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Unread 8 Jul 07, 08:09 PM  
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Join Date: Nov 03
Way Out West with the Rowes - Day Twelve The Longest Journey

Sorry no photos today - too busy driving to stop and take any!

Me (Jacqui) age 41 Trip Advisor Fiend
Mark (DH) age 39 Money Man
Gemma age 6 Not bothered about the planning, lets DO it!

Wednesday 15th November 2006

This was always going to be a bit of dull day especially for Gemma. When we were planning the trip, we originally planned to do Yosemite during the first week. However, because of the Veterans Day holiday, we had to change the plans to avoid the crowds. Hence we found ourselves faced with one day that was purely for driving from one place to the next and this was the day. From Anaheim to Mariposa where we had booked to stay that night was 320 miles. Steve had advised Mark not to bother trying to get through LA until after 10.00 am so we followed this advice. We decided to have an IHOP breakfast so that we wouldnt need to eat for quite a while they typically have that effect. The meal was a great as ever. We left Anaheim at 10.30 am with Mark at the wheel. The traffic was really heavy to Downtown LA and it took us about an hour to clear LA on the I5.

We drove up through the mountains above LA which was a very spectacular drive. For such a long journey we decided to give Gemma some of her knockout anti-sickness pills and she slept for over 1 hours. When she woke up we stopped for coffee and cakes in a Starbucks in the middle of nowhere. Wed actually got off the freeway as we saw a Wal-Mart sign but it appeared that it hadnt yet been built. There were a few shops including the Starbucks and a huge building site!

I took over the driving and the aim was to drive to Fresno and find some shops to look around preferably Target or Wal-Mart obviously. Eventually we got off the freeway at what looked like a likely junction but no Wal-Mart was to be found. In the end we stopped at a place called the Manchester Shopping Centre so that we could stretch our legs and have a break from travelling. We found a shop that sold NFL clothing and I got myself a great 49ers t-shirt for only $5. Gemma had a ride on the carousel and then we went to the Red Robin burger restaurant for something to eat. Wed never come across one of these restaurants before but I would definitely recommend them if they are as good as this branch. Mark and I had the Gourmet Burger (with cheese, garlic mushrooms and fried onions) and Gemma had a childs chicken strips. All the meals came with all you can eat steak fries (which were lovely) but we didnt need a second portion as there was loads to eat.

After eating, Mark took over the driving again and lo and behold two junctions up the freeway we saw a Wal-Mart with a Target at the following junction! Still we wouldnt have discovered the Red Robin if we hadnt stopped when we did.

As an asidethe roads around Fresno have some really interesting names two we saw were the Pearl Harbour Survivors Memorial Highway and the Veterans of Various USA Wars Overseas Highway catchy little names arent they? It makes you wonder what the locals call them for short.

As a further aside let me tell you the saga of where to stay before going into YosemiteOur original plan was to stay the night in Mariposa and then travel into Yosemite along the highway 140 (ironically called the Yosemite All Year Highway) the following morning. Way back in the planning stages of the trip we booked the Mariposa Inn as the place to stay. Shortly before we travelled we found out that there had been a massive landslide on the road between Mariposa and Yosemite and that the road was now closed. So it was all change and we cancelled the night at the Mariposa Lodge and instead booked the Best Western Inn in Oakhurst with a view to going into Yosemite from the south via the 41. We did consider scrapping the idea of staying in the park at one point as the route out would have been via Oakhurst again and this would have meant a very long journey back to San Francisco. However just before the holiday we found that the route from Mariposa to Yosemite was now back open albeit via a temporary bridge around the landslide. So it was back to plan A and the Best Western in Oakhurst was cancelled and the Mariposa Lodge rebooked. I hope I havent lost anyone there will be a test at the end!

Anyway back on route to Mariposa. We drove up the Highway 41 to Oakhurst then on the 49 to Mariposa Gemma was watching her DVD player and Mark and I were listening to the Ricky Gervais Podcasts via the MP3 transmitter we bought in LA. These were hilarious and made the time fly past. When we arrived in Mariposa it was dark and we stumbled across the Mariposa Lodge by accident. Wed come to a t-junction with no road signs whatsoever and we just guessed at turning right and just after we turned we came across the Mariposa Lodge on our right. We checked into the hotel, dropped our luggage and then drove in the dark to try to find somewhere to get some snacks. Mariposa is the original one horse town like in a western movie but we managed to find a small general store and bought some Pringles, chocolate, juice and beer to keep us going. We headed back to the hotel, all had showers, watched TV and got to bed early as we were very tired and were getting up early the next day (the alarm was set for 6.30am) to maximise our time in the park. And so to bed at the end of a VERY long day

Tips for the day:

If youre looking for a Wal-Mart/Target in Fresno they are in the north of the city!

When staying at the Mariposa Lodge and travelling from Oakhurst, youll need to turn right at the t-junction with no signs!
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1992(Honeymoon)&1993 Quality Inn International; 1995, 1997, 2006 and 2009 West Coast; 1996 & 1999 Comfort Inn LBV; 2004 Indian Ridge; 2005 & 2011 Regal Palms; 2007 & 2010 The Manors at West Haven; 2008 Sunridge Woods; 2012 Boston and New York 2013 Sandy Ridge 2014 Colorado/Utah/Vegas 2015 Manors North at West Haven 2016 LV/SF/YOSEMITE 2017 Canada 2017 Indian Ridge Oaks
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Unread 9 Jul 07, 09:32 AM  
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wow thats a long driving day but it sounds fantastic a total change from 2 weeks in disney
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Unread 9 Jul 07, 11:56 AM  
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Ah Fresno... brings back memories.

We had to completely change our travel plans from Yosemite when Scenic Airlines decided to cancel their flight from Merced to Las Vegas at the last minute.

We had to therefore get a coach from Yosemite to Merced, an Amtrak train from Merced to Fresno, a taxi from Fresno train station to the airport, where we had booked (at the last minute) a car rental in terminal which we would use to drive to Las Vegas.

6 hrs after picking the car up in Fresno we made it to Vegas.

Fresno therefore holds a small place in our hearts... the people were just so friendly there...
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Unread 11 Aug 07, 09:31 PM  
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Lol at the street names I bet you were all exhausted after your long drive.
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Unread 11 Aug 07, 09:31 PM  
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This thread has been automatically closed as it has not been posted on in 365 days.
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