Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Jun 2012: Day 23 – Fresno to Sequoia National Park to Bakersfield
on Tue 26 Jun 2012
Story: Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Jun 2012
Tags: Auto Tree | Bakersfield | Fresno | General Sherman | Hilton | Moro Rock | Mustang | Olive Garden | Sequoia National Park | Starbucks
Another exciting day in mid West USA saw us leave Fresno at 72f at 8am and head to Sequoia National Park.
We had an ok night – unfortunately we were put next to the fitness centre and we were woken at 5am by some geezer running on the treadmill! I wish I could say that we were waking at that hour anyway and we were second into the fitness centre, but alas I would be lying.
Breakfast was ok at the Doubletree and we were on our way [after I was allowed 30 minutes of Wimbledon] with the top down. It soon got cold though – down to 55f and Vick had to get her jumper on – in fact it wasn’t long before I succumbed as well. And we were pleased to arrive at the visitors’ centre to find that they served coffee!
We stopped off at the General Sherman tree which is the world’s largest living thing (it’s got a massive girth)! But let’s face it, it’s just a tree – a big one, I’ll give it that, but a tree all the same.
Over lunch we sat near some American guys who were having a laugh about people pronouncing things wrongly, especially the English! So we waded into the banter with shouts of ‘sidewalk!’ and ‘faucet!’ and ended up having a great chat with them where we agreed they could borrow our language but they should stop messing with it.
We also stopped off at the Auto Tree which used to allow cars to drive on to it, but it’s started to decompose and they have stopped that now. However interesting sight.
Last stop was the Moro Rock – a massive piece of granite which we walked up (steep steps), and there were some amazing views from the top. You could see for 360 degrees around, standing on the top of this peice of granite with a walkway about 4 feet wide. Luckily there were railings! Some people have apparently slid off this rock since the sides are so smooth. With a sheer drop each side of 6,500 feet, you wouldn’t stand a chance.
We then headed out the south exit which was affected by road construction, so we could only travel out on the hour. It was a slow drive for the first 30 miles or so, then we hit Visalia where we stopped for a Starbucks pep up which comprised our normal drinks, a peach/raspberry yoghurt parfait and 3 cherry pies (Vick is a pig isn’t she? [Nige ate most of it, and this after a ‘chilli dawg’ and chips at lunchtime]).
Bakersfield is a stop over on the way to Las Vegas, but it looks nice enough. We like the set up in Hilton Garden Inns – they are less formal than Hilton’s but a little better appointed than DoubleTrees and Homewood Suites. The breakfast is better as well. Once we had checked in we went down for a swim, which disappointingly was indoors – not very big, fairly cloudy water and so 20 lengths didn’t take very long!
We saw an advert on TV for the Olive Garden – $25 dinner for two, so we thought we would see what the crack was. When we got there it was packed – we waited about 30 min for a table; whilst we waited we got a drink at the bar: a pint and a glass of wine cost $15 (including a tip).
As for the food, how they make any money on the food is beyond me. Everyone had come for this deal: bottomless salad or soup (which was gotgeous by the way), endless bread, and that was before the actual food we ordered as a starter and main course. For starters we had bruchetta and fried zuchinni which were both nice (but ultimately unnecessary). For mains we both had pasta based dishes which were both good. Total cost $25 – unbelievably good value for money.
Anyway, off to bed we went, looking forward to our trip to Las Vegas tomorrow.
Stats for Day 23: 240 miles.
Plan for tomorrow is to head to Las Vegas.
Follow the whole story here: Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Jun 2012