… I’d make weekends longer.

Mina and I had a wonderful trip to Yosemite this past weekend. I have to say though, it wasn’t nearly long enough!

After moving at nearly a snail’s pace, we finally got out of the city around noonish. Here’s the route you take if going from the northern part of the Bay Area…
View Larger Map

If you don’t stop in Marin to drop off your dog, make another stop at the grocery because you need fruit and bagels, stop in Tracy to get a toilet plunger and a coffee (don’t ask), and one last stop in Oakdale to top off your tank, it only takes about 4 hours. Once you are through Tracy, it really is a beautiful drive. And I love to drive. Give me snacks and some singin’ music and I’ll drive all night.

We got there in time for the birthday party (my good friend P’s 50th!), and in plenty of time to hide when they broke out the karaoke mics. The food was wonderful, the wine was even better, and the company… well, that couldn’t be beat. Many of the women there were part of the birth community that I worked with for so many years. They all had their spouses and piles of children running everywhere. It was a blast.

So that night, Mina and I shared a room with my friend S and her daughter, C. (I have never stayed in a room there – only camped) They gave us the bed next to the door and window. One of the things that YNP is adamant about is proper food storage because there are many bears there. So you have to either take all of your food out of your car and put it into lockers or keep it in your room. And I mean EVERYTHING – water bottles, anything that even remotely looks like food. So we did and it was all up on the top of the dresser right next to my head. Somewhere around 4 AM, S wakes up and loudly says “WHAT IS THAT SOUND???” And being dog tired and the middle of the night, I go “It’s probably a mouse”, roll back over and try to go back to sleep. There had been this very loud crinkling sound coming from right next to my head and I had incorporated it into my dream. (I’ve spent way too much time in the woods so those sounds barely phase me). S freaks out, jumps up and turns on the light. Sure enough, there was a bag of sunflower seeds that some little critter had been chewing through. So to make everyone happy, we had to gather all the food up and put it in the shower stall. Well, I guess the critter wasn’t so happy… No more critter was heard. But S was convinced it was a bear trying to get in the window. It was too funny and I laughed about it throughout the next day.

Anyway, Mina and I spend Sunday walking around, visiting the Ansel Adams gallery (he’s one of my very favorite photographers), and lounging by the Merced River. The evening was spent with the whole crew, watching sunset at Glacier Point. GP is about an hour from the valley floor, where you can look down onto most of the valley, over Half Dome and into the peaks of the Sierra Nevadas. It was amazing. In all the years I have been going to YNP, I have never been to GP.

P was so touched that we all made the trek up there to be with her on her birthday and everyone had a wonderful time. We all left on Monday afternoon, wishing we had another week.

Here are the promised pictures! Enjoy (and go visit!)