Saturday, January 13, 2007

In the Hall of the Mountain Kings-YOSEMITE

El Capitan

Half Dome.

The first time I drove into Yosemite Valley, I could hear "In the Hall of the Mountain Kings" music in my head. It is a very majestic moment to see El Capitan and Half-Dome in your vision at the same time. The first time we came in, we used the southern route; this time we came in through the northern route.

My husband was tickled to be able to buy his Golden Passport. At age 62, you pay $10 and you can get into any National Park FREE for the rest of your life. That means anyone who is in your vehicle! What a deal!

We got in around 3:30 in the afternoon. Our room wasn't quite ready (Yosemite Falls Lodge), so we drove to the gift shop and did a little shopping. By then, our room was ready. The rooms are rustic, but comfortable. Yes, they DO have TVs.

We ate dinner at the food court. They have a good selection of pasta, grilled entrees (hamburgers etc), chicken, duck, pizza, salads, soups, desserts, etc. Pretty reasonable prices. You could also go to the grocery store at the village and buy your own stuff. A lot of people camp at Camp Curry (and another camp whose name I can't think of right now).

They have community activities (like free movies, etc) if you stay long enough. They aren't offered every day, but you don't need to be entertained, really. Just driving around to see all the sights will entertain you enough. The valley itself isn't very big and you could easily take it in in a day but there are tons of trails and off road excursions to keep you busy for a week. In the winter, some of the trails are closed so it limits your activities.

Luckily, both times I've visited Yosemite have not been PEAK times, so it's not been real crowded. The first time was Labor Day week and the next time was New Year's Day. So if you go, try to avoid the crowds and you'll enjoy it much more.


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