Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Family in Oakhurst 7.9.08

We pulled up stakes & took off to Yosemite today and SUCCESS!! We found a killer campsite in Bridalveil Campground in Yosemite. We zoomed out of Mono Lake at some o-dark-thirty time when the sun was barely up & drove into Yosemite. The drive through Yosemite is a bit slow as it's a very windey road & is mostly 35mph. So to make it from one entrance to the Village is an hour & a half, and to make it from the Village to our campsite is another hour. But since we got up so @#(%& early....we had found a site in Bridalveil, setup the tent, & were headed to Oakhurst by 11am. Whew! That's our quickest time yet to pull up from one place & setup at another, but I reminded Michael...we won't try that again...haha.

We drove into Oakhurst (another hour & a half from our campsite) to see Michael's Great Aunt Pearl & Great Uncle Dick, who he hasn't seen in over 12 years. They were delighted to see us (as were we!) and we spent most of the afternoon at lunch & visiting. We were treated to a wonderful italian lunch & some very old photos of the family, (that's Michael's head at the bottom of the picture and his mom, dad, & sister)

not to mention stories of their time in Yosemite. Uncle Dick worked in Yosemite for 30 years & had lots of great stories about where they visited & places we should see. Dick began working at Yosemite almost 50 years ago! He told us many stories of the area and one that I found fascinating was about the time he was the logistics manager of the building of one of the High Sierra Camp houses. He explained that everything – the building materials, fixtures, cement, had to be brought in by mule. They had 25 mules – 5 teams of 5 mules, and it took over 130 days to build the place. That just amazes me. He was also explaining that they would use wooden boxes on the side of the mule & would take the mules down to the river & would load those wooden boxes up with river rock for the cement. Well, the first shovel of rock to hit those boxes startled the mules so much that “those 5 mules ran in 10 different directions and it took us near the whole afternoon to round them back up”. By the end of construction though, the mules would have no problem with gravel falling on the hooves.

He also knew Ansel Adams personally and spent time with him. He called him a master in the darkroom and often the picture that he took was not the finished product as he could manipulate the light to get the picture he desired. Now I’ve always admired Ansel Adams’ photos. But I’ll tell you…with all this beauty & grandeur everywhere you look, how can you NOT take a fabulous picture! Of course Ansel is rolling over in his grave for that comment.

It was such a pleasure to spend time with them.

Although….in Oakhurst it was 115!! It was hot, hot, hot! We stopped to do a quick load of laundry and thank goodness it was air conditioned! And for some reason, I was super car sick on the roads out of Yosemite today. I’m not a car sick person, and can even read while we’re driving….but something about today – the super windy roads that are like the tracks of a roller coaster with their twists & turns….something was different. It was all I could do to hold it together until we got back to camp.

It was the 1st time I've met them & they were lovely. If we didn't have laundry, grocery, & an hour drive to get back...we could have visited all day.

We're leaving Oakhurst now - I spent the last hour while laundry was going to update the slog & read e-mails. Hopefully I'll have internet long enough to post them tonight!! I'm pretty sure we'll lose it when we get to Yosemite as we have no cell phone signal.

I'll have lots more in the coming days!
{GMST}37|39.765|N|119|37.254|W|Camping in Bridalveil Campground in Yosemite!|Camping in Yosemite{GEND}


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