Buckingham – we leave late this morning, probably the latest so far, but Mark is not concerned because it’s only a short haul.  I of course get nervous as my stuff is always the last to get loaded.  Why do they have to keep moving just when I’m getting comfortable, even slowly putting up with the little neurotic chiweiner.

We enter the maze of South Bay area traffic and head south then east on wide freeways.   The sky is big here.   It is not until we hit Merced out of the Central Valley that we enter the more hilly country and single carriage roads.   Lisa has a fascination with cows and is forever taking pictures of these distant creatures on the hillside.

Lunch, for them, is in the town of Mariposa where they head for the local Chinese restaurant for noodles and ribs.   Some errant advice from the tourist office warns us that this will be the last gas stop before the park, so we fill up at the most expensive price for the trip so far.   It turns out that there are other gas stations in the park!

We arrive at our home for the next two days just outside the National Park – The Yosemite Rustic Bug Resort – Lisa is suspicious of the cabins perched on the hillside and is wary of the backpacker look of the place.   We check in and the cabin is freezing so we turn the heating up, then they take me for my required constitutional along the banks of the Merced river in the sun and a good place for a fresh mountain water drink. We meet a real live gold digger who is panning the river, although he will never become rich from this hobby he proudly shows us the profits of his efforts.   Lisa tries her hand but just comes up with the fools variety.

We return to The Bug and find the cabin toasty, so we will be as snug as a few bugs tonight.

Dinner, for them, is a lively affair at The Bug cafe, food is surprisingly OK and the communal room is full of hikers and climbers.   Music ain’t bad either.  Mark drinks his two alcoholic varieties so it will be snoring surround sound for Lisa tonight.

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