Beach!

Day 63

Last night we decided we needed to do something special for The fourth. Since the past few days we have been craving something 'different' and since we had already left the trail in search of a side trip, we thought to ourselves, 'what is the most fourth-esque thing we can do?' The Beach! Of course! Andy has spent almost every since fourth since birth at a beach, and the most drastically different thing we could thing of from what we have been used to is the beach, so we decided to take on the monumental task of getting to the beach from the mountains.

For those of you who don't know, the mountains in which we reside in are basically on the eastern edge of the state. The beach is on the west. Over 300 miles separate the beach from the mountains, and we are going to tackle that gap and make it to the beach for fireworks and beer.

After we woke up from our camp spot and got ready to go from Mono Hot Springs (which we later found out is pronounced moan-o) we got chatting to a few folks who just got out there. One family -- Brian, Bear, Willow and River -- were actually from Santa Cruz but came out there for the little parade and some nice scenery and will be there for a few days. They were super nice, and gave us their email incase we were still in the area when they got back home. They live right on the redwood forest, and both Andy and I are interested in seeing it, so may end up going.

The other two folks was doing a week long trip in Yosemite and was finishing up their outing with a day hike near the springs. After they left, so did we.

We posted up on the road just out of the little 'resort' and waited. This road going in and out of the mountains is a one lane, scary, windy road. With oncoming traffic at every bend it made for an iffy hike, so we decided to wait it out and try our luck hitching. Most of the cars were coming in, and the ones going out didn't stop. Finally, and hour and a half later, Amdee and Leslie pulled up! The two girls who we were chatting with earlier called it a day and was on their way home to Sacramento. They were nice enough to take us along, and we were off on the first leg of our journey.

After a not so quick lunch break (service was slow at best), we were ready to go. They drove us a few hours out and dropped us off with almost a direct shot to Santa Cruz, just outside of Fresno. It was super super hot out, and we were in the sun on the side of the road. We sat there for one hour, two hours, and as it was beginning to get dark decided to call it a day and find the nearest spot to relax. A little highway town just off of route 99 was it. So we started walking, and luckily just after we decided to walk down that road, a cool guy named Andy picked us up and drove us the few miles into town.

We were a bit bummed we couldn't get to the beach tonight, but we knew it would be long and hard getting there, so we are happy for the luck we had getting this far. We will find a sneaky spot to camp off the road, and prepare to get into the beach tomorrow -- hopefully early!

Fingers crossed we make it there soon! And thanks again too Leslie and Amdee!

--Ian