A quick trip through the regimented orchards of the San Joaquin Valley gave way to the foothills of the Sierra - and on this side they do have foothills, whereas in the east they just rear straight up, no messin'. If anyone knows the story behind this curious island:
You do not need to know the story behind this
|Arsehole woz 'ere|
What is lacking in the Sequoia National Forest, and King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks is, in any case, not bottled water but superlatives. Giant Sequoias may not be as tall as the coastal redwoods which mess with your satnav's head up Al'n'Alice's way but a height of more than eighty metres is still not to be sniffed at.
|The General Grant. It is Big.|
|I'm gonna drink ol' muddy water / sleep down in a hollow log...|
The only problem is that it's a dead end road, so you have to retrace your path and avoid getting stuck behind this:
Which, happily, I did. If you turn off CA-180 some eight miles before reaching the Grant Grove you can take a short-cut via Hume Lake, which is:
- nice to look at, but
- full of Christians
Not the lake itself, obv. I mean, they don't go there to practice walking on water or anything. And they don't like your exposed flesh either.
|We'll have no Impure Thoughts here...|
So just when you thought you'd seen enough Remarkable Trees to last until next year, Sequoia NP offers this:
|The General Sherman|
In terms of Frustration Engendered By Waiting At Roadworks it also rates highly, alas, since even dropping five minutes behind the crawling queue by stopping for a fag did not give a clear road for long. All this meant that the plans to go and muck about on some more mountain roads were scuppered, since it's a hundred and fifty-odd miles from the General Sherman to Tehachapi via the quickest route and it was already three o'clock. On the one hand the area seems to be in the shadow of Yosemite, which is practically next door, but on the other hand they're a lot quieter as a result.
Back through the orchards and onto CA-99, which is like the A1 in south Yorkshire except flatter and the trucks are 10 mph faster and yes, California does have an absolute maximum speed limit for trucks of 55 mph. Norty truckers. The last few miles from Bakersfield are all uphill and it rapidly became jolly freezing because:
- wind, and
- slow trucks climbing the mountain, and
- USAnian car manufacturers not having grasped that a convertible needs a truly volcanic heater
Bah! Tomorrow it's back into the desert with very little worth seeing en route unless I can get a decent picture of a sign saying "Barstow" this year.
- According to GY!BE drummer Aidan Girt, anyway
- Wildlife, mountains and, in one especially memorable case, a glacier.