short trip to yosemite this week

Old Sep 26th, 2021, 10:36 AM
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short trip to yosemite this week

My partner and I drove to Yosemite from Monterey on Thursday Sept. 23. During our drive the air in central california did not seem very smoky. It was interesting to see that the land is used for agricultural purposes (fruit trees? nuts?) until you get to Mariposa. The traffic was very light going into the park on rte. 140. There had been a rock slide just before the entrance and temporary bridges (and a new one-lane road) have been erected to go to the other side of the river to avoid the rocks. There is a traffic light installed to let one side pass and then the other. This was not a significant delay-perhaps 5-10 minutes- but might be significantly worse if there is more traffic. We got to the entrance at about 4:30 when the rangers were closing up. There was no wait and we didn't have to pay. (Generally you are supposed to have a day-use reservation or an overnight reservation to get admitted to the park.)

When we got into the park it seemed fairly hazy/smoky.). We had a reservation at the Yosemite View Lodge in the valley. Our room was terrific. Our room faced away from the road and we had a balcony facing the forest and it was very quiet. Our balcony was our go-to place during our stay. (Our room was Tamarack #4128.) We walked around the various stores in the area-there is a cafeteria, bar and gift shop/country store. We brought a lot of food and were glad we did. Cafeteria food did not look very good.

I got up early the next day and walked around the area. Yosemite falls is dry but still had very striking granite. I waled around the valley a bit and saw a couple getting married in the field. Quite striking seeing the white wedding dress and veil in the field! It was significantly more smoky on friday. My eyes hurt some and the sky was grey extremely hazy. The Bridal Veil Falls area is closed for renovation.. My partner and I drove up Tioga road. My partner loved driving in the woods. But it was very smoky and the vistas were very hazy. We stoped at Olmstead Point, had our lunch, and went back to the hotel.

There were many serious hikers and rock climbers at our hotel. it was interesting talking to them about their plans. There apparently were some people climbing El Capitain, but we couldn't see them.

We went to the Ahwahnee for drinks and bar food. they serve at the bar counter and there were many tables outside. In the restaurant itself they serve a buffet dinner for about 60$ and a buffet breakfast for about $30. We never made it to either. But it was available to those not staying at the hotel.

On saturday it was perhaps even more smoky. We left at about noon and retraced our steps on rte. 140. We discovered a place in Mariposa by the name of High Country Food and Cafe. We had a nice lunch there. It also has a great array of produce and drinks-if you need to get some food and drink on your way to the park, this would be a good stop. (As we were leaving Mariposa, we went by a place called "1850" that had a nice outdoor patio.)

The drive home took a bit longer than the drive the other way. By Saturday, it seemed that all of Central California was blanketed in smoke. Even when we returned to Monterey, it was smoky.

I hope this is helpful!
youngtom2910 is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2021, 10:48 AM
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Nice report (and confirmation that 'outsiders' have access to the Ahwahnee Dining Room). I've had drinks in the Lobby bar a few times but never eaten there.

Yes, the smole has been coming and going in the Central Valley and all of northern Calif. One day semi-decent the next a smoky mess.

Just one bit of clarification: "We had a reservation at the Yosemite View Valley Lodge in the valley. . . ". Yosemite View Lodge is an entirely different property in El Portal just outside the park.
janisj is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2021, 09:27 PM
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Thank for the report. Almond trees most everywhere.
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