The time had to arrive in this trip where I would have to get in contact with my naturalist side. This never goes well and it didn’t go well this time either. And it actually started off on rather a high note.
My cousin Bryan should seriously consider writing a travel book some day. He made a number of suggestions while we were at his house as to what we should see and every one of his ideas has proved a good one. Just because they all have to do with nature…and getting out and walking…a lot…that shouldn’t be his fault, right?
We got up on Sunday morning in an interesting little town called Merced, California. It is, in my opinion, a place of high sophistication and culture. This means, of course, that they had an Applebees and a Barnes and Noble and that I got to go to both of them. I was to look back on that place with a great deal of fondness!
Leaving there, however, meant we were on the trail of Yosemite Sam and his ilk as we made our way into the southern entrance of Yosemite National Park. I try to be a good sport about national parks, but the truth is, they are loaded with…well…with nature things and I just don’t get into that.
We did have a really good stop at the Sequoia site. These giant trees, so huge around, are really fascinating. They are fire resistant, but they can be killed by too many people tromping all over their roots. This was enlightening as well as interesting. We rode in a tram all around the park, however, stopping to look at these massive beauties along the way. That was most agreeable with me. I got a sunburn in San Franscico, so I decided to start religiously using my umbrella to block the sun. That meant sitting in the very last seat of the very last car and that was a rough ride. My back and arms were bruised by the time we said goodbye to the sequoias, but at least I didn’t have to hike and I didn’t have a sunburn!
Traveling into the park, we took another of Bryan’s suggestions by stopping at Glacier Point. This was a side trip that we don’t normally take, but we were pretty glad we took this one. It was a majestic, outstanding view, but we did have to hike a little ways. It was a very long way looking down to the base of those mountains into Yosemite Valley. Roy took a picture of the swimming pool at the camp where we were staying that night, from the very long way up.
We did stop at one water fall on our way to Camp Curry, our home for the night. Then, we made our way into the camp, where there were private tents, tents that they set up on permanent frames and cabins.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am not a camper. We don’t own a private tent and I was not about to stay in a framed up tent of theirs, especially at the price they charged. The only thing left was the even more expensive cabins. We took one of those.
After standing for about 30 minutes in the registration line, we were able to get up to the desk. In the meantime, we had read about 20 warnings about the bears in the area. While we were registering, they had us read some materials which began, “Please be bear aware. Our bears are very smart.” All I could think of was Yogi….smarter than the average bear. Apparently, bears at this campground had the same agenda as Yogi–they were out to steal pick-a-nick baskets!
By the time they were done warning us about what not to leave in the cars and what not to leave on the floor of the cabin, we were a little too bear aware. I no longer wanted to walk up the path to the cabin!
After an inelegant, but serviceable supper, Roy decided we needed to catch one of the public busses in the park (yes, they’re just like the big cities out there) and find one of the waterfalls nearby. Suffice it to say that between the bear warnings and the hike, there was some danger of Roy or I not surviving (mostly because we were each tempted to kill each other). But more on that when I write my column for the paper this weekend!
Two hours and a million years later, we staggered back to our cabin…our high-priced cabin, whose only amenities appeared to be that it had hard sides (so the bears might not get in) and indoor plumbing! No television, no Internet and lights so dim it was difficult to see, let alone read. We flopped onto the beds, which were easily bought at the estate sale of Fred and Wilma Flintstone!
A hard night on hard beds and with one, tiny fan and we were ready to go. To quote the disappointed fiance of the “Parent Trap” twins, “Let me out of this stinking fresh air!”