We had been talking about this one for a while, so we couldn’t get too far out of town before stopping at the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield. Bode insisted.
The tour is pretty interesting and you need to go on a weekday when all the machinery, robots, and people are busy working away on the factory floor. The amount of sugar in this place is mind-boggling and the pure tonnage of jelly beans can’t fully be appreciated until you see it first-hand. Bode was impressed. There were only two rules on the factory tour. Always wear your hat. No photos. We wore the hats.
Below are the never before seen top-secret inner-workings of the Jelly Belly candy company. Shhh…
After the tour we headed due east out towards our final destination: Bodie, CA. We took it slow and made frequent stops for Icees and the like. Every time we made a stop, someone wanted to come over and talk about the bus. My favorite introduction was…
I don’t care where you’re going. I want to come!
-unknown couple in parking lot
After chatting a bit, it turns out they’ve made dozens of kayaking trips down the Baja peninsula. If you’re reading this, send us some tips!
Anyway, back to not being in a hurry – it’s no surprise we didn’t even make it over the Sierras. We were headed out towards the Sonora Pass (arbitrary choice) in nearly 100F heat and the bus performed admirably, other than donating a hub cap to the mountains. If you live just south of Angels Camp and find a VW hub cap in your front yard… sorry. We got out and looked for it, really we did. Once it got later in the afternoon, we pulled over to a campsite for the evening and called it a day. Beardsly Lake looked good on the map, and kind of an appropriate choice (only realizing this now in hindsight) for Red Beard’s first night camping. Little did we know we would have to descend 2000 ft to the lake, but the price was right – free. The lake was nice enough, quiet, and the long descent put us in some pretty mild weather for the evening. Tonight’s dinner was PB&J, followed by roast marshmallows. Both Angela and I have lost almost 10 pounds over the past few weeks during the trip preparations, so we don’t feel to bad about caving in so early 😉