Day OnePosted on September 3rd, 2007 after 1444 miles by Dean Croshere.
Perhaps it is because I drove through Yosemite Valley, but that was probably the quickest 10 hours of driving I've yet driven.
Yosemite is simply stunning. I got a lot of great footage and a lot of great photos. I didn't stop to talk to anyone though. It was labor day in the valley. Everyone seemed busy with kids and family and friends. I felt a little too alone to challenge anyone to wait and be interviewed. I hope to get over that soon.
I did make a few observations:
1. Don't go to Yosemite on labor day weekend unless you plan on leaving after labor day, leaving on the east side, or getting in line to leave on labor day and still leaving the next day.
I think I may have passed a couple hundred cars essentially parked trying to leave the valley. Luckily I left on the east side and had no delays whatsoever. Plus, I think the east side is looks better. You can avoid Yosemite’s ugly twin.
2. There is some park before you get to Yosemite Valley. I don't remember the name of it, just that the slogan was \"Land of a thousand uses\" or something like that. It really isn't important. The park was ugly.
The trees looked withered and crooked, but not in the interesting way that most east-central-California-valley trees do. They looked withered and crooked in a more, well, ugly way.
There was a nice valley on the other side of the trees, and valleys look good. Well, exception of this one. The far side of the valley looked like a giant slice of moldy jack cheese.
A national park can get away with being ugly. \"It has its charm,\" you can say. But when you take that same park and put it next to Yosemite Valley, you just get an ugly park that acts as a buffer zone to unabashed beauty much like the unattractive friend brought along so you can look better at a club.
3. There is a certain stench to the pass from the 120 down to the valley. It is rather sickening. It wafts away as you enter the valley, but it is still there contrasting the beautiful landscape with its stomach turning ranckness. Burning brake pads. Near 100 degree weather combined with steep twisting roads and other cars equals the horrid stench of burning brake pads. Drivers have no choice but to ride their brakes. The heat combined with this overuse of the instruments of negative acceleration produces a low hanging cloud that continues to emanate from our cars.
4. I still have no idea how to structure my videos. I’ve come up with a couple of ideas, but I usually end up changing my mind shortly after. I’ve interviewed a few great people at beaches near Bodega Bay, shot myself while driving, shot myself in some scenery and shot some scenery by itself for later narration.
I’ll probably go with the scenery+narration plan, but I’m not ready to put anything online until I get better ideas and more footage.
Also, I need a better tripod.
5. I’m staying tonight at fraternity brother’s house. I am quite impressed by the implicit trust that spans 40 years by simply being a brother of the same Fraternity. I only had to give him a call, tell him I was on a road trip, when I would be there, and he set up an air mattress, a room for me to stay, and told me to make myself at home. I’m sitting here now writing this post. (Note that I falsified the location by a few blocks so as to not point directly to his house).
Here is to a great first day road tripping, and to many more to come.