Thursday, June 28: Yosemite
I thought *you* had my wallet…
This morning, we need to pack up our stuff and get ready to move into the bunk house. That will be a pain, as we need to move out earlier than we can move in.
Amy got a big blister on the side of her heel from yesterday’s walk, so we planned to visit the Mariposa Grove (not too much walking).
We drove over to the visitor’s center (for that part of the park), where we ended up having lunch at the golf course/hotel cafe. We then took the bus down to the Mariposa grove, as the parking lot down there was full.
The bus was pretty good. It ran about every 15-20 minutes, and it was clean and comfortable.
At the grove, you can either walk the two groves or take a guided tour tram ride around them. Frommer recommended the tram, and Amy was a bit lame, so we took the tram. It stops along the way to talk about this and that. At the top (in the upper grove) it stops and lets us out for 10 minutes to wander around and then again halfway down.
As we were boarding the tram at the second stop, I saw an interesting “tunnel tree” that I hadn’t noticed earlier. Unfortunately, I did not have time to visit it.
When we got to the bottom, Amy and Mike wanted to hang a bit, so I decided to walk up to that tree. I gave Amy my backpack and wallet so they could get something to eat.
The hike up only took me 15 minutes. I decided that the best strategy, Frommer not withstanding, would be to take the tram to the top, and then walk downhill back to the start. You would get a lot of the spiel, you would avoid the uphill hike, and you would have more time to see the trees up close.
When I got down and met up with Amy and Mike, a bus was just loading, so we jumped on. As we were getting settled I asked Amy, “So where’s my wallet.” She said that it was in the pocket of the backpack. I checked. It was not.
Suddenly it was time to panic. We hurriedly got off the bus. I proceeded to double check the pack while Amy retraced her steps. I eventually joined her and found that she (fortunately) had it. She had apparently left it where they had sat a bit (or maybe it fell out?), someone had found it and turned it in to the concession stand, and that was where she got it.
It ended well, but it could have been very bad.
We took the bus back, then wandered around an “old” exhibit. They had a barn full of old stage coaches. Then across a covered bridge was a cluster of small buildings (log cabin style) from the park history. Apparently at times there are rangers there in period costume talking about the buildings, but at 4:30 they were closed.
Mike wanted to eat at the (fancy) restaurant there, but it didn’t open until 5:30, and it was somewhat pricy. There is a special on Saturdays, so we might come back then.
We drove to the Yosemite Lodge food court that sounded nice. Along the way, we stopped for some pictures at Sentinel Bridge. The valley floor was in shadows, but Half Dome was well lit up.
The food court was nice. There were several stations including pasta, pizza, grill, and home-style. At the last of these, Amy and I got rainbow trout, while Mike opted for fried chicken. We liked the place and might go back there later.
It would be super convenient to stay there, so we checked for cancelations, but as we expected, there weren’t any. There were a few openings at the Housekeeping campground, but that did not look too appealing. It was a self-serve tent area that seemed rather noisy and boisterous. At the same time, we would have to put all of our food type stuff (including tooth paste) into bear-proof boxes.
We drove back to the bug, where we had a lot of difficulty finding our bunkhouse. Eventually we did, where we found we were sharing the space with three others. It could be interesting.