Where was I? Version 2

Gosh. A bit to catch up with. Still struggling with poor or non-existent internet connections!
Currently we are in Utah near Zion and Bryce National Parks - the site has an internet connection, but it is only available in the reception, so I'm sitting on a stool listening to an arcade game in the background, hoping that I can generate the patience to catch up on all the days!

'Pl-pl-pl-pl-play, play-- pl,pl, pl, play, play".
Sorry. Just thought that you should share in the annoying noise behind me. Anyway, back to the journey...

Wednesday 29th July

So we went out for dinner again with Tom. This time in Old Sacramento (after we spent 40 mins trying to find the area! Just a tip for you; next time you want to find an address such as 3rd Street in an American city - remember that they ALL have 3rd Streets, and Esmerelda (the stupid cow GPS system) is not actually smart enough to tell you that she is trying to take you to 3rd Streets in some of those other cities rather than the city you specified!).

Dinner was in a Mexican restaurant upstairs on a balcony looking out on the old 'western style' streets. Nice meal, and Tom was fun (and educational !). Which reminds me about the Pheasant Club.
It's rather a nice restaurant, kind of an old hunting lodge; the food was excellent. And although you couldn't say the service was bad, it was slightly eccentric. We were served by a dumpy little middle-aged woman whose first introduction went something like this.

"So, can I get y'all some drinks?"
... various drink orders followed...
"So, where you guys from?"
... we explained...
"OK. So what miniatures you all into?"
"Emm, I'm sorry, what miniatures?" (There was I thinking she was referring to an aperitif or something.)
"Miniatures. All you English people collect miniatures don't you?"
Further stunned silence. Tom squirming in the corner!
"You mean like models? Ornaments ?"
"Yah. Which ones you in to?"

More silence and confusion. Then two classic comments to fill the silence, first from Lewis.

"I collected model soldiers!"
"OK. You see."

Then from Sarah, a backhanded accidental insult;
"Oh. Miniatures. I see. In previous generations they did perhaps, but not ours. Do you collect any?"
(Middle-aged lady suddenly looking uncomfortable! ;) )

Oh well.

Thursday 30th July

So, that was pretty much Sacramento; Tom came round to see us the next morning to deliver all sorts of goodies and advice.

In return we gave him the Stone of Destiny - this is a special stone that we had been using to provide route/directional advice instead of Esmerelda. (Plus supplementing it with your advice!)

Tom also gave us a back-route into Yosemite National Park. He'd never taken the route himself, but as he said, anything should be better than the standard Route 99 down a hot dusty valley.

Well Tom, to tell you that you were very right! A winding, hilly but excellent route through the Sierra Nevada. Old gold-mining towns and plunging hairpins - a lovely drive. Still hot... around 98F, but interesting.
One of the towns on the way was San Andreas itself..

.... and a picture from a two-thousand feet climb up the Sierra Nevada on the way to Yosemite.

We arrived eventually at the Yosemite National Park border (forever known by Sarah now as Yosa- might by the way), to find all the campsites on the park full. But we were directed by the Rangers to a Forestry campsite about 5 miles away. Very pretty and isolated... more next.

For now, some photos of the few days in Sacramento with Tom. Thanks again Tom, it was fun, and lovely to meet you and spend a bit of time together. See you next time, or in Europe!