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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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.
We were married in June of 1985 and each of us wanted to have a Sierra Honeymoon where hiking and taking in the stunning beauty of the mountains would fill our every day. Where else but Yosemite! Nature could never paint a more perfect scene. We carry all those moments of 29 years ago with us as if we were back on the trails today. And, we intend to be! If we’re fortunate enough to be able to book a room at the Lodge in June of next year, we’ll once again take the trail to the top of Yosemite Falls, hike the Panorama Trail, wander down to Mirror Lake, listen to the Merced River rolling through and again have special memories of this blessed and enchanted place.
To that end, we’ve joined the Yosemite Conservancy to help preserve the heaven on earth.
Kurt and Anne
Tahoe City, CA
I have never been to Yosemite before, but was inspired when my husband’s cousin, Catherine, asked for donations to Yosemite Conservancy instead of gifts for her wedding shower. I found this very moving, and gave again as a wedding gift to honor her and her now husband, Winston. I hope to be able to take my family there to visit the park someday! We have been to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons and loved the beauty of the parks.
In 2005, we were in San Francisco en route to Canada and then England. Saw we could go up to Yosemite for a day trip, but then we decided to go for 3 nights! Nothing could have prepared us for the delight and surprises ahead! We stayed outside the Park and were transported 7 miles along the wonderful Merced River to have breakfast. We were in awe as we were driven along at the towering trees, peaks etc. When we got into the Park and had breakfast that was equally thrilling – even Porridge on the menu! As we left the building all we could see was those wonderful crags towering around us. We so enjoyed it all – did a tour to Mariposa Grove with Sam and he enlightened us all the way with stories and handed around the pine cones for us to see. My husband had a nose bleed, but we were able to get medical attention at the log cabin type surgery – another unique experience! Everything we saw was unimaginable and we have continued to enjoy the newsletters you send and perhaps hope we might get back to see yet more one day. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY.
Patricia and Ivan Hammond
PS – No photos we took could surpass those provided en site and in your emails!
When my son was nine, we came to Yosemite for the second time. You see, I used to live in California but for whatever reason my family never made it to Yosemite. I later moved to Florida with my dad, mom and brother. So for me, vacationing in Yosemite was a dream of mine. We came when my son was two and I made it to the top of Vernal falls and my two year old made it to the bridge at the bottom of that falls. We bribed him with ice cream. So, our trip back when he was nine was special. He and I climbed the trail and made it to the top of Yosemite falls. As far as I saw he was the youngest boy at the top that morning. It’s a good strenuous hike to the top. A major accomplishment for anyone but even more so for a nine year old boy. There were times when he wanted to give up and I kept him going forward. The reward of course was a gorgeous view of the valley floor below. A dream come true for me. I had a puzzle when I was a girl of Yosemite falls and never thought I’d be standing at the top looking down below. We returned to Yosemite in July this past year and made it back to the top to recapture that memory.
Glancing over the valley upon entering Yosemite, my father’s vision was that of Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir, awesome and breath taking. Those two founders discovered something special in their view sights, as my family discovered decades later and as time moves forward, decades to come.
A cross-country ski trip to Lake Ostrander in Yosemite National Park sounded inviting as we sipped hot buttered rums around a roaring fire. Mike, the young forest ranger among us mentioned a hiking trail into the Ski Hut which he had taken once in summer. My college friend, Virginia, immediately became enthusiastic, “How is the weather during Easter week when I’m off?” Snow is a little scarce that late but skiing conditions could still be good around Washington’s birthday weekend. Ostrander is about 8600 feet and Badger Pass about 7786 feet elevation. It’s only about ten miles.
“Then we’ll be going uphill?” a surprised Virginia asked.
I am lucky enough to have known this wondrous park since 1972. Camping under canvas, tents at the fantastic Curry Village & Tuolumne – what an awesome night sky. Hiking trails in the Valley, Tuolumne & Hetch Hetchy with my husband & two sons. My youngest son climbed Half Dome in 2007. In 2011 a special visit for my husband’s 60th birthday, a treat to the Ahwahnee! And this year, my 60th & the park’s 150th we are returning once more. Every time I visit, and get my first glimpse, it tugs on my heart strings and I feel so so lucky and privileged, to be viewing the wonders of Yosemite National Park once again. Long may YNP endure and thank you USA, for such a magnificent park system.
East Sussex, England