Wednesday, July 21, 2010


It looked like a short drive into the Yosemite Valley from Fresno.  California 41 was a freeway when we set out but by the time we got up into the mountains it became a gravel road as there was 25 miles of road construction.  In the back of my mind I knew there would be a curve that ended with a breathtaking view and so it was.  We were still about 2,500 feet above the valley floor and driving eastward when the vista opened up before us.  I swerved off the highway onto a pull out and parked.  We jumped out and joined the several hundred people who were gawking at the same thing.

The snows had continued well into June so all of the many waterfalls were still very full and powerful.  Bridalveil Falls was directly in view and it didn’t take us too long to continue down the mountain to the canyon floor and reach the falls.  The boys had a great time climbing over the boulders to get a better view.  Miranda wasn’t too happy about Max jumping from boulder to boulder but he must have been a mountain goat in a past life for we instantly designated him the trailblazer for all our hikes.

Back in the car we continued to Curry Village where we were staying for the next two nights.  It was impossible to get reservations (last February!) for the various lodges – everything was sold out, so we settled on Curry Village, a group of about 250 closely spaced wood-framed canvas tents with 1 double and 2 single beds, 1 overhead lamp, and an external food storage locker to keep the bears out.  Bathroom facilities were shared and about 100 feet away.

Luck was with us as our tent was secluded and rather private.  This didn’t mean that it was quiet however.   Tents don’t seem to keep out much noise at all.  We settled in and went out for a walk.  As we were leaving we met our only neighbors and the husband was just returning from a hike to the top of Half Dome.  It’s a 12 hour hike with an elevation of about 5,000 feet, the last 2,000 of which is pulling yourself up the rock with a cable attached to stakes drilled into the granite.  Miranda and I had done something like that at Ayers Rock 10 years ago but it was not nearly as strenuous. 

We walked across a lovely wildflower filled meadow heading toward the Ahwanee Lodge but we never made it as Miranda’s constant thought of bears forced us back to the dining hall for dinner.  The camp was filled with all sorts of peculiar noises that evening, none of which turned out to be foraging animals, rather Chinese grandparents arguing or teenagers teasing, nevertheless, it was fun to imagine a large family of hungry bears loping around our tent in search of comestible lucre.  

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