Up at 6:15am. Quick shower included, took me no less than two and a half hours to continue to pack the car. Egads. Pull away about 8:45am, in quest for coffee, anticipating a four hour drive ahead of me to get to East Sonora in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, for an audition at Sierra Repertory Theater. The rural drive into Sonora, an hour this side as we get onto Hwy 180, is gorgeous! The Kia is less happy with me for all the ups and downs and rolling hills, but wait till she gets a taste of the Sequoia National Forest, she’s gonna love me then!
I get a voice mail from my brother, Denny, haven’t seen a blog entry couple of days, want to make sure all is well. I text him that I have not had WiFi access but will be in touch in day or so, in between destinations. A moment later, a return text, conveying to me that that’s good and Don’t Text and Drive! (see Day 1 blog for reference, ha).
Meet with Dennis Jones, co-founder of the theater and Producing Director; he shows me around the facilities, very impressive. The theater is situated in the same location, with lots of alterations, where it was founded more than thirty years ago. He has rehearsal soon, I have to get on the road, Kerouac-style, so we shake hands and he conveys to me, pumping my hand warmly, ‘nice to meet a true fellow artist, there aren’t many of us left in this country, keep the faith and happy trails!’
I push on towards Yosemite and the National Forest; need to switch gears as I need to make up some time, so while I drive through the region that is Yosemite - the terrain of which holds me spell-bound - I opt to head for the Sequoias, in order to get there before dark and identify some place to camp. I pay the entrance fee of $20 (yikes), and drive immediately to Grant Canyon to see and get photos of Grant’s Tree, one of the largest living i.e. tallest in the world; but it proves too dark and I am in search of a campground.
Can’t see anything so opt for an area where I see some tents, don’t want to get too isolated from everyone because I do not have my bearings, and settle into a spot near several tents and a blazing campfire. There I quickly learn that the tents are a singular family including small children who are playing rambunctiously rather late; but I am humored when I hear them settling into their tents (“nite John-Boy”) and one of the young boys asks the other one various questions soto voce including, “so who do you like better: Ali or MLK Jr?” “What are you talking about, MLK wasn’t a fighter!” The response, “In a way he was!”