Hey there — after nearly a week and a half of being bedridden, and having absolutely no energy, I’m finally on the mend.

I ended up catching strep from an opening night at a gay bar during pride — fun times. Who knew, not wearing masks or distancing could lead to transmission of some illnesses. Well, whatever the case, two shots in the ass and ten days of antibiotics made me right as rain. I also got some unrelated overwhelming and concerning negative health news that I’ve had to process over this time, but I am doing better now, at least. More neutral.

I am SO GRATEFUL that I went through this experience not alone in my car, and was able to crash with a group of kind souls in Fresno, California, for a time. Almost a month now! I could not imagine going through this alone, let alone in a confined space in this heat! Thank goodness.

Before I arrived here in town, I was treated to some experiences in and around Yosemite East, and then drove back through the park to Fresno where the fateful illnesses befell me. But I’d like to play catch up and talk about some of the cool things I’ve seen.

East of Yosemite, I traversed the June Lake Loop, a wonderful scenic area off of 395 with gorgeous scenery and a few lakes to zip around. There’s good mountains there, and scenic views. I made a stop at June Lake, and checked out the swimming area, and the pristine blue waters.

I had plans that night to stop at some local hot springs, and first made the drive over the Crab Cooker hot spring, which, though nestled in a beautiful locale, did not meet my needs. On the walk back to my car, this guy pulled up alongside me and recommended another local spring, which I then drove over to. The roads were rough! And I bottomed out a few times. The Prius’s low ground clearance is a problem. But I made it, and stayed the night. A group of locals adopted me, and invited me over for dinner, and then we watched the stars come out together. Nothing like sitting under the Milky Way buck ass naked with a bunch of humans that will soon be your strep throat caretakers. But I digress.

The following morning, I got up, grabbed a graciously provided breakfast burrito, and took one last dip before making my way over to the local Hot Creek Geological Site to view some more hot spring-related things.

On my way out of the Mammoth, CA area, I also made sure to stop by Convict Lake, which was just across the way. Absolutely gorgeous! I love this area and cannot wait to come back.

Driving up 395, I stopped by Mono Lake and grabbed a few shots, before making my way to Bodie.

Bodie, a California state park, used to be a gold-mining town, and is now just a well-preserved ghost town on the national historic register. You can walk through and peek in the windows of the buildings in the town, as the insides have largely been untouched.

Upon leaving Bodie, I pretty immediately got a flat tire, which was not entirely unexpected, because I’d been driving on so many unkempt rocky roads. So I pulled over and tried to figure out what to do. I signaled to some cars for help, and felt stressed that folks did not stop to help, but rather honked at me. I literally went into the car and changed from my shorts into jeans before two kind men stopped to help me jack up the car to put on the spare donut I had in the Prius trunk. Literally, there’s some times that I am reminded that I am a woman travelling alone, and I hate it, and this was one of them. I greatly appreciated the help of the folks who helped me out, no doubt about it, but felt frustrated that I had to put on pants in 90+ degree weather before people would stop honking at me on the side of the road and actually stop. I drove the car a ways before I found a AAA repair shop with a spare tire that fit the bill, thank goodness. But I got it fixed, and drove West through Yosemite to Fresno to settle in for my work week.

I didn’t see too much of note in Fresno, but ate a bunch of awesome food while there, and cooked some, too.

When I found some time, I made a trip over to Pinnacles National Park, where I was able to grab some views. Sadly, it was mega hot, and I had just begun to feel ill, so I didn’t complete any major hikes or exploration of the area.

I continued on to San Francisco, where I grabbed a view of the Golden Gate Bridge amid the cool, hazy fog. I stayed overnight in the area, and grabbed some tapas at a local restaurant with company.

The following morning, I drove down the 1, and grabbed some fruit from a vendor on the side of the road. It was father’s day, and the dude was in a jovial mood.

I meant to make a stop at Shark Fin Cove, but ended up at Bonny Doon Beach, which turned out to be another nude beach! Magnificent, I hate dealing with wet swimsuits, I stripped down to hit the water and sunbathe.

I continued South to Big Sur, and there were great views just about everywhere. I also got the chance to stop at a beach full of loudly barking and wailing elephant seals.

Then, I returned to Fresno, ailing, and proceeded to really fall ill. I had a fever for six days before I finally wrangled myself to a local doctor who prescribed a bunch of drugs, rest, and hydration. I felt so horrible, for such a long time, and couldn’t bring myself to eat, let alone write or keep up with work. I had lost nearly ten pounds by the time I went to the doctor’s. But thankfully I eventually made my way to feeling more fixed up.

Travelling is hard — it’s beautiful, it’s wonderful, it’s exciting, it’s a privilege, and it’s hard. Hard on the body, for sure. This was my first time falling ill in probably over two years and I had forgotten how much I take my health for granted. Thankfully, I am back to baseline now, on the mend, but it was rough for a bit. I am not sure what would have transpired had I fallen ill on my own — I likely would have abandoned my car to fly home. But thankfully, and I am continually reminded of this while travelling, the kindness of others is a wellspring of hope. Now that I’m back in business I’m excited to see what comes next.