Monday, Aug. 3, 2020

If you are contemplating a road trip this year, my best advice is to expect things to be different. For example, I haven’t seen any restaurant so far that offers indoor dining. They’re either closed completely or open for take out only during restricted hours. This morning we took the 180 west from Grant Grove in Kings Canyon, thinking we would stop in Fresno for breakfast. But our GPS took us past Fresno on to the 41 north without spotting a single coffee shop.

Driving through Coarsegold we spotted a Subway, MacDonald’s, and pizza place, all distinctly dusty and uninviting. By that time we were halfway to our destination, Cedar Inn, so, knowing from my research in January that it had a restaurant, we decided to wait. Our road ran along the Merced River through golden hills spotted with oak trees, one of my favorite California landscapes.

We lost phone reception, but this was the only road, and eventually came upon Cedar Lodge, isolated and quiet. This was supposed to be a trip with grandchildren, so I had picked a place that was family-friendly, had a pool and restaurant, and was a short drive from Yosemite. And it IS a nice place, but eerily quiet and like most places we’ve seen, operating with a minimal staff. It was 12:30. Our room would be ready at three. The restaurant served dinner from 5 to 8, takeout only. They didn’t serve lunch. There is no place nearby.

We found ready- made sandwiches in the gift shop and lunched in the lobby. Then we went out in the baking 100 degree heat to explore the premises, finding the pool, shady gazebos, barbecue areas, and statues of bears everywhere. Back inside, I used their phone to try to get lodging in the park for tonight and/or tomorrow, remembering the cozy cabin we had just left. Not possible, but I had plenty of time.

The room is large and comfortable and air conditioned. Dinner at five had four choices: hamburger, grilled chicken sandwich, fish and chips, and chicken fingers with fries. It was take-out only of course, so because of the heat, we ate in our room.

The thing to remember these days is that every place is running at a minimal level, if at all, not like the website advertised in January. But people are doing their best under trying circumstances, wearing masks, distancing, and careful, even out here in the country. Even with the mask I know they are trying to smile.

Today’s Notable Headlines

Sorry, no access to my news sources

Why am I doing this?

The coronavirus pandemic will be indelibly written on our memories just as the Great Depression or the Battle of Britain left their mark on past generations. It is my intention to journal the events of these days from three perspectives: as a retired medical technologist, a historian (Ph.D., 2014), and an ordinary person living through an extraordinary crisis.

You are on History’s Edge.

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