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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I started working for Yosemite Park and Curry Co. in summers from 1967 to 1973. I started as a maid and made 68 beds a day in the tent cabins in Camp Curry. It was a great time with foreign exchange students working too. We worked hard had fun and made little money $1.40 an hour and I paid for meals. We would work for 30 days and then have 3 days off. I would use mine for backpacking up to Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and High Sierra Camps.
Many summer vacations were spent visiting Yosemite National Park. Our Dad was a Los Angeles City Fire Fighter and was able to help push the fire off Glacier Point during one of our stays. Our Mom was the Martha Stewart of camping and we always had the best camp site with the best food and creature comforts. We 4 kids explored, hiked, swam, fished, rode bikes and went horseback riding in the majesty of Yosemite.
Our most memorable adventure happened during one of these visits and we still talk about it to this day. One of my brothers and I were tossing rocks in to the Merced River when he dropped a rock and smashed his finger between two rocks. Back at camp, my parents decided it required medical attention so the 6 of us went to the hospital located in the park.
I have been an annual member of the Sierra Club since 1972; and also to the Yosemite Association starting perhaps somewhere in the 1990′s (although possibly not annually) and now the Conservancy for the last few years.
Unfortunately I live in Texas and do not get to the park very often. Our family of five (three daughters) first visited in the summer of 1972 and I for one experienced quite an epiphany moment when we emerged from the south tunnel and I had my first full view of the valley. It helped focus my life and I have been an active environmentalist every since, winning a few awards along the way (five statewide, one national, four local area.)
I first visited Yosemite when I was born, in 1955. My mom and dad (John and Lula Warrick) took my brother David and I to Yosemite nearly every summer from that year on, until I was 18. My dad, who was Montana born and raised, always had a love for the mountains. I guess it rubbed off on me, and visiting Yosemite, hiking the trails, viewing the waterfalls, and experiencing the nightly firefall has pretty much carved my love for the wilderness into stone.
My grandparents would take my sister and I on summer roadtrips throughout California when we were growing up in the 1950′s. Sequoia and Yosemite were always favorite destinations or stopovers coming back from other vacation spots. My greatest memories are of camping in Curry Village, bears breaking into careless campers’ station wagons and the nightly spectacular firefall. What a glorious sight for a couple of kids! I know it was environmentally insensitive, but I’m forever grateful I got to experience them! Yosemite has changed greatly throughout the years; more crowds, changing landscapes, but nothing is more beautiful than the valley in the winter. The Ahwahnee cloaked in snow, fewer visitors and an abundance of wildlife foraging in the meadows. You can see how John Muir was mesmerized by the beauty of Yosemite Valley and we are so fortunate to have something of such great value so close to escape to.
Newport Beach, CA
My older brother (Ron) and I agree… In the 1950′s and 1960′s Yosemite National Park was absolutely our favorite place to be! Every other summer, beginning in 1954, our Nana and Granddaddy would pick us up at the crack of dawn for our two day trek to Yosemite Valley. The drive seemed to take forever. We knew, however, that we were nearing our destination when we saw the light at the end of the Wawona Tunnel. That light,
Yosemite has great memories for me. In 1968 when I was 15 I went on a family vacation to Yosemite. We went with another family who had a son my age. We dated and went to the same high school and I have been married to him for the past 41 wonderful years.
Woodland Hills, CA
This is the story of my first encounters with the bears of Yosemite and how it changed my life for the better. I was 40 years old when I took a backpack and ventured into the wilderness. I had waited all my life for someone to say, “Hey, let’s go backpacking!” but it never happened and then one day I realized that if I didn’t do it soon, I’d be too old.
So, after reading a few books and getting a map I announced to my friends that I intended to go on a solo backpacking trip into the Yosemite wilderness.
I listened to all the warnings about the bears and the dangers of hiking alone and decided to do it anyway.
I was nine years old when I first visited Yosemite in the summer of 1955 with my father, stepmother and four-year old half-sister. I had never heard of Yosemite before then and mispronounced it as “Yos-mite,” when I first saw it written. But when we entered the valley I felt the awe and reverence that it has evoked in every visitor since John Muir. At my enthusiastic urging, my father agreed to hike with me to the top of Yosemite Falls. He grew up on a farm in northern Sweden and had worked as a lumberjack in British Columbia. He was experienced. I had never hiked before. “But if we start, we will finish. Be prepared,” he told me.
In the mid 70s I lived in Merced and have a number of memories of wonderful hikes. The best vacation I ever had was with my two teenage boys in about 1976. We rented a housekeeping cabin and it was next door to two women who were terrific cooks and shared a lot of food with us. During the days, my boys would go adventuring around and I took my chair to sit beside the Merced River and watch the sparkles on the water. What a wonderful rest from my usual busy life. The sights, the smells of the forest and river, and the quiet were wonderful. I think of it often still.