The purpose of our road trip was to drop Christopher off in Davis for his sophomore year. He declined our offer of help in scaring up used items to furnish the house he’ll share with Francis, Evan, and Ryan, so we hightailed it out of town.
We observed that no one wears bike helmets or uses bike lights at night in Davis. I guess it’s that college town bubble of supposed invincibility. I refrained from hectoring Christopher about this.
We had a vague idea of spending Saturday and Sunday in San Francisco before heading home, but swerved at the last minute and drove to Yosemite. Great stop in Chinese Camp on the way.
We met 81-year-old Frank Yap, a retired physicist tooling around on his own in his Prius.
He told us about coming from Hong Kong at a young age, speaking the dialect called “hakka,” which means “wanderer,” and putting himself through Brandeis and Johns Hopkins.
Mike, the Kiwi owner of the market in Chinese Camp, recently bought a bucket of dirt for $20 from someone who swore there was gold in it. He found a fleck or two while we were there, but not the egg-sized nugget that David predicted.
The little garden area next to the market had multiple rules, suggesting that perhaps things get out of hand there. We weren’t making any trouble that day, nor were Frank Yap or the other travelers we met, a Welshman and two women on their way to their high school reunion.
This hut was one of several we saw in Chinese Camp that appeared abandoned.
Here is Yosemite (No) Falls, disconcerting and eerie. The spot where the falls normally rush and roar has gone completely dry.
We hiked up to Vernal Falls, which has slowed to a trickle. Seeing the dry falls and all the dry river and creek beds along the way made the drought more real than it has been.
One of the things we thought we’d do in San Francisco was swan around in some good restaurants. With all of us working so much these last few months, our dinners have been well, sketchy. Our food on the road to and from Yosemite wasn’t exactly five-star, but it made us laugh a lot. Sour milk in the coffee in one café; dry sourdough bread out of the bag on the trail; lousy red wine in a lodge, which we drank in blackness after a lightning strike blew out a transformer and plunged everything into the dark; purported sausage that may have been old hamburger with lots of spices to disguise the swap; and a few tacos that gleamed with grease. Not exactly the stuff of fine dining, but we enjoyed it nonetheless
Home today to sort through (unpleasant) email, get back to work, close the door to Christopher’s room so we don’t have to look at its emptiness, and appreciate all we have.