Wednesday, October 12, 2016

We Made It To Yosemite!

Hi Kids!

Well, I have been very preoccupied with our travels, and neglectful of my letters home!  A lot has happened since I last checked in... some good, some not so good, but all is well.

Our trip to Mono Lake was restful and very interesting.  As I mentioned we and our kayak and all of our water gear was white with salt after being in the lake.  It was then time to move on to a big one on our itinerary, Yosemite National Park!  I have to admit, I had high expectations of this park, it is definitely one of the most well known, and one of the oldest and it is iconic of our national treasures.
We arrived at the gate in rainy, cold, wintry weather.  It was a sharp contrast to the scorching temperatures we had just left in Reno only days before. We could hardly stand the heat there, and now we were freezing as we took our obligatory park sign snapshot.  Definitely dreary weather.  We lucked out and got one of only a couple rv spots left in the eastern-most section of the park called "Tuolumne Meadows".  First impressions were not what I expected. The park was in very rough condition, with very primitive sites. No hookups of any kind, and extremely un-level sites.  It was a big challenge just getting our truck camper in our spot, it would be absolutely impossible for even a modest-sized RV to use this park.  I guess with such a popular place, I was expecting more.  The weather didn't help.

Undeterred, we got settled in and then decided to hike to the visitors' center which was about a mile away.  The hiking trail wound through gorgeous woodlands and it was amazing, but you know me, I am kind of a chicken-little.  I wore my "bear bell" because we were strongly cautioned about bear activity being normal and expected in the park.  They had impressive pictures of what bears had done to peoples car doors completely torn off.  They warned us that having any visible food anywhere in our vehicle or campsite (even bottled water!) was subject to a $5,000 fine!  Wow. That's enough deterrent for me. So with my bell jingling at my side, telling everyone what a 'fraidy cat I was, we made our way over there.  We were met with several of the park rangers jamming on the big front veranda with their guitars and fiddles. It was so cool. We found out that this was the last week that it was going to be open and then it would close for the season.  Dad took care of getting his park cancellation stamp in our passport book and then we headed back to the camper.  Darkness was falling by now and I was just SURE we were being stalked, but we made it.

Next day we got up early and had our coffee and headed into the park.  We had a lengthy drive over the pass into the other side of the park, which is a much different climate.  What a beautiful drive!  We got into view of the expected views; El Capitan, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls (which unfortunately did not exist because of the drought).  Our early start paid off and we scored a sweet parking spot in visitor's parking near everything, and we spent the day exploring, using the free park shuttle.  After taking in the sights in Yosemite Valley, we took off in the truck to drive up to Glacier Point.  It was a long, very windy road up, up, up. Again, don't try this in a big rig, for sure.  We parked and walked over to the most breathtaking view over the valley.  Wow, it was spectacular!  Definitely cannot describe the awesomeness of it, and I will concur with most others who come here and say, "You have to see it to believe it."  A sort of spiritual feeling of overwhelming grandeur sort of washes over you. It's impossible to put into words, or even pictures.  It was a long, tiring but satisfying day. Sorry I have been so slow to report... you'll see why soon!  Love you all so much; Mom.

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