Friday, January 2, 2015

Road Trippin’
with Steve McCarthy

The Yosemite Sam Memorial Trophy Dash

The single most spectacular place in California, if not the western United States is without a doubt, Yosemite. I’m rather ashamed I haven’t suggested a Road Trip there. Until now. There are so many ways to get there, and so many possibilities, maybe I was just intimidated.
One way, would be to get yourself up Hwy 395 and at Lee Vining, head over the Tioga Pass. That has limitations. First, as the highest mountain pass in California, it’s a challenge all on it’s own. Second, it’s not open until at least June 1. If it’s been a heavy winter, later. It closes before the first snowfall, so timing is limited. That means too that you have to drive yer Auld Crate on 395 in the summer. Not always pleasant for car OR driver.
When you look at it, especially if you’ve never been to Yosemite, there is only one REAL way to enter the park. That’s by way of Inspiration Point. You drive through this long tunnel, and then, suddenly, Angels Sing Halleluyahs and there is a full color, full size Ansel Adams picture in front of you. If there are no tears in your eyes, you are a hopeless curmudegon. Turn around, go home, you are not worthy!

Naturally, for most mundane trippers, it’s up over the Grapevine, then up 99 and turn right. Boring. We of course want to take a more interesting route. Day One covers familiar territory. It’s not much different from the Journey to the Center of the Earth we did a couple of years ago. Instead of Visalia, this time we’ll stop a little closer to Yosemite in the town of Reedly. There are several motels available, and some good restaurants in the Old Town.
Naturally, Spring is the best time to do this drive, but be prepared! First, there is some mountain climbing invoolved. Well, a LOT of mountain climbing. That means cooling systems must be in good shape. The later in the spring you go, the hotter it will get. Summer can be quite warm. The other possibility is a late spring snow storm, so watch the weather! Summer is also a bad time because the place is CRAWLING with visitors. That means that traffic is difficult at best. Another problem is forest fires. They can close the roads and create all manner of issues. Check the news and the CHP traffic alerts for the area. As usual, carry a good map. Sometimes, GPS will not help you.
One of the highlights of Day One is the drive up San Fancisquito Canyon. Look for evidence of the Dam Disaster that almost wiped out Fillmore, Santa Paula, and Ventura! Other than that, this is a spectacular drive, so bring a camera, a picnic lunch and Enjoy!
The Yosemite Sam Memorial Trophy Dash

Day One

Eggs 'N' Things
27560 Newhall Ranch Road #301
Valencia, CA 91355

1. Head northwest on Newhall Ranch Rd toward Dickason Dr 0.8 mi
2. Turn right onto Copper Hill Dr 2.8 mi
3. Turn left onto San Francisquito Canyon Rd 6.0 mi
4. Turn right to stay on San Francisquito Canyon Rd 13.1 mi
5. Turn left onto Elizabeth Lake Rd 0.8 mi
6. Turn right onto Johnson Rd 3.2 mi
7. Continue onto 110th St W 7.7 mi
8. Turn right onto CA-138 E 2.0 mi
9. Turn left onto 90th St W 12.1 mi
10. Continue onto Tehachapi Willow Springs Rd 14.8 mi
11. Turn left onto Rte 58/E Tehachapi Blvd 2.7 mi
66.0 mi – about 1 hour 23 mins

Apple Shed Inc
333 East Tehachapi Boulevard
Tehachapi, CA 93561
A good place for a late breakfast!

12. Head west on E Tehachapi Blvd toward S Davis St 1.4 mi
13. Continue straight onto Red Apple Ave 0.8 mi
14. Turn right onto Westwood Blvd 1.4 mi
15. Turn right onto Woodford-Tehachapi Rd 8.2 mi
16. Slight left to stay on Woodford-Tehachapi Rd 0.6 mi
17. Turn left toward CA-58 W 121 ft
18. Turn right to merge onto CA-58 W 5.0 mi
19. Turn right onto Bealville Rd (signs for Caliente) 2.0 mi
20. Turn left onto Caliente Bodfish Rd 4.6 mi
21. Slight right onto Bena Rd 10.1 mi
22. Continue onto Edison Hwy 2.1 mi
23. Turn right onto Comanche Dr 4.9 mi
24. Continue onto Alfred Harrell Hwy 5.5 mi
25. Alfred Harrell Hwy turns right and becomes River Rd 397 ft
26. Turn left to stay on River Rd 0.3 mi
27. Continue onto Alfred Harrell Hwy 3.4 mi
28. Take the ramp to Oildale (LOOK SHARP-IT’S A SMALL SIGN!) 0.2 mi
29. Merge onto Alfred Harrell Hwy 0.4 mi
30. Merge onto China Grade Loop 0.5 mi
Turn left to stay on China Grade Loop 2.5 mi
32. Turn right onto Manor St 1.3 mi
33. Turn right onto N Chester Ave 0.5 mi
34. Turn right onto N Chester Ave/S Granite Rd 0.2 mi
35. Continue onto N Chester Ave Ext 1.1 mi
36. Turn right onto Bakersfield-Glennville Rd/Granite Rd
Continue to follow Granite Rd 12.4 mi
37. Slight left onto Woody Rd 2.2 mi
38. Continue onto Bakersfield-Glennville Rd 6.7 mi
39. Continue onto Woody Rd 2.4 mi
80.7 mi – about 2 hours 19 mins
Woody, CA There’s not much there, just a check point to keep on track.
40. Head north on Woody Rd toward CA-155 E 131 ft
41. Slight right onto CA-155 E 8.6 mi
42. Slight left onto Jack Ranch Rd 0.7 mi
43. Slight right onto White River Rd 112 ft
44. Slight left onto Jack Ranch Rd 4.7 mi
45. Turn left onto M-3 2.5 mi
46. Continue onto White River Rd 3.5 mi
47. Continue onto Mountain Rd 109 0.4 mi
48. Continue onto Mt Rd 109/Old Stage Rd/Old Stage Coach Rd
Continue to follow Old Stage Rd/Old Stage Coach Rd 18.3 mi
49. Merge onto Rd 264 0.8 mi
50. Continue onto Ave 116 1.3 mi
51. Continue straight 0.2 mi
52. Merge onto Rd 252/S Plano St 3.3 mi
53. Turn right onto CA-190 E/E Poplar Ave
Continue to follow CA-190 E 14.7 mi
54. Turn right onto Tule River Dr 72 ft
59.1 mi – about 1 hour 32 mins
Springville, CA
Good Eats here, try the Hamburger Stand
35684 California 190, Springville, CA
(559) 539-2943

55. Head northwest on Tule River Dr toward CA-190 E 72 ft
56. Turn right at the 1st cross street onto CA-190 E 0.9 mi
57. Turn left onto Balch Park Rd/Springville-Milo Rd 6.1 mi
58. Turn left onto M-296/Yokohl Valley Dr 22.6 mi
59. Turn right onto CA-198 E/Sierra Dr 6.1 mi
60. Turn left onto CA-216 W 7.5 mi
61. Continue straight onto Ave 344 2.7 mi
62. Turn right onto Rd 172 5.0 mi
63. Turn left onto CA-201 W/Avenue 384
Continue to follow Avenue 384 11.5 mi
64. Turn right onto Rd 80 3.0 mi
Turn left onto Avenue 408/W Kamm Ave 3.0 mi
66. Turn right onto Rd 56 3.0 mi
67. Continue onto S Frankwood Ave 1.0 mi
68. Turn right onto E Dinuba Ave 315 ft
69. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto I St 1.1 mi
70. Continue onto W Manning Ave 0.8 mi
71. Make a U-turn at S Rio Vista Ave
Destination will be on the right 0.4 mi
74.7 mi – about 1 hour 54 mins

Edgewater Inn Reedley
1977 West Manning Avenue
Reedley, CA 93654