Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mariposa Grove & Wawona BBQ 7.12.08

(One more view of Yosemite Falls - both the upper & lower)

We had another lazy morning today – we both woke up when we wanted (or when the neighbors were too loud) and just lounged. I think I’ve told you that a friend of mine gave us some heater meals before we left to use on our trip. We’ve been eating them when we didn’t get fresh items at the store or when it just was not convenient to make something fresh. All of the items have been good so far – we call them mystery meat meals as you never know exactly what you’re going to get. This morning we tried the eggs & pancakes…. The pancakes were excellent…but the eggs….they were horrible. Michael managed to choke his down but I couldn’t get over the smell and went hungry. They were those powdered eggs that you just add water to. Disgusting...

We got cleaned up & took off to Wawona. On the way, we found this cute little guy - a red fox – running down the side of the road for a bit.

Wawona has a little general store that we picked up items for a picnic lunch – egg/tuna sandwiches, crackers & cheese, & a cookie for Michael. We ate while waiting for the shuttle to take us to the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees near the South entrance of the park. We met the same park ranger, Ranger Alex, for a guided tour of the Mariposa Grove up to the Grizzly Giant tree. It was monstrous! One of the branches is 7 ft in circumference…almost as big as some of the trees on the ground! We enjoyed the talk very much and even though we’ve heard it about 3 times, learned a thing or two.

We meandered around the grove for a bit and then jumped back on the shuttle to Wawona. The grove of redwoods was nice, although since we’ve been to the Avenue of the Giants on the coast, I was a bit disappointed. Hopefully Kings Canyon/Sequoia Canyon will be better. Honestly, I’ve been a bit disappointed with Yosemite as a whole. Sure, there are beautiful parts (as any park has) but after all I’ve read & been told about how magnificent Yosemite is…I had higher expectations. Frankly, it sucks that the fires are burning & smoking up the place. We go up to these fabulous areas and can barely see the other side of the valley! The more people I confide this in all say I must promise to come back in the Spring or in January & I’ll see the grandeur I was expecting. Michael says he remembers it to be super crisp the last time he was here and right now doesn’t even compare to his memories. Ok…enough with the complaining…

When we chatted with Michael’s Uncle & Aunt, they made us promise to eat a meal at the Wawona Hotel as it was one of their favorites. Tonight, they had an all-you-can-eat BBQ dinner for $20/pp. The whole front lawn was splayed with circular tables & chairs and had a ton of food…ribs, chicken, steak, hot dogs, mahi mahi, and all the sides you can imagine.
We sat at a table with a couple from England & Tim, a fellow from Texas. We all had a wonderful time chatting & getting to know each other over the wonderful meal. Before we took off for the campsite we both went to the restroom before meeting up at the Jeep. (This is very important….just stay with me) The bathrooms were just beside the golf shoppe & had something wonderful in them….SHOWERS!! Our campground does not have showers & there are only 3 public shower facilities in the entire park – one in Toulumne Meadows and two down in the Village, which are all a long way away!! So I ran back to the Jeep (skipped the whole way, actually) so excited to take a SHOWER! It took Michael a little convincing but he finally gave in as well and took advantage of the oh so wonderful shower. Ooohhhh…it felt sooo good!! Haha… And even better because it was free! Well, we rationalize it by thinking we paid for dinner & a shower…haha…shhhhh….don’t tell!! Anyway, it was a great evening and perfect for our last night in Yosemite. Tomorrow…we head for Kings Canyon!!

More to follow…


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