Saturday, July 30, 2011

Yosemite

Our trip to Yosemite was the last adventure in our two week California crawl. It is truly one of the most BEAUTIFUL places I've ever been.
We did some minor hiking to places like Lower Yosemite Falls.
Most of the hikes in the park are for more seasoned hikers. Luckily my husband got to hike Mist Trail on his own and loved it. While he did that we played at one of our favorite places, Happy Isles.
We were again blessed with BEAUTIFUL weather. I felt a bit guilty as it has been a rainy summer in the Pacific Northwest.
We trekked to Mariposa Grove to stand before the Grizzly Giant but to get there involved a shuttle ride on twisty roads and a hike up a trail crowded with tourists. Utter exaustion started to emerge on our part because it was week two on the road following a rigorous line/crowd/traffic spell at Disney. Was the Grizzly Giant SO spectacular? Yes, but we're so used to beautiful stuff close by without terrible crowds.

We spent some time on the river playing in the water and reading. Thankfully the only bears we encountered were stuffed at the grocery store although Avery claims to have seen one in a tree.

Yosemite is just as magical as Disneyland, if not more, but its strengths lie more in the scenery than in the campground where we stayed. We camped at Crane Flat, about 17 miles from the valley floor at 6200 feet elevation. We purposefully camped there to avoid the crowds in the valley campgrounds but we are used to such pristine camping and were less than pleased with the campground. Its shortcomings included trash all over the campsite, no camp host, few to none flat spots for tents, loud neighbors, septic problems at the bathroom nearest to us which forced them to unload eight porta-potties, no lights in the bathrooms at night, a lack of firewood which people reacted to by hacking away at trees in their campsite, mosquitos(I came home with 14 bites), and little to no ranger presence.

We spent three nights and two full days here instead of the intended five nights five days and when we headed home, we felt good about it. We divided the trip again with an overnight stop in Redding, enjoying swimming in 100 degree heat there. 2,277 miles later, the California leg of our summer complete, we are home and doing absolutely nothing. (Well, not true, I've been blogging about all of our adventures).

The girls loved their adventure, and might have lasted another day at Yosemite. Still, they don't want to go anywhere in the car for awhile, loving time at home. We've been on the go more than we've been in the new house so that in and of itself is pure joy to come home to!

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