Trans Can HWY #21: Night skies and shooting stars

Two years ago this past August, my mother and I ventured on a cross country trek in my brother’s Jeep across Canada. We drove west from southwestern Ontario to Vancouver, BC over the course of two weeks, and then down to northern California to meet up with the men in our family. The following are taken from emails I wrote to family and friends.

Day 21: Monday, August 20, 2012

Up before the sun broke the dawn. Vamoosed it out of Tahoe and meandered via HWY 49 to Yosemite National Park.

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Before reaching said park, we stopped first at Chucks for some hot cakes –I prefer pancakes, silly Americans… I keed, I keed – and then made our way to cute little Sierra County, CA. Woman at TI said we should go to Columbia State Historic Park to pay witness to the oldest and best conserved gold rush mining town. That we did. Very quaint and dusty, straight out of a Clint Eastwood movie. Bought a whack load of candy from Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen, handmade confections for four generations… Delicious. Tried the oldschool horehound variety of hard candy. Not so delicious, a little mentholy.

Pops sippin' a sarsaparilla

Pops sippin’ a sarsaparilla     

Old school bowling

Old school bowling

More meandering through desert mountain windy roads, zigzagging up a mountainside in the 100 degree weather.

zig-zagging!

Zig-zagging!

Twas hot. We stopped at Old Station and took a respite at a small restaurant (aka Priest Station Café) on the mountain that was once a motel and restaurant for travellers. If you ever see this place (see it here!), take into consideration how difficult it must have been to lug building supplies, food stuffs, etc., back in the donkey/horse riding era. Those pioneers were cray. A lot of this desert driving has reminded us of our time in Saudi. It’s always nice reminiscing.

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Made it to beautiful Yosemite. Saw a lot of deer: mule deer and maybe some white tail? And some BABIES. Love me some fawns. We dipped our toes in the Merced River and I made friends with a duck. As the afternoon sun started to make its descent we went for a casual walk to the Lower Yosemite Falls – the fifth highest waterfall in the world. Yosemite is also home to the seventh, this we did not see. Wasn’t that impressive, but I’m sure in spring and early summer, the amount of water that gushes down, would be more of a sight to see than the slightly-more-than-a-gentle-stream we witnessed.

Falls in the background

Drove out of the park at dusk, stopped to take one last picture of Yosemite’s Half Dome mountain with a pretty pink sky as its backdrop. Not bad.

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Found our way to Lee Vining, a few of the motels we stopped at were booked solid, but the El Mono was not. Very rustic, but a bed is all we needed. The night sky was glorious. Within seconds of star gazing I saw a shooting star. Can’t say that that ever happens in Toronto!

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