We started off our summer with a camping trip, so why not end it in the great outdoors as well? We last went camping in Yosemite in 2008. That time, it was sort of a fluke. I happened to check for camping reservations in May or so and there was ONE campsite available in the park, so we took it. That sort of thing doesn't happen very often. Yes. I checked.
So, this time around, we again stayed in Wawona, but rented a little cabin for 3 nights instead of camping. All in all, it doesn't save that much work except for setting up camp and taking it down. The bathrooms are more convenient and you don't need quarters for the showers. Still, I'd be camping if I'd had the choice.But the cabin had everything we needed, including two bedrooms so we wouldn't have to try and get the kids to sleep in the same room. Bedtime was a nightmare in San Diego. It not only had satellite TV (on which to watch the Giants lose repeatedly), but wireless internet too. Thankfully, we weren't there that much!
We stopped overnight in Fresno to visit Grandpa Ryder on our way to the park. From there it's a pretty short drive into Yosemite and we made our first stop at the Mariposa Grove because that was something we skipped three years ago and it was right there at the entrance.It made for a nice, albeit long-by-kidlet-standards, hike among the sequoias. We saw some deer and this chimpunk who kindly posed on a branch for me.The kids weren't overawed by the trees, but I think they were at least a little impressed. There were flowers and butterflies. Those kept Mam agape intermittently.Not really long enough to stop the whining though. In her defense, the shoes she'd worn were too small and the walk is hardly flat. I don't imagine her feet felt too good.We were able to check into our cabin an hour early and were advised on the local waterfall and swimming holes. After we got the mommymobile unpacked, we headed for a recommended spot in the river. You've never seen a kid happier to be in the water than Mam was.Too cold? Not a chance! It turned out you could jump right into the river from the rocks above.That is, you could jump in if you were very careful to note that it was only about four feet deep! Daddy learned quickly.
Interestingly, it wasn't fearless Mam who launched herself off the rocks next, it was my timid little Smunch.Despite Smunch's glowing reports about how much fun it was, Mam wasn't so sure.It took watching Daddy, Smunch and me jumping off several times for her to warm up to the idea. Then, of course, it was all the rage and she jumped over and over, later instructing other children on the ins and outs of jumping from the rock.We went back to the cabin to change into dry clothes and then set out on a pre-dinner hike around the nearby meadow. This seemed like a great idea. The light was beautiful, I figured we'd see a deer or two and it was an easy, flat trail.The one part I'd failed to account for was that it's a meadow and meadows often mean standing water, especially in a year like this one where there was a lot of rain. And evening brings mosquitoes. Mosquitoes like me. A lot. Turns out they find the rest of the family pretty tasty as well. At least there were some pretty flowers.And the light was indeed lovely.I'm sure we walked faster as we went along. I may have forgotten the DEET, but at least I brought the hydrocortisone!