every night, even hanging up a little lamp, so we had more to pack away. And neither of us eat breakfast so we weren’t that fussed about getting out for food.
Once we hit the road again we were told that we would be making a couple of stops on our way to Bishop which was where we would be spending the night. Our first stop was to see the sequoia trees, some of the oldest trees in the world. Looking at these trees gave me an odd feeling of vertigo. They just stretched up so high that it actually made me a little bit dizzy. We also found a dead, hollowed out sequoia, that you could walk all the way through. Now, being a small person you’d expect me to be fine with being in small spaces. This is categorically untrue! My biggest fear is actually being buried alive, so squeezing through this tiny tree was difficult to say the least. I got about half way and started panicking that I was going to get stuck (despite the fact that half the group had already gone through ahead of me). But I got through it, and whilst I can say that it wasn’t exactly on my bucket list to crawl through a massive dead tree, it was definitely an experience!
Once we saw the trees we realised we had to walk all the way back up to where the bus was parked, which was all steeply uphill. Me and Anna decided to take it slow, and spent the hike chatting and taking quite a few breaks. Honestly who decided that hiking in the Californian sun was a good idea? Us Brits are not used to the heat like Aussies or local Californians are! When we finally got back to Gail, we got back on the road towards our next, slightly more exciting stop. We headed along the scenic Tioga pass to a place called Tenaya Lake. The lake is named after the son of the chief of a native American tribe, who was killed on the bank of the lake. Tenaya was also part of the tribe that gave Yosemite it’s name, as they were feared by many of the surrounding tribes and ‘Yosemite’ loosely translates as ‘they are killers’. It was interesting to learn about the history of the area, as it included some Native American History, which is not something we learn about here in the UK. Today the lake remains a popular tourist destination and is famous for its ice cold waters, as it was formed from a glacier. Let me tell you, the only way you got into that water was to run and dive! Once I was in there my entire lower body went numb, and we all only managed to spend a couple of minutes in there before running back to the beach to sunbathe and warm up.
Once we’d all dried off we then got back ‘on the road again’ to drive to our campsite in Bishop. This was a slightly nicer campsite than the one in Yosemite, and as soon as we were set up we all sat around talking and drinking while we waited for the cooking team to do dinner. I was drinking these things called ‘peach-a-rita’s which I gather were just peach flavoured beer, only much stronger and sweeter. We had a very typical American dinner that night – boxed Mac and Cheese. Now I don’t know if it was just because I was a little bit drunk, but it was honestly the best Mac and Cheese I have ever had. I genuinely haven’t had any since that was as good as this meal, and believe me I had a lot of Mac and Cheese while I was still in the US and since I’ve been home.
After dinner we all got back into Gail, very drunk and singing ‘Hey Baby’ at the top of our voices. (Don’t ask me why, I have no clue why everyone got so into singing this song.) We were going to try out the famous ‘hot springs’ just down the road from us. Now, I know the clues in the name, but I was still surprised at how hot these springs were. It felt like I was in a bath. Naturally because everyone was drunk the boys decided they were going to skinny dip. So we all found ourselves skinny dipping basically in the middle of a field with a bunch of people we’d just met. Luckily it was pretty dark, because I was drunk but nowhere near enough to be comfortable if I’d actually been able to see. Then just to make the night even more surreal, a storm starting going on in the distance, and we literally sat there watching lightning streak across the sky on the horizon. It was breathtaking and crazy at the same time.
So yeah, day 5 ended with skinny dipping in the middle of a lightning storm. What better place to end a blog post.
Until next time,
(If you’re interested you can find more posts about my trip here.)