That's no space station, it's a moon!

I am currently having work done in my house to add a bathroom on the second floor. I know having a new bathroom up there is going to be great, but it has been a little crazy for me to deal with the instability of having ongoing construction.

I don't think I'd ever been to Fresno before. I didn't think much of it till the next day, when I drove around downtown looking for an AT&T; Wireless store (needed a new charger for my phone). Fresno actually has a respectable downtown area. It was something like a mini-Sacramento. It even had the pain-in-the-ass one-way streets. I couldn't find what I was looking for, so I started heading north again. Spotted a big shopping center, so I stopped there and found what I needed before heading north once more.

The reason I needed a new phone charger was because the stupid cigarrette lighters in my rental car weren't working. I had only brought a car-charger for my phone, so I had to buy one with a wall plug so I could charge my phone later. Pain in the ass, but at least the charger I got had both a car adapter and a wall plug, so I can use it anywhere.

Everyone and their uncle and their uncle's dog has been to Yosemite, and they've all taken pictures. My little drive through the park was no different, though I don't mean to imply I didn't enjoy it. I don't think I'd ever entered the park from the southern entrance before, so that was nifty. Went up to Glacier Point first and had a hell of a time trying to take photos from the edge. It's such an insane drop-off!. The wind didn't help, either. *shudder*

I decided I had to drive through Yosemite Valley, and did so. Took the same pictures that people have been taking for decades, but enjoyed it anyway. The place is awe-inspiring no matter how many times you've seen it.

About three o'clock I started thinking about where to go for the night. After careful consideration of my maps, I decided to call Briana in Davis to see if I could crash at her place. She said that'd be cool, so I headed west. The setting sun was in my eyes for much of the drive. Found a gas station selling gas for $2.09, the lowest price I'd seen in the state thus far. It took a while, but I got to Davis. Briana's mom has a very comfortable couch. More to come.

I had never been to Sequoia National Park, nor King's Canyon National Park. Before I got to the actual Parks, though, I had to drive through Sequoia National Forest first. A few times. See, the National Forest has a few satellite areas that you pass through on your way to the main Forest. The Forest wasn't all that impressive, for the most part. I was hoping for lots of tall trees, but you don't see those till you get to the Park. Lots of winding roads, though, and little, tiny tourism-dependant towns.

Sequoia National Park was probably the first good thing to come along since the Spin Doctors show (though anything beats getting stuck in the desert). It was just what I was hoping for: lots of tall, green trees, little green meadows, and beautiful vistas. First thing I did was go to Moro Rock, a large granite formation at the edge of a canyon. You can take the stairs to the top of the rock, but I couldn't do it. I hate to admit it, but I was too scared. Normally, I can force myself to overcome my acrophobia, but this time it was impossible. There's something about a narrow trail with low handrails next to a dizzyingly high dropoff and strong winds that I find hard to deal with. I got some good photos from about halfway up, tho. Later I stopped by the General Sherman tree, the largest living thing on the planet, and the General Grant tree, "The Nation's Christmas Tree." Both trees had nice trails associated with them, winding through groves of giant sequoias and other trees. I wasn't able to hike around much because my knee started acting up. Though there were people around, it was very peaceful. Just the sort of thing I was looking for. I drove through the park, enjoying every twist and turn of the road, and stopping from time to time to look at the scenery. I'd say the only problem was the smog/haze. It looked too brown to just be haze. It made landscape photography a little difficult, and I'm not sure yet how some of those photos will turn out.

My route then took me out of Sequoia National Park, back into the National Forest for a while, before entering King's Canyon National Park. The only road into the park ends about 2/3 of the way through to the other side. I followed it most of the way, taking pictures along the way, then backtracked to the entrance. Can't say much about the canyon except that it was a lot like Sequoia with very high walls. Not to say it wasn't beautiful, it was just a lot like what I had already seen. Then I drove to Fresno. More to come!

That's the sound of water dripping from the ceiling. A couple guys from the homeowners association are here testing for water intrusion, and they just found it. Finally. Hopefully repairs will start soon.