Monday, August 22, 2011

Days 14 and 15

8/21-22/11  Another twofer post.  Last night we got to the hotel late and there just wasn't time or energy to write a blog.  So, I'll cover two days in this post.

We got up and took our time in getting ready to leave the hotel.  When we left, we rode over to our lunch place, the Mona Lisa restaurant, near Chinatown. Since we had some time on our hands before the restaurant opened, we walked into Chinatown to see the sights.  I had never been there, so it was a real eye-opener.

There was a mass of people in the area--mostly Oriental, but a mix of all of humanity was present.  The sidewalks were filled with people. 

Foods for sale ranged from fresh fruit to live fish to dried shrimp.  And everything else you can imagine, and some that you would not begin to think about, like cow stomachs.  Ugh!  I got nauseous just looking at some of the things.  Peking duck, raw and cooked chickens, whole and in pieces.  Some kind of small bird, whole and feathers plucked.  We saw live fish being taken from fish tanks on a truck  being sold to a fish market.  Talk about fresh; it doesn't get any fresher than those fish!

And the aromas on the street.  Some were somewhat pleasant, but many were awful.  Think fish market combined with cow paddiy--and worse.  It was a real treat to see all of what was going on.  Gary and I were in agreement that the health department cannot have been present to inspect the places; they were very rough.

At 11 we walked back to the Mona Lisa, an old and famous Italian restaurant.  I ordered lasagna, and was served one of the top 3 lasagna dishes I've ever had.  It was traditional, red sauce with beef and cheeses.  What made this one delightfully different is that the meat sauce included chunks of beef, cooked to a great taste.  It also had ground beef, but the chunks really made it different and delicious.  I ate all of it!  If in San Francisco again, I'm going back!

After lunch, we got on the bikes and headed homeward.  We wanted to see Yosemite National Park, so we headed to it.  About 4 hours later we were there.

Time was getting short, so we had time only to ride through the park.  We didn't even get off the bikes.  But we saw a lot.  The most striking feature, to me, was the huge rock faces.  Whole mountains of solid rock.  I've not seen a place like this, where a mountain is clearly one huge boulder.  And waterfalls; very beautiful.  And big trees.  It is beautiful, and next trip to California will allow some time to see things in Yosemite.

It was getting late, and we needed to be moving on, so we got on Hwy 120 that runs some 65 miles through the park.  Just as we got moving, traffic stopped.  For about an hour!  Seems that there was some kind of auto accident that had the only road through the park blocked.  So we waited it out.  Once rolling again, we had many miles to go, and darkness was occurring.  By the time we got out of the park, it was black night, a time that we try hard not to ride in.  But we had no option.

Once out of the park, we rode to the town of Lee Vinnies to find a hotel.  Unfortunately, all were full.  So, we made some calls and secured a motel some 30 miles away.  The ride to the motel was tense; pitch black and unfamiliar roads.  But we got in safely.  Checked in the hotel, had a quick dinner, and called it a night.

Today, we left Mammoth Lakes and headed east.  We found some smaller roads and rode for hours along miles and miles of nothing but sagebrush and small undergrowth.  One road we were on went for 76 miles, and in those 76 miles, there was one abandoned house.  Nothing else.  No buildings.  No businesses.  Nothing but sagebrush!  I'd guess that of the 536 miles covered today, 450 of them were in the middle of nowhere.  No traffic (maybe a car every half hour or so), nothing but sagebrush.

We are staying in Richfield, UT tonight.  It's a little town along I-70 where I had some bike repairs made on our first trip out west in 2007.  Actually had dinner at the same place we ate at on that trip.  It was good both times.

Tonight we're washing clothes--probably the last time we'll have to do that on this trip.  A necessary evil.  But it will be good to have clean clothes again.

Tomorrow, head east towards Denver.  We plan to ride some roads southwest of Denver where there are a number of high mountain passes.  Should be fun...

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Malcolm. Awesome pictures. That is one ugly looking demon fish!!! UGH!