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Trip Report pilgrimage to yosemite

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My partner and I took a short and wonderful trip to Yosemite last week. We flew into Fresno, and stayed the night in Fresno in order to save some money on the hotel for that night... We stayed at a place just off 41 (the road to Yosemite) on Shaw Dr., which is a short drive from the airport and has a number of places to stay, restaurants and a whole foods.

the next morning we drove to Yosemite, which is about an hour drive from the south entrance. before we went into the park we stopped at the "South Gate Brew Pub," a great find in Oakhurst. It is a few hundred yards up rte 49 off rte 41 (I think there is a Vons market at the intersection). very good food, nice people.

then into the park. we did not stop for the sequoias at wawona, and drove for the valley. my partner had never been to yosemite, so it was great to drive through the tunnel and see her reaction to the view we got to our hotel/motel-the yosemite lodge at the falls at about 2. they had a room ready for us if we would accept 2 double beds. we took it because we wanted to take a nap. it was a pleasant room with a table and a chair, and a small porch with a table and 2 chairs from which we could see the valley wall.

when we got up from a short nap we hiked up to lower yosemite falls. ti was of course beautiful. it was surprising how much the water of the falls cools the area. it was substantially cooler on the walk than away from the falls.

we then drove to glacier point. it was a pretty longish drive--back to the glacier point turnoff, and then perhaps another 15 miles of twisty road. it is a great view. we walked down to see the view of half dome and the waterfall. when we left we realized that we had not walked down to the end, and perhaps the view was different from there.

when we got back in the valley, the sun was setting and we realized that the light was nice on the valley walls. I took some photos of bridal veil falls. we then got to sentinel bridge just as the light was turning half dome to an orange glow. pretty neat. the bridge is overrun with photographers.

we went for dinner at the restaurant at the hotel, and discovered it closes at 8:30. so we wen to the lounge and had dinner from the bar menu, which was ok.

one good thing about staying in the park is that he park is of course pretty busy during the day. but it begins to get less crowded in late afternoon/early evening..

the next morning I hiked around the valley floor. lots of people on bikes, which seemed like a good way to get around. I also drove to a picnic place just off the main road which is referred to as "cathedral." it is a turnoff to the left, and goes down to a river with a great view. deer were walking around seeing if the humans had left any food of interest. I sat and read for a while at a picnic table and took it in.

I then went with my partner to the Ahwanee for lunch.. very nice staff and terrific food. there was a wedding in the works on the lawn outside, , which was also fun. we ate in the dining room, which is of course a wonderful room. they also have a more informal (but not much cheaper) place to eat, the bar, which has some outside tables near the pool, it also would be good place for a drink.. . . .. ..

we took the shuttle to the hike to mirror lake. mirror "lake" is of course a river, there is a paved road on the left of the river and a trail in the woods in the right.. we went up the trail on the right. judging from the amount of horse manure, it is a popular trail for horse groups. the high point of this walk was encountering some sort of cat on the trail. my partner thought it was a bobcat --I was holding out for it being a small mountain lion.it didn't seem to have much interest in us.

the mirror part of the river did have some reflection. but I didn't see an area where half dome was reflected. one thing to keep in mind- half dome is to the right of the river- so if you want to take photo of half dome reflected in the river, you have to get to the left side. we did that by walking across the stream bed in the mirror area-i'm not sure that is possible at all times.

for the walk back we preferred the relatively level paved path than trying to navigate the path in the woods.

we then had dinner at the good restaurant at yosemite lodge, which we enjoyed. my partner had the lamb, which was great.

the next morning we went to see the sequoias at wawona.. the parking lot was full, so we were directed back a few miles to wawona to get a shuttle. the park lot there was also full, and we had to park on the road. we took the free shuttle up to the main entrance area, where you can either walk around on your own (for free) or pay $25 for a trolley ride. we took the trolley ride. it was informative and obviously not as not tiring as walking.around .

we then left to go to Los Angeles. we thought 2 days is a pretty good length of time for introduction to the park. .it wss nice to stay in the park, although not cheap..

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