Saturday was clean up and packup day. Those of us still there had to take care of the linens, dishes, counters, etc. We got packed up by 11 AM…which was our official check out time. Tim checked his e-mail and the owner told us that we stay longer since he wasn’t coming until late afternoon. Too late. We were already packed up. Plus we were anxious to get home.
Everyone was very tired. Although Tim was exhausted, he managed to drive the entire way home. Nicole had a coupon (and a hankering) for Papa Murphy’s pizza. So we stopped in Fullerton to pickup two pizzas for supper.
Friday was a day that a carload was going to be heading home. So in the late morning, all of us drove to the Merced River (which was barely flowing). We hung out for a while playing in the water, hiking around, skipping rocks, spotting wildlife.
Tim set up for a group photo.
Here’s the photo.
We came home and had lunch. We got a final group photo in the living room of the vacation house.
Jeri, Jason, Victoria, and Lizzie packed up and headed home. They left around 4 PM. Because they hit LA around 11 PM, they had to take a construction detour on Interstate 405. So they didn’t get home until around midnight.
Josiah waving goodbye.
We enjoyed the hot tub once last time and watched the stars. We didn’t see as many shooting stars as we did the previous night.
Thursday was a day off. In the afternoon, we took an optional trip to Coulterville to see their museum. Everyone except Jason and Jeffrey made the trip. The drive was about 30 miles and took about an hour.
Although the museum was smaller than we expected, we were able to see some interesting artifacts from the Gold Rush era. At its peak, the town had 10,000 residents but now it’s down to a few hundred.
After spending a couple hours looking around, we headed back home. On our way back through Mariposa, we stopped at the Pioneer Market to pickup some goodies (like soda) since it was Joanna’s birthday.
Here’s Joanna celebrating her 21st birthday with a drink (of MUG Root Beer).
Tuesday we relaxed at home. We watched “The Chase” on the game channel, played Wii Party U, played cards.
Wednesday was our designated “Yosemite” day…we would spend the day at the park. Initially Tim thought that we would leave somewhat early (7:30 AM) to beat the crowds and the heat. However we decided to push it back to 8:00 AM, then eventually to 9:00 AM.
So a little after 9 AM, we packed up our water bottles, lunches, and snacks and took off. Around 10 AM on our way to Yosemite Valley, we stopped at El Capitan for a photoshoot. It’s hard to believe that people will actually climb the face of El Capitan. Although we looked for climbers, we didn’t see any.
In the valley, Yosemite has free shuttle buses to take you around. So we checked out the map and figured out the stop for Vernal Falls and boarded the bus.
The hike to the top of Vernal Falls is 1.5 miles each way with an elevation gain of 1,000 feet. They rate the hike as “moderate.” So around 11 AM, we started the hike.
The hike started as a slow and steady climb. We were concerned on how well Josiah would hold out…but he did fine with energy to spare. Back when he was two years old, we gave him the nickname, the “Energizer Bubba.”
Finally we reached the foot bridge where we refilled our water bottles. Although Lizzie was feeling a little down, Tim encouraged her to keep going. She, along with everyone else, made it to the falls.
When we reached the base of the falls, we stopped to eat lunch. The squirrels (which we didn’t feed) were quite tame and would come up to us looking for food. Some of the squirrels were very fat.
Because our visit was in late summer, the falls didn’t have a lot of water. In spite of that, the falls were still noisy. People were swimming in the pool beneath the falls.
As we ate lunch, we noticed that the trail continued to the top of the falls where we could see some people looking over a railing. Because we had finished a long hike (as well as lunch) and were enjoying the view of the falls, we figured that we had experienced the falls and would be ready to head back down.
Tim stopped to talk with an experienced hiker and asked him if it was worth hiking to the top of the falls. He gave us definite “Yes.” So we took this group picture and then climbed to the top of the falls. This final climb was up 200 feet. Tim counted each step up; there were 360.
The view was definitely nice from the top.
Working to maintain our balance down the steep steps, the hike down from the top was, in some ways, more challenging than the hike up.
After the hike, we stopped at the Ansel Adams Gallery to view some amazing pictures. Then we found our vehicles and headed out. On our way out of Yosemite, we stopped at Tunnel View to take some pictures at this popular location.
We made it home around supper time. We popped some frozen pizzas in the oven and relaxed the rest of the evening.
The hike to Taft Point was 1.1 miles from the parking area (AKA the trailhead). It was an easy hike that had minimal elevation gain. Because we were at a higher elevation (about 7,500 feet above sea level) and because it was getting close to sundown, the temperature was pleasant. The scenery was beautiful.
A few of us drove into Mariposa to do some more grocery shopping. After we returned in the early afternoon, we ate lunch and packed up some sandwiches. Then around 4 PM, we drove to Glacier Point in Yosemite. Glacier Point is up a long, winding road to a spot that overlooks Yosemite Valley. Here we are at Glacier Point.
After Glacier Point, we drove about two miles back down the road to the trailhead for Taft Point and Sentinel Dome. Originally we were thinking of catching sunset at Sentinel Dome, but at the last minutes, Tim decided to hike to Taft Point instead. (Each of the hikes was 1.1 miles one way.)
The description of Taft Point (named after President Taft who visited Yosemite) is “a scenic spot at 7,500 feet elevation…one step to the north and you are at 4,000 feet.”
As seen in the above photos, the official Taft Point had a metal railing to protect you from falling over the edge. However Nicole and Joanna had a photo-taking session apart from the railing. They carefully crawled to within 10 feet or so of the edge to take some photos. Be sure to click on the photo below and look for Joanna and Nicole in the center.
The drive was very twisty and windy…a few people were feeling quite sick during our trip home.
This year, our vacation took us to Yosemite. We rented a house in Midpines for a week. The house is about an hour from the western entrance to the park.
We left Saturday morning August 16th and, surprisingly, we left almost on schedule. The drive was a little over 300 miles. We had to endure a slow slog through L.A. We took our “new” vehicles that we purchased this year: our 2005 Kia Sedona minivan and our 1997 Subaru Legacy wagon. The latter we were able to get the A/C working by adding more refrigerant (R134a). In preparation for our trip, we took the Subaru to the shop. We had them replace the timing belt and water pump.
A selfie in the Subaru.
After a few hours, we stopped at a Del Taco for lunch.
After stopping, the A/C in the Subaru would work intermittently. So the temperature would cycle between cold to lukewarm. Not sure if it was due to excessive refrigerant in the system or if the 100 degree outside temperature was a factor.
Before getting to the house, we stopped at a Vons grocery store in Oakhurst. Because we were shopping for the week, we shopped for a good hour.
We finally got to the house around 7 PM. After unpacking, we ate supper and relaxed.
Selfie time. #selfie #fair #Iowa #highschooler #annoying #tomanyhashtags Nicole in the food department. Some really cool cakes that were going to be judged soon. Some more awesomeness in the food department. Super Mario Galaxy Mario Galaxy Mario. Nicole taking a picture of Lizzie taking a picture. Olaf! Lizzie and Victoria at Panera Bread. And finally, Rachel with her pound and a half of cream cheese.