Monday, May 14, 2012
Tom and I left the hotel at 9:30. I later learned, with no surprise
at all, that Dad and Joan left around 6:00 a.m. This is why we said
goodbye last night! Just outside Palo Alto, we stopped to see slabs
from the Berlin Wall on display in an office park in Mountain View,
Palo Alto to Yosemite National Park
It's about four and a half hours from Palo Alto to Yosemite. As
soon as we got off the Interstate and onto 120, a two-lane highway,
we started seeing roadside fruit stands at the edges of the fields.
We stopped just outside Escalon and loaded up on fresh
strawberries, cherries, and tomatoes. They were sooo good!
In Knights Ferry we walked across the longest covered bridge west
of the Mississippi. The 330-foot bridge was built in 1863 and spans
the Stanislaus River. It saw a lot of traffic during the Gold Rush
days. It's a very scenic area and made a nice mid-drive stop.
Longest covered bridge
in the West
We entered Yosemite through the Big Oak Flat Entrance on 120. A few
miles later, we arrived at Valley View, where I got my first look
at Half Dome and El Capitan. We had a little picnic here. Tom has
been to Yosemite before, but this is my first time. It's
incredible! This time of year, mid May, the waterfalls are really
flowing nicely as the snow melts in the Sierras.
El Capitan and Half Dome
from Valley View
From Valley View to our lodgings in the valley, we pulled over
constantly to take photos and gawk. 620-foot-tall Bridalveil Fall
required a short walk to the base of the fall, less than a mile
round-trip. The spray from the fall was forceful. The photos were
actually better from farther away. A woman in the parking lot there
claimed to see climbers far above, but we failed to spot them, even
with binoculars. Maybe she was just screwing with us!
Do you see the
A peaceful scene in
At 5:00 we checked in to our “heated tent cabin” at Curry Village, a freestanding
structure with a wooden frame and floor but canvas sides and roof.
Some of the tent cabins, like ours, have propane heat, thank
goodness, because this time of year it can still get pretty cold at
night. I don't know how effective a heater is going to be in a
canvas structure, but we'll see! Our cabin, 413, has three beds, a
full size and two twins, plenty of heavy blankets, and is well
located near the main restroom/showers and the village restaurants
and general store. We have four nights here, Monday through
They are super strict on their anti-bear precautions in Yosemite.
No food or toiletries or even water bottles are allowed in the tent
cabins or your vehicle. A large bear-proof locker is located just
outside each cabin – BYO padlock. As for anti-people precautions,
our canvas cabin has a padlock on the screen door, for all the good
that will do, but there's also a combination safe inside large
enough to fit all our gadgetry, including a small computer.
Home away from
Interior of the tent
Our Curry Village
About 6:30 we drove over to Lower Yosemite Fall. Very nice, but the
light is in the wrong place for pics. We'll have to return one
morning for photos.
Curry Village has a few different dinner choices. We ate on the
Pizza Deck. A 12-inch pizza with two toppings was $24. Not a bad
price for a national park. The pizza was good, and a 10-inch would
have been plenty. We stuck the leftovers in the bear locker for
Half Dome from Curry
Sign our guestbook