Sadly for me, the backseat passenger, the first half of our very last day was spent tearing down the Yosemite Park Highway at an alarming speed, due to the ever increasing stench of rubbish in our boot. We had tried (with no avail) to open the Bear Proof dumpsters adjacent to our cabin. These magical bins were not only Bear-Proof but also girl-proof. So that is how I ended up with half a tube of Vicks vaporiser shoved up my nose, with my head hanging out of the window and the AC on high. At 8am. When it was still freezing. Not the most glamorous moment of our trip, but certainly one of the most hilarious!
It was destination Wawona, as we set out to find a secluded and not-so-popular attraction, the Swinging Bridge. After we had deposited our “trash” into the unlockable Bear Proof Bins at a campsite half way to nowhere, we found our way past the Wawona Hotel and Town, and past Camp Wawona that looked very much like where the Disney classic “Parent Trap” was filmed. This excited us immensely and we geared up to see what we could find! Not very much, it would appear. The Swinging Bridge “trail” was not very easy to find and not much worth the hassle once we did. It made for another pretty lunch spot (if you ignored the littering of sanitary items 😐 ). After a quick stop, we doubled back on our trail to find that no other cars had joined us in the car park, and the toilets were closed for the season. After finding an appropriate “nature spot” to let nature call, we were on the road again. This was, not before, a ranger type vehicle came tearing up the path and I almost tripped over myself trying to get dressed again and not “soil” my boots. Charming! Who says I can’t be outdoorsy?
The rest of the day was quite relaxed. We had intended to see the famed Giant Sequoia trees of Mariposa Grove, but Tioga Road (a main road within the park) was closed at the time. We then attempted to head up the 4 Mile Trail for a last, optimistic glimpse at the stunning scenery. Sadly, we got 500m up the trail and decided it was too hot/steep/sticky/the wind was going the wrong way/we didn’t have enough water/food/motivation.
Luckily we were all on the same page and we all giggled and ambled back down the mountain. We voyaged around the valley by foot, and it was equally if not differently charming! Jane spent about 5 years taking photos of a pine cone in the lake, which actually turned out spectacularly, compared to my half-hearted attempts at floating “leaves” (read: rubbish that I did not immediately recognise). This made us very hungry so we went to the Yosemite Hotel Lodge Restaurant, which was more like a cafeteria, and inhaled some donuts, coffee, cheeseburgers, hotdogs and chips. #cleaneating
Our last night was spent (surprise surprise!!) eating, drinking, and laughing at packing. We had intended to go and see the sunrise from Glacier Point, but when we awoke it was pouring down so we made do with a sleep in and one last cooked breakfast. It was a good thing we ate, because we did not eat until some 7 hours later when we finally wound up at San Francisco Airport, delirious, starving and busting! Special thanks must be given to Jane for her patience, driving skills and extensive coverage of North Bayshore Road as we had one final “scenic route” around San Francisco. This trip was most likely a once in a lifetime for me- a road trip in the remote Sierra Nevada region of California in Yosemite National Park, with two good friends, one sturdy car and countless laughs and memories! Thank you to everyone who helped me get there, who answered my reverse charge calls and thank you to all of you reading this! You have given me a reason to take overly staged, natural looking pictures “for the blog” and allowed me to express myself through writing and sharing, and of course, travelling.
Any tips for the next trip? Where are your favourite places to visit?
Travel safe, smart and far!