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Once Around The Sun

74153 km


This is it, the last leg of our American road trip. And what better way to end it like few days in Yosemite National Park...?! But first the legendary Death Valley, which bears its name for apparent reason, being that nothing can survive the temperature and extreme dry climate. By the time we got there it was early afternoon and with the setting sun we have experienced only about 50 degrees Celsius. Majka was boiling up instantly not really wanting to leave the failing air condition of Jupiter. For me it was thrilling. I can't lie, I've enjoyed it. The heat is not that bad if you make sure you drink enough. It's a dry heat, that I can bare. Not half as bad as sticky, humid London in summer time. On the other hand I've emptied a 2 litre bottle in a 25 minute walk...

It was apparent by the time that we need to make a quick move as the scheduled time of our visit to Yosemite happened to be the last weekend of the summer break. Last weekend of freedom for all the students before they hit the school desks again. The camps were already full and about to burst on Thursday midday. Thanks god we have found a free spot, not right in the valley but just a short drive away and it was actually much nicer and secluded than the ones right under El Capitan. Iryna, one digital friend who kept up with our journeys and whom we've met by half accident in Joshua Tree Park, have been suggesting a long but rewarding trip. She actually got the suggestion from Mark. The fellow that let us in to his home in Los Alamos if you remember. Beautiful trek indeed! Took us the whole day. First part was a 1km elevation that took us almost 2 hours. Very steep but the view is worth it. From there it was about 25km mostly downhill, but peppered with punishing climbs too. By the end of the day I've managed to get us lost once, so got a bit worried that we're not going to make it in daylight. We did manage. But got back to our campsite at dark to find out that someone has taken up our spot. Small red car and a tent next to it. Luckily the site was roomy enough for all of us so we've made some Colombian friends, Laura and Andrès. It was actually a very much welcomed company as we had a huge fight during the short drive from the valley. I was actually considering leaving Majka on the roadside, until she suggested it herself. That moment I've realised we've been living in each others pockets for a while now and it will pass... On our way out of Yosemite we have managed to pay a visit to Mariposa Grove, that is home to ancient and giant Sequoia trees, including the arch that has since collapsed a couple of months ago. Quite funky feeling for a tall guy to feel like a midget in that forest. Last night of the road trip came far too early for me, obviously Majka would disagree. The pick of campground was out of necessity rather than different reasons. Campgrounds were still bursting in seems. The one we found was full of kids revving their half sized KTM's and quad bikes. We have left early. Couldn't sleep for some reason... Early afternoon we have parted with Jupiter, the owner is a nice guy, didn't charge us too much for the extra mileage. All together Jupiter has clocked about 4780 miles. Not as much for 6 states as I've been expecting, but still a lot of hours behind the wheel.

I've treated Majka to a few nights in a nice AirBnB in Oakland, you know, because she deserved it. A few days later we took a flight to 'Big Apple'...


​© 2022 by JAN ROCKAR

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