|The money shot|
For our Northern California road trip last fall, I wanted to include Yosemite. I know it's hard to get to, and that the waterfalls wouldn't be flowing at that time of year but I felt like I would be closer than at any other time so I had to make it work.
The rain started about an hour away from Yosemite. And it didn't stop for the entire day. On the bright side, the waterfalls were really flowing. We visited a few of the falls - getting soaked to the skin - watched the movie at the visitor center, ate pizza at the Curry Village snack bar (actually the only place we found open), and did the Yosemite drive loop. We had hoped to do the Tioga Road up to the Pass but it was closed. Womp, womp. So by late afternoon I felt we had made the most of the very rainy day and we were ready to call it a day.
|Couldn't keep the raindrops off the camer|
Day Two The next day dawned bright and sunny. We did a short hike in the Tuolumne Grove to see the giant trees - Mariposa Grove was closed - and headed straight to Tunnel View after that. And wow, it didn't disappoint. I think it may be one of the prettiest views around. Then we drove into the valley for quite different views from the day before. A picnic lunch at the bottom of El Capitan - what a spot to picnic! - came next. We heard that Tioga Road was open again so wasting no time we drove up it. More killer views - I'm so glad it was safe to open the road again - I would've hated to miss that!
|I could've just pulled a chair up and sat here all day|
|Clouds are rolling in|
|In my happy place|
So that was our two days in Yosemite. Too short - as with all travels, especially road trips - and always the promise to return. And the $64,000 question - is Yosemite still my favorite national park? Yes! In retrospect, it was awesome to see the park in the rain - and take in it's moodiness - and then the next day in the sunshine. It was a good visit.
Where we stayed
I usually plan my travel way far in advance. But this trip was a bit more last minute. By the time we looked at places to stay in the park, most of them were booked - except Curry Village and all they had available were non-heated tent cabins. I've stayed in Curry Village in June and it was quite cold at night so I thought we would be really cold in October. There is a new(ish) Lodge - Tenaya Lodge - which looks very nice but the price was high for just rolling in and sleeping and heading out again the next morning. So we booked a camping cabin at Yosemite Pines which is a commercial campground about an hour from the west entrance to the park. We thought we could sit on the front porch and enjoy the outdoors with a picnic dinner. Unfortunately, the rain put a damper on that. This cabin was sufficient - though very tiny - with a fridge/microwave, bunk beds and a double and a teeny, tiny bathroom. But that's really all we needed. I would say though that I was glad it was only for a night. I'm not sure how well it would go for longer than that.
How about you? Where is your favorite national park? Have you been to Yosemite? Have you stayed at Tenaya Lodge?
This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, The Weekend Wanderlust Travel Blog Party,Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond!