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Day 163 – Yosemite and travel through South Lake Tahoe to Reno, May 9, 2011

Petey and I took an early morning walk in a light drizzle across Stoneman Bridge, past The Ahwahnee Hotel, and to the Royal Arch Cascade and Royal Arches.  It was nice, but quick as we had a long day of travel ahead of us.  Three of the roads to 395, including Tioga Road through the park, were closed for the winter.  We had to exit via the Northwest entry point on 120, turn north up 49, then take 88 and 89 over two passes to finally hit 50 in South Lake Tahoe.

As I exited Yosemite, I snapped one last photo of the valley with the clouds hanging low overhead, then VANilla carried us through rain, sleet and snow as we wound through the Sierra Nevada Mountains along with several other travelers behind three semi’s that seemed to ignore the “slow traffic use turnout” signs posted every few miles; past frozen, snow covered lakes; snow dusted trees; and avalanche areas where no parking, stopping, or pedestrians were allowed to travel.

The weather quickly determined how long I would admire Lake Tahoe.  I waved at it as I passed through the tunnel carved into Cave Rock, a granite outcropping that juts into the lake.  I have been to Lake Tahoe once before, so I didn’t feel like I was missing out.

We continued on to Reno where we spent from three to five-thirty at Firestone

snow storm

and VANilla took cover from the ensuing hail storm.  VANilla’s brakes, despite the squealing, “look perfect” and VANilla has fresh oil to help it venture another 5,000 miles.  We’ve logged over 30,000 miles on our adventures since last September.  After our maintenance stop, we found a Wal-Mart and called it the day, until were politely asked to move.  The city ordinance doesn’t allow overnight parking at Wal-Mart.  We went to another 5 miles down the way.  ETB

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