Our drive from Death Valley to Yosemite was a long one. It would have been fairly straightforward but the mountain road (Tioga Pass) was closed. It gets enormous snow drifts that take weeks to clear but it had opened in April for the past few years so I thought it’d be fine. However we needed to drive around the roadless expanse to drive in from the west.
We had just enough petrol to get us to the nearest town but the risk of getting stranded in the desert was enough to get a small amount from the campsite’s adjacent garage. As it was twice the price of everywhere else we did not overindulge.
As I turned the engine on the car informed me that the oil filters needed changing. This meant that we needed to find a Dollar rental office to get it sorted. The nearest one en route was at Fresno airport, which thankfully was not a huge diversion.
The previous night, a Bakersfield resident had advised us to take a route along the Kern river past Lake Isabella. It took a bit longer but was worth it to avoid the boring freeways. We took him at his word and it turned out to be pretty impressive!
The river gushing forth
After a long slog we made it to Fresno airport. After asking the staff what to do and going to the nearest gas station to fill up the tank, we once more made it to Fresno airport. Without checking the car the Dollar guy took our paperwork and gave us another set of keys to swap our luggage. With luggage swapped we had car number 2, a beautiful white Nissan Versa with reversing cameras and bluetooth and everything!
With our sparkly new wheels (the old ones looked a tad messy from all the deserty gravel driving…) we drove onwards and upwards, through the beginnings of Yosemite National Park to our lovely campground for the night.