Pinnacle National Park

Very pretty… And very random set of rocks.  Very out of place in Cali.  Kind of like stuff you’d see in New Mexico and Utah, but in a much smaller scale?  Still cool though.

Best part is the verticals… Steep enough that even I wanted to use the handholds and go down backwards.  Would love to do it again and check out the Balcony caves…

Alouette Lake Hike

Some real hiking. Vancouver style – rain, muck and snow.  Fallen logs and ladders.  Awesome hike.

Muir Woods Hike

Back way in… got totally lost and didn’t hike any of the route we wanted, but still a great day.

Road Trip to Yosemite Part 2

Another slow start… Didn’t leave the place until after noon.   It was our last day and had to clean up after ourselves.  Too bad, should have spent more time there!

But we did get into the valley and did a quick walk to Bridal Veil and then over to do Yosemite falls.  It was awesome!   Wish we had more time to be able to do a more complete hike.  Will have to save it for next time!

Road trip to Yosemite Part 1- Mariposa Grove

Like all trips, planning was ambitious.  We wanted to leave early and grab a bunch of things on our way south.  It largely went to plan, but probably more pain than necessary.

First, leaving work at all was difficult.  After a week of iOS training, I wanted to get a feature launched or dark launched before the weekend. But even after much scrambling, we just had to call it off.  But it did mean the original plan to leave the South Bay was delayed.  Did manage to pick everyone up, swing by to pick up boerewors sausage and get groceries in Gilroy and make it to the AirBnB by 10.  Late, but was a pretty awesome pad.  Hung out and chilled for a few hours before calling it a night.

Next morning, I woke up ridiculously early as usual and proceeded to make breakfast for everyone.   Annoyed the poor guy sleeping in the living room closest to the kitchen a little bit, but it was worth it to wake everyone up with actual food.  Marshmallow French Toast with bacon!   Delicious.   Was also able to pack up lunch for everyone.

Getting out the door was a bit rough.  Unfortunately with only a single car, it meant everyone had to be ready at the same time.  Never easy… But we did get out the door a little after noon on and make it to Mariposa Grove for a bit of a hike.  It was a short hike 2.5miles… We figured we’d be done in an hour or so…

But snow!  And pictures!   So the hike took a lot longer than planned.  But it was a ton of fun!

But by the time we made it into the valley, the Visitor’s Centre was closed.  They were still kind enough to open the door to let me stamp my passport.

Back to Oakhurst to pick up groceries for dinner and lunch the next day.   Group dinner of Rack of Lamb and roast veggies!  Delicious…  Then hot tub and smores.  It was an amazing night!



Geared up Border Crossing Run

With less than a week to go, I thought it would be a good idea to swing down through the US with my bike geared up for the trip. I’m realizing that if I want to load GPS tracks and videos, I need to build the habits ASAP so I’m not starting/stopping to just get the GoPro and my GPS turned on. This also gave me a great excuse to try and sort out my US phone plan/SIM card situation and pay a visit to REI to use up my dividend & 20% discount coupon.

1:30pm: I had forgotten about some errands that needed to be done before Saturday – so this trip ended up starting much later than I had intended. Border crossing at Pacific Crossing was relatively uneventful – guard asked me why I was carrying so much gear for an afternoon at Blaine and wished me the best of luck on my trip. Continued on my way

2:30pm: Not having dinner and seeing a Jack in the Box had me hooked. Sourdough Jack Combo! Yummy, although less heavy than I remembered. Not sure if this is a good thing or not. Hopefully it’s because the portions are more reasonable and not that I’m just used to greasier portions…

But I did leave my key in the top case, didn’t bring my notebook for the restaurant, then forgot to turn on the camera when leaving. I did try turning on the camera while moving, but that didn’t work. Practice makes perfect!

3:40pm: Arrive at Walmart after some detours. Some brief reading online suggested I get a StraightTalk plan. No sim cards, quick chat with counter people suggested mixed results of swapping the SIM card out of their W418g phones. I buy it anyway and go sit at McD’s to mooch off their wifi and try to get the phone set up. No luck, and after an hour, I decide to sort it out another day and go to REI.

4:40pm: REI – They have an annual sale! So my 20% coupon wasn’t actually that useful. Pick up a ground sheet for a tent that has similar dimensions as my Tarn3, some spiffy underwear and a full price Grunge Brush just to use up my coupon.

7:42pm: Back to NVan. Border crossing was equally simple. No cars at all in my line and I barely got my helmet off before the guard waved me through.

Unfortunately, the trip wasn’t a total success. It looks like the W418g SIM is device locked… And the phone itself is locked to the SIM. Can’t actually use the phone for anything… Will have to return it and attempt to order a SIM from them directly.