We are all part of the Yosemite family, we’ve hiked and biked and camped. We’ve shared a picnic lunch in a shady grove or on a vista gazing into the Valley.
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Cannot remember the exact date, but in the 90′s we took my husband’s parents (from Australia) to Yosemite. They were absolutely in awe. It was snowing. Been there two days and had Sunday brunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel which was superb! We got in our car and started to leave Yosemite, at which time, there was a terrible storm and the rivers were rising and flooding the park everywhere. We got out just in time as they closed all the roads!! Did not want anything bad to happen, but it made the trip very exciting!! My husband and I have been there before, but this made the trip of course truly memorable!! Yosemite is a truly remarkable place.
Capistrano Beach, CA
Recently my family and I were entering Yosemite on our way to backpack the John Muir trail. As we pulled up to the entrance gate, my daughter said that she thought I could get a senior discount because I’d just turned 63. I asked the attendant and she said yes, I can have a free pass to all National Parks, for myself and everyone in my car, if I pay $10 and provide proof of my age. Sure enough, in less than a minute I held a lifetime pass to the parks. It felt like I’d been touched by a magic fairy’s wand, not because I’d done a good deed, but simply because I had managed to exist for 63 years. It didn’t make sense to me that because I’m 63 I can scribble in for free while those of lesser means have to fork out $20.
Anyway, I resolved to up my donation to Yosemite Conservancy to kind of balance things out.
It might be a good idea for the gate attendants to pass out Yosemite Conservancy donation envelopes when they pass out senior passes.
In the summer of 1958, my family came to Yosemite for a day picnic. We lived in Pittsburg, CA at the time and I had just finished the 1st grade. My sister and I were walking carefully across the rocky edge of the river, when I felt a stab of pain in my right foot.
Just returned from a wonderful Yosemite Experience. Along with many other vehicles on Highway 41, we pulled off the road to watch a cinnamon colored bear sow with cub. At one point the mother bear got swarmed by bees and slid down a pine-needle covered slope on her belly. What a great behavior to witness. Her cub meandered along after mom and was incredibly cute and agile, climbing over logs and up and down tree trunks. Please drive the speed limit and keep the wildlife safe.
My daughter was 2-1/2 years old when we were packing to go to YNP. I said, “Alysha we are going to Yosemite.” She responded, we’re going to MY Semite? Yes, Mysemite. Fourteen years later, “MY SMTE” became the subject of her first automobile license plate. Not surprisingly, I found, while researching 7-letter license plates, that similar license plates had already been issued. Many a child may have, perhaps, uttered that same phrase!
Los Angeles, CA
To All of You Who Love the Treasure We Call Yosemite–
When I was in college, I thought I had the best job in the world. Every summer, for four summers, I worked as a cowboy on a cattle ranch in Sheridan, Wyoming. This was a working cattle ranch and family-owned since the 1880′s. I was friends with one of the sons. He invited me to the ranch and they took me in like I was one of the family.
My parents drove to Yosemite from Berkeley in 1935, when I was 4 years old. They set up camp, and then decided I should be there, too. So, they drove all the way back to retrieve me, and we went every year from then on! Our car had no trunk, so we had things tied on top and on the back. A heavy canvas umbrella tent, wooden camp cots, blankets, stove, food, etc. The road up from Merced was usually lined with cars that had overheated. You had to pull over to let the car cool off every so often. We didn’t have a cooler – my dad took a wooden orange crate,covered it with canvas, and soaked it regularly to keep food cool. We also had an old cookie sheet mounted on a pole which was a wonderful bird feeder. I loved the grosbeaks and tanagers who visited daily. And, of course, the bears visited nightly, too. The magic of the valley seduced me. I learned from the rangers at Junior Nature School to observe and love the nature there, and I’m still seduced every time I return!
All my memories of Yosemite are special and glorious. I think of my connection with Yosemite as eras in my life. My early times were spent in the valley with my folks. My mom loved the dance floor at Curry and my dad always got his hair cut at the barber’s in the old village site while mom and I went for ice cream next door. We walked into the meadow at night to watch the firefall and over to where the bears were fed garbage and people ringed the garbage dump with cars with their lights on so we could all see. On the way home one night, I got lost with no flashlight and met my first bear up close and personal.
My daughter came to me one spring after a difficult break up, distressed! In explaining about the break up, she suddenly exclaimed her need to conquer something. I could think of nothing more challenging then going up Half Dome and that summer I knew we would be in the area.