I moved to Reno, Nevada back in 2006, leaving my, then, 18 year old son back in Florida. Fast forward to 2014, he’s 26, handsome, happy, and the light of my life. I don’t spend enough time with him, so we’ve been going on trips together. Last year was a Backroads trip to Alaska, this year, a road trip from Reno to Yosemite, across California to Big Sur, up the coast to Carmel, Monterey Bay, San Francisco, Bodega Bay, Santa Rosa, and back to Reno. 1000 miles in 7 days.
I live at 6000 feet and thought I was a pretty strong hiker, until we started hiking. We headed up a mountain, and after about 10 minutes, I lost sight of him. ! “Buddy, wait for Momma!” He obligingly came back, and we hiked together for the rest of the trip. I know I was holding him back, but he was the perfect gentleman, never complaining, and using his IPhone to take better photos than I was with the Canon 5D Markiii. Ah, youth.
Our first hike was just past the East entrance into Yosemite, up to Gaylor Lake. We found the lake covered in melting snow in the middle of June.
Then we hiked The John Muir Mist Trail, which took about 4 hours, although we did stop quite a bit for Ray to use his IPhone. We stayed up late to try and capture photos of the Milky Way from Tunnel View, but gave up when the moon came out and started shining all over the mountains, dimming all the stars. I don’t think Ray wanted to stay up there until 11pm anyhow. On the way back to the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, we saw hikers scaling El Capitan, so I snagged a photo of that. Kinda like that one.
The next morning we left Yosemite to drive 3 hours to Big Sur, noticing giant stalks of Broccoli growing along the side of the road as we drove through farm country, commenting on the fact that the produce was hopefully not organic, cause if it was, we were all eating car fumes.
Big Sur was beautiful, although our first hotel was a little disappointing…no coffee !!!! And non in the lobby until 8am ! I’m up at 530am or earlier every day, and that just wasn’t working for me. Call me princess, I don’t care. Ray was upset because we didn’t have a TV, and the walls were paper thin. He kept commenting that we were going to get killed in the middle of the night. I was more worried about the hotel sliding down the side of the cliff! Needless to say, we were safe and lived to tell this tale.
In Carmel, we ate at the Dametra Cafe twice, (yes, it was that good !), and visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium on our way to San Francisco. Ray again outshined me with his IPhone. We did a little exploring in Jenner, above Bodega Bay, and got stuck in rush hour traffic twice, once just outside of San Francisco, and then again in Sacramento, driving 10 miles in two hours both times. We also did a wine and cheese pairing in Santa Clara, which we both thoroughly enjoyed. The best shot of that day was this lizard which Ray put to sleep after he captured him. They scurry off after you flip them back on their bellies.
I almost forgot our hike along the Big Sur coastline. I’ve seen McWay Falls before, so we skipped that, but this was a pretty amazing hike through the redwoods. We found a beautiful stream, and took what we thought was a spur road to a beautiful overlook. Turns out we were on the trial the entire time.
Back in Reno, I was really excited because we had two more days to Kayak, hike, standup paddle board, and fly fish!!! I asked Ray what he wanted to do first, and he told me, “All I want to do is workout at the gym, get massive, have you cook meatballs and fudge, and watch movies on TV”. I was surprised, but I realized that even though he was 26, he was still my little boy who missed his Momma, so we watched Darkman 1, 2 and 3, Hunger Games, and Ace Ventura. It was the best trip ever!