Day 2: Los Banos to El Portal, CA
No offense to Los Banos, but the selection of retail grocery stores sucks. I do not consider Walmart to be fit for purpose. What about Target you ask? I tried that as well. I suspected that things were not looking good when the customer service person answering the phone replies “will have to ask” when asked if this Target store carried any organic or locally grown produce.
In case you’re wondering, they do not.
Given this cruel reality, we punted on groceries in Los Banos and headed over to the town of Merced and found a decent substitute. While we were in Merced, we grabbed some lunch and did a quick load of laundry, then made our way to El Portal, our designated overnight location.
El Portal seems to be one of those towns that really isn’t a town. In fact, El Portal simply appears to be nothing more than a hodgepodge of motels, bars, and restaurants – a collection of crap on HW 140 just prior to arriving to someplace that is actually far more interesting … which in this case is Yosemite National Park.
Given that we could not check into our Yosemite camping spot until Sunday, we decided to park Mabel and overnight at Indian Flat RV park.
Indian Flat RV park is pretty much a dump. The sites are incredibly tight, the electric is on the “wrong” side of the sites, and worst of all, at night this place is lit-up bright as a Christmas tree. In fairness, the guy helping us check-in (I think the owner) was nice and let us park our truck in the neighboring (unused) RV spot for the night.
Since we’d be dry camping in the park, we needed a place to fully drain our holding tanks and top-off our fresh water. So despite certain setbacks, this place does the trick.
You can see from the two pictures below how tightly everyone is packed into this place.
Like the rest of El Portal, I recommend you pass on through … the Yosemite entrance gate is only another eight miles up the road. Fortunately, we are merely biding our time for the night.