11/28/18

My Travel Book - Shortcuts - Part II







Early June 2017, Swee’Pea flew from Boston to San Francisco to meet us there. We were to spend the next two weeks together in California.

You see, I always had this dream of driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles along the famous Route 1. SP had done it several times while he was living in California. I remember experiencing a disagreeable feeling of jealousy (to call things by their rightful name) while he was showing me his pictures. He wanted to share moments of beauty and happiness with me. But still it was hard on me. At the time, I did feel like I’d never be traveling again and all I was wishing for was to be able to move further and further away from the hospital.

Sometimes dreams come true. We did drive down Route 1, at least down the part that was still open because a few areas had been closed due to landslides. Which meant that we had to alter a few plans, all for the best.

Instead of driving down directly to L.A., we went to Lake Tahoe, another of my dreams. I had spent long evenings watching famous wakeboarders on Lake Tahoe when SP and his friends were trying to master the art of wakeboarding in Brittany. So, yes. Lake Tahoe was a great idea.

By the way, we spent two days there without even seeing one single wakeboarder on the lake. Spring had been very snowy. The lake was way too freezing cold and wakeboarders were still snowboarding on the mountains slopes above Lake Tahoe. 

From Lake Tahoe, we drove down to Yosemite National Park along Highway 88, most of the time that is, because the scenery was breathtaking. So many lakes and so much snow along the road. So many stops and so many pictures.





Highway 88 was splendid. Perfectly dry under the sun. And cars were very scarce.  Oohs and ahs of happpiness. We’d stop every few miles. The ice was breaking up over the lakes (Caples Lake, Silver Lake, Red Lake, I can’t name them all). And there was still tons of snow along the road.












Actually we were getting very close to the gateway to California Gold Fields which is called the Mormon-Carson Pass Emigrant Trail.



I don’t know why but I had the feeling that Swee’Pea was getting fidgety, sort of. He was the main driver and he had been driving for a long time… Oh oh, should we get ready for a shortcut? A road that would break the monotonousness… Some trail maybe…

There was a road on the right that would supposedly spare us at least two or three miles of that boring highway, he said. And off we turned to the right. 




Popeye and I were so shell-shocked that we kept silent. Silent? Speechless is the right term. That’s it. We totally lost the power of speech. I guess that even though SP was probably enjoying himself tremendously, he did not dare utter one single word. You see, there was this set of parents in the car and this road (was it a road?) was awfully narrow and cramped and endless and, and, and… 



Well, the road was not endless after all. In a way it could be, if you felt like walking to Route 88 on a snowy trail. Because the snowplow had obviously given up in the middle of nowhere. There was no network available but it was obvious that we were still quite far away from the exit on Highway 88.

"Shortcut", he said...

I bet you have no idea how they called this road or this whatsoever… “Tragedy Sorings Road” is its name and I am not even kidding. “Springs” because there is a spring somewhere deep below that thick layer of snow and “Tragedy” because three members of the Mormon Bataillon were found killed there in 1848.

We told Swee’Pea that he’d better get us out of there or… Or what? Sometimes one ends up feeling very dumb. So we found a way. The snowplow men had made sure there would be enough room for a car to turn around. There must be quite a few people like Swee'Pea after all! We did not have to push the car because it did not get stuck which did worry us for a while (the getting stuck, of course!). Trust a Kia! It took a few long minutes but the car ended up facing the right way to go back to civilization and to freedom and away from Tragedy Springs!




Swee’Pea was outrageously jubilant! “I knew it’d be fun!” So annoying not to be able to tell him curtly to get back in the car, “you stupid kid”! Because he’s not at all stupid and he’s no longer a kid either. Maybe mad as a hatter from time to time but also a lot of fun. 




I decided to walk for a while because you seldom get to walk between two high walls of snow, especially not in Brittany! And especially not on such a sunny and warm day!






And my preferred "shortcutter" kept on having fun until we got back onto Highway 88.




Once there, he finally set his mind on getting as soon as possible to this very improbable place called Ahwhanee, our door to Yosemite National Park.




There were no more shortcuts during this trip but a lot of driving around the landslides which probably made up for missed opportunities to drive off the beaten track.










*Good Night, and Good Luck*