Up and out before 0600, hurrah! A quick fuel stop and we’re on the road …. Well mostly, we need to stop again briefly to clean the inside windscreen so we can actually see where we’re driving 😉
All settled in and satnav programmed we make good time, arriving at the park just after 1000. Its a really smelly ride though as we have to drive through Gilroy – California’s main garlic producer! 1st thing in the morning it’s not really a welcome smell!
When we get to the wilderness office there are only two lads in front of us, so we are pretty much guaranteed a pass, yeh!!
Having hurried here to get a permit to allow us to camp in the hills tomorrow night, we’ve done nothing about tonights accommodation but we’re in luck it seems. When we get the permit we’re told about a secret backpacker campsite you can only stay at once you have a permit. It’s just behind one of the known park campsites and as all of them appear full (people queuing at 0400 for a pitch for tonight at some we hear!) it seems ideal. Pleasantly surprised when we get there – it’s practically empty and really nicely set in the woods.
We’re able to drive the car in through the neighbouring campsite to unload all our stuff, carry it to camp and hide it in a bearbox. Then return the car to a nearby carpark to leave it overnight – being sure it’s empty so no bears have reason to break in….yes, seriously!!
Tent up and relaxed, we have lunch and then go for a walk. It’s a pretty hot day and we planned it so it’s a nice chillaxed day before our hike tomorrow.
We even fit in a snooze to counteract the early start. Then a further walk to the village for supplies and a look around an Ansel Adams photography exhibition.
Over dinner back at the campsite we get chatting briefly to our neighbours. On one side is a german guy, Berndt, who has a minor foot injury and is resting up. On the other is a couple from Barcelona who offer us the last of their gas as they’re heading home after this trip.
Mission accomplished – a chilled day had by all, we turn in and try not to think too much about bears prowling around outside…..