|ROAD TRIP! Watching Cinderella (Ryan called it "awesome") on the long drive to Yosemite.|
We rented a car for the trip, and because we had enough Hertz points, we tried to upgrade to a convertible (which would have blown Ryan's mind). But it didn't work out, so we got a Nissan Maxima with a sun roof instead...not quite as cool, but still cool enough that we earned a few cool-parent points from our son. Hey, we had to make up for the three-cylinder Chevy Aveo on our last trip). :-)
The drive from San Fran was about 200-250 miles, but because the last hour or so was up a slow, winding road, it seemed to take forever.
Special thank you's go out to my brother Joey & parents, Wayne & Janice, for not warning me in advance of the narrow, winding road, and the need to take a Dramamine before the trip. Every time I mini-puked up Chipotle burrito in my mouth, I thought of you all.
|First stop? Misty Bridalveil Falls.|
|Since he slept the last two hours of the trip, we let the little guy stretch his legs out by scampering along the stream for awhile.|
|Since there was the strong chance of rain the next day, we tried to see and do as much as could on our first day there. Here is Rich's attempt to be Ansel Adams.|
|We kept trying to show Ryan how beautiful, mighty & majestic El Capitan & Half Dome were, but all he wanted to do was throw sticks in the river. (Proof that culture is inherited rather than bred...) ;-)|
|We also stopped at the Visitor Center to see the Miyuk Indian museum, crafts and recreated Miyuk village, Ahwahneechee. Here are the boys in one of the bark homes.|
|These firetrucks are a draw no matter where you are. :-)|
|Half Dome in color|
|Half Dome in black and white. |
Which do you like better? I won't be hurt (I took both). Just so long as you purchase one for $999.99 (since a grand seemed a bit steep). I accept cash, Paypal and El Pollo Loco taco al carbons.
|A few of surprises we hadn't expected- patches of snow and so many deer everywhere. Ryan was thrilled to play in it again!|
I won't deny that the most exciting part of the day for me was not Half Dome...it was driving to Yosemite Lakes to check out our digs for the next two nights. Our yurt was awesome. Not only was it a lot larger than I'd imagined it'd be, it was also propped up off the ground (clearly this one was not made/constructed by Monglian nomads) and had all the comforts of home- a gas stove for heat, a warm shower, a fully equipped kitchen, etc.
|Our wee little yurt. I now (of course) want one. Desperately.|
1. We were the only ones there in the entire hillside yurt village. Not a single other soul around. Normally, this would be awesome. Sleeping in a tent, under the stars in beautiful Yosemite. Just like the Indians did! But in bear country? This is terrible. I would have much preferred to be near a few chubby, slow-moving folk from Iowa who came in a van filled with Ding Dongs and Little Debbies. Though the clerk tried to assure me that bears would 'probably' not be a problem, she said this while sitting two feet away from pictures of giant brown bears climbing into nearby trash containers. She also tried to assure me that their security would make regular patrols up to our yurt throughout the night (which would be far more helpful if say, the bears kindly and patiently waited until the top of the hour when the security drove by to attack us instead of attacking at random). But I'm pretty sure that's not how it works.
2. Late at night, everything sounds like a bear. The clicking of the gas heater, the cackling of the fire, pinecones falling on the roof, deer scampering by... All bear sounds. I think I slept five minutes of every hour...waiting. Waiting for the bears. But don't think I just laid there like a sitting duck. In my mind, I was scrolling through various plans of attack...I was NOT going down without a fight. Unfortunately, based on our limited resources, my plans were limited to lighting the bears on fire with our automatic lighter (in this plan, I hoped the bears would allow me to walk right up next to them before lighting their fur on fire)...to loudly banging pots together to scare them off (which I didn't want to do because then it would also wake Ryan up, and I preferred that he would sleep through the bear attack). Rich, who was clearly thinking along the same lines as me- was a little more practical and had detached a heavy curtain rod that he kept near him. But I couldn't quite see him & his curtain rod taking on a hungry, 800 lb. bear- which is when I would step in and calmly light the bear fur on fire. See? I'm no patsy. I know those big, brown a-holes don't know how to stop, drop and roll. Anyhoo, the moral of the story is this- sleeping behind thin, tent-like walls atop a mountain all by yourself in bear country is not ideal. But if you must, bring up a few grenades or something. I'm sure the pastry-loving folks from Iowa know where to get them.
To be continued...