29-May-2002 -- I arrived in California late last night, much later than intended. I had a layover in Dallas, no problem with that, but when they came to load the meals onto the plane, the guy driving the truck crashed into the plane! They had to identify the damage, locate a spare, get it brought over and then fit it.
I am staying with my colleague who lives in the Fresno area (Hernden exit of 99). I told him about this confluence to which the reply was "oh yes, know it quite well, lovely area, take you about 45 minutes to get there". A quick check of the watch showed that it was possible, about 38 miles from his house - as the crow flies....
....but not unfortunately as the car drives. I set off up 41N to the Friant exit and basically just followed my nose as it were. Setting waypoints at each road junction.
Now as I said, it was maybe 38 miles in a straight line, but of course here you are heading way out into the mountains and it quickly gets both steep and very winding.
Past the 2000 feet marker, then the 3000 feet marker followed by 4000, 5000 and 6000. Hmmmm the GPS suggests that I still have 25 miles to go and I've already driven over 30! By this time of course the sun is begining to go down.
Now the sensible thing would be to call it quits and turn back, but having come 99% of the way (counting from home) seems a shame to quit. On I drove. The roads here are twisty bends punctuated by the odd straight of 100-200 yards.
I saw some lovely sights, but couldn't spare the time to stop and photograph them (maybe next time). I eventually passed through McKinley Grove; almost there. Turning off onto the small trail I got about 300 yards more before the trail was blocked by large boulders.
Out of the car and jog along the trail/through the woods. After about 30 seconds of which I was gasping for breath - forgot about the altitude, the GPS shows I'm above 7000 feet.
The last visit was when SA was still on; my GPS showed the actual CP to be just under the edge of a large canopy of mature trees; by this time it was almost dark.
I had to enhance the Looking North (Pic 1) shot, the white flecks are either fireflies or the limitations of the digital camera!
The view in all other directions was pretty much the same. I had to turn on the backlight to get the GPS shots (Pic 2). I normally turn in many more photos than this but by this time it had gone completely dark.
I made my way back to the car and set off back; boy was I glad that I had waypointed all the junctions. Looks quite different in the dark (all the same!).
So how far was it as driven - 81 miles and 100 minutes.