It's a long drive. The sort of drive which inspires road trip B movies. We head out from under the shadow of THE Hollywood sign and make our way through Hollywood Hills Dollar$ville out onto the freeway. A freeway winding its way through a surreal magic mountain theme park backdrop painted on to over sized hills & canyons, it does not feel real. After a couple hours of our own tarmac roller coaster we pop out from between the hills and everything changes. Hundreds of patch worked miles, olive trees and vines stretch away in all directions, as flat as God's ironing board.

The view from our balconyThe car drives itself, straight and steady for another couple of hours, on through Fresno the landscape begins to change again. Rock scattered foothills give promise of things to come and another 50 miles through forested valleys brings us to Yosemite View Lodge. From the roadside this place looks like a prison block, a drab grey 3 storied lump. We are here for 5 nights and we are worried! Don't judge a book by its cover though, the room is huge, the bed is huge, there's an Olympic sized Jacuzzi bath in the living room and a double shower in the bathroom! The balcony views look up & down the steep wooded valley and the Merced river tumbles over rocks below us. This'll do!

We started out next to the Atlantic & golden beaches, have driven 6 hours through hills, plains and mountains yet we have barely covered this huge state, after America itself this is the 2nd largest economy in the world. Scary to think the man they have put in charge is an ex Austrian body builder turned actor, Arnold "The Governator" Schwarzenegger.

Only in America!

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