Oct 1/2, 2013
26.09.2013 - 13.10.2013
So this entry will encompass two days as...you may or may not know...the republicans forced the shut down of the government, closing, among other things, the National Parks. Our hostess in Coarsegold told us they were looking at having an emergency vote so we had hope that even tho one day was lost, we may be able to see Sequoias or King's Canyon the next day. That was not to be...so here is what we did end up doing. I feel really bad for what looked like thousands of people camping at Yosemite, and our hostess who said she was already having cancellations. I can't imagine planning to spend a week or more or even less at one of these National Parks only to have your vacation shut down. The disappointment would be crushing. I was kinda upset about the places we wanted to see and couldn't, as our chance of returning to California is fairly slim. We were just very lucky that we did get to see Yosemite.
Well, since we were in no hurry to get to our bed and breakfast in Lemon Cove (Plantation B&B - about a 2 hr drive away) we sat and chatted with Ginger for a few hours about anything and everything. I always like having time to chat with locals about animals, politics, things to see...very nice lady and had fun watching the hummingbirds at the feeder.
Around 11am, we decided to head into the town to pick up a Styrofoam cooler for our perishables and had lunch at Subway. Then off to Lemon Cove. Along the way, we came across a large shopping area and decided to stop in and check out Target and Kohl's and hit Best Buy so I could get an adaptor so I could listen to my ipod on the car stereo. I think we were on the fringes of Fresno. We arrived at our 'Gone With the Wind' themed B&B around supper time. The owner told us where we could find some food nearby, or to take a 15 min or so drive to the town of Exeter, pop approx 10,000. We wandered around the downtown where the claim to fame is some truly amazing murals painted on the buildings - there were a few dozen of them, very nicely done. We had supper at a diner - finally had a 'homemade' meal with mashed potatoes and a glass of milk...if I recall I had turkey and Darrin had a hot roast beef - it was HUGE! But so nice after what felt like days of French fries. Back to the B&B to await hopefully news that the parks were going to reopen...
...but it was not to be. I don't want to sound like a downer, but there is not much else to do in the area. We could have driven the hour or so back to Fresno, but that didn't interest us. We drove to the entrance of the park...and then attempted to drive to a hiking area our host told us about...not part of the park, but he failed to tell us it was down a really bumpy narrow dirt road - I was afraid that we were going to bottom out the car or have a tire pop...so after 15 min or so, we were able to turn around and crawl our way back (and he assured us he does this road in his little Mazda Miata?!). Back to Exeter to check out the murals in better light, visited a few shops, had lunch at a take out place, then we decided to drive to nearby Visalia. We parked and wandered what seemed to be the main street, in and out of a few shops, but we just couldn't get in the groove. Popped into a Walmart and found a pizza place - which was just OK, and very noisy. Back to the B&B to watch tv and curse the government.
I did want to mention the lovely breakfasts we had at the B&B. Morning 1, she made baked acorn squash (!?) with a spinach soufflé mixture in the middle of it...now mind you, Darrin wouldn't even try it (I told her not to bring him one). I'm not much more adventurous then hubby, but I thought...she went to all the trouble so I'm gonna try it (I have never in my life had squash). It wasn't bad - I ate about 3/4ths of it. It reminded me in texture of potatoes. They also had fresh squeezed oj, maple walnut muffins and this amazing homemade granola and yogurt. They sell a cookbook with all the recipes in it, but I cheated and snapped pics of the ones I liked (including the granola) with my ipad. Morning 2 was a potato and cheese frittata (along with the oj, granola and I'm not sure what it was - kinda like a cornbread type thing - very good with the homemade raspberry jam!). Darrin actually tried the frittata and ate half of it, I had about 2/3rds - it was very rich, and our breakfasts usually consist of juice and cereal.
Next day - back to the coast! At least they can't shut that down...