Spent last night in Three Rivers, California, just on the south border of Sequoia National Park.
We arrived fairly early yesterday morning, managed to check in early (this place is a little pricey, but the service has been great and having a kitchenette makes up for a lot in terms of eating out), got on the bicycle and rode down through town and back up. Had a wonderful day being touristy, talking with people, pedaling along the river in the foothills of the Sierra.
The road came through here in the early '20s, and it's an interesting little town, a number of hippies trying to get away from civilization, quite a few rich retired folk, a lot of touristy kitsch (which can be fun), less local artists than we'd hoped, but still a fun day.
The first stop was the Doll's Nest. A woman who collects nesting troika dolls and turned her living room into what's allegedly a store, but is really a museum of the dolls, with historical pieces. Had great fun talking to her and her sister. Next was Reimer's Candies and Gifts the candy making store and touristy place, we were hoping to see more of the candy line but they'd finished with the nut clusters and were turning off the chocolate machines when we gawked through the windows. They were also making stollen, but we didn't need that caloric temptation staring us in the face...
We didn't get pictures of the architect's studio, the architect (Searching around tells me it must have been the Cort Gallery) was out, but there was a friendly woman there painting holiday designs on the windows who offered to let us climb the tower and insisted that we wander down past the stone spiral drumming circle and sit by the river for a spell. One neat feature (besides the fact that the whole place was kind of "playhouse done on adult scale") was that the walls of the main area were all pivoting panels that let the place open up amazingly nicely.
Lunch was salad greens at the little deli next to where the main road meets North Fork Road, the salad greens were a little old, but unlike down in the central valley they were actually mixed greens. And the store where we bought groceries had some nice locally grown salad greens, a bit bitter for Charlene's taste, but I love 'em.
And there was a (semi-)local artists show at the community center here where we wandered around and talked with people and had a generally nice time.
Long stop at "My Sister's Closet", there seem to be a lot of second-hand-ish shops with this name on the web, none of which seem to be this one. Short stop at Jerky This, which became extremely important later in the trip, and has us re-working our trunk-based emergency kits.
The ride back up the hill to the lodge went a lot faster and easier than we expected, at one point I thought I needed to downshift but couldn't get anything out of the rear cog, then I looked back and we'd been climbing on the big ring in the front, which was quite the surprise.
Note to self: Need to plan the food situation a little bit better next time, but at the very least we should always bring herb tea along. We had to stop at the local store because all they had in the room was black tea. And whole bean coffee with a grinder, which rocks, but can't do that in the evening.