Friday, September 26, 1997
Woke up way too early! We had set the alarm for about a quarter after five and stumbled out of the tent while it was still dark. I was pretty cold in my sweats, but the bear-man across the way was tending an illegal campfire with his shirt off. After fifteen minutes, my temporary bed and house were in the trunk of the car and I could almost focus my eyes. I took my last good look to see if I could spot a bear, but I had no luck. The sky was crystal clear and the stars of my favorite constellation, Orion, were clearly visible above Glacier Point.
After a quick double check, the car was completely packed and we left the campsite for Curry Village. I figured that the shower house would be dead but this place was busier than I thought. Jen and I slipped our money under the crack in the closed cashier's window and headed for the showers. This time I wanted some soap, so I chose a different stall. Once the water was running and the temperature warm enough, I jumped in, only to realize that the soap container only really contained water. So I washed with my shampoo for the second day in a row. Afterwards, as I was brushing my teeth, a French woman entered the bathroom and went calling after her husband. I found out from Jen later that the husband had done the same thing in the women's showers a few minutes earlier.
The four hour drive back to San Francisco was relatively uneventful, winding our way down the mountains and into the valley, back through Merced. Then it was on to Modesto, where we spent some time in the morning rush hour and passed a nice traffic accident where the car had spun around and was pointing the wrong way on the freeway. We saw hundreds and hundreds of modern windmills while driving through the Altamont Hills toward Hayward. Most of the windmills looked like giant three-blade airplane propellers mounted on tall poles, but a few were shaped like upside-down hand-mixer spindles.
We returned to the San Francisco airport to catch a long but uneventful flight back to Columbus. It was back to the grind which provides us with the means to take these incredible trips. Someday we hope to figure out how we can spend more time travelling and less time working.
After you've been there, it's easy to see why California is the most populous state. There is so much variety. Mountains and oceans and beautiful cities in stark contrast to Ohio's flat lands and gray cities. And there is so much to see. We saw a lot, but missed a million other things, so we'll definitely have to go back someday. Unfortunately, supply and demand for a great place to live makes California's cities crowded and expensive. Like most places these days, open space is being consumed by roads and buildings and pollution. California deserves to be taken care of, so play nice whether you're visiting or living there!
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