We hope 2017 is the year the California drought ends. We’re off to a good start with some storms giving us water and snow.
Stud Muffin dashed up to Yosemite last week to check on conditions and how Wawona was doing with all the water.
He took this at our favorite swimming hole in Wawona. It gets its name, Swinging Bridge, from the … well, from the swinging bridge that spans the river. This is the south fork of the Merced River in Yosemite on January 9, 2017.
The water roiling in the forefront covers the sandy beach where we park our gear. The torrent on the left is where we paddle around and swim and cool off in the summer.
I’m blessed to live just over an hour from the south entrance to the park. I’m less than two hours from Yosemite Valley. I’m blessed beyond measure to be able to spend time in Wawona, inside the park, but about an hour from the Valley. Wawona is beautiful, but less crowded than the Valley floor.
We’ve been going to Wawona for family vacations and long weekends pretty regularly for the past … twenty-mumble years. It’s a place of memories, laughter, and fun. We’ve celebrated milestones. We’ve grieved and cried. We’ve rested and healed. Yosemite is very near to our hearts, Wawona even more.
In the coming weeks, we’ll spotlight different areas of the park and the surrounding area. We’ll talk history. We’ll go on photographic tours.
Is there anything specific you’d like to hear about the park and the area? Anything I can find out for you?
Here’s a picture of our favorite swimming hole, just to whet your appetite.
I had a lovely time at the spa a couple of weeks ago with my old friends that I blogged about here. My concerns about the minerals and my skin allergy were unfounded. I was no worse (and perhaps a tiny bit better) after the visit. Of course, I did avoid the actual mineral baths and instead enjoyed the saline pool, the hot and cold pools, and the various other pools the spa offered.
Now we get to take another trip with long time friends. There’s some overlap in these groups so we get to see some of these people again soon. We’re leaving today for a long weekend in Yosemite at our friend’s family cabin. We’ve been visiting this cabin for over twenty-five years now. Our daughters grew up looking forward to cabin trips. Now our grand-daughters love the cabin too.
This trip will be a mini-reunion with the arrival of a family who moved out of state several years ago. They’re coming back with their grown kids and grand kids, so it will be a busy and wonderful time of making memories, eating, swimming (presuming there’s still water, always a concern in August), drinking, puzzles, reading, digging in the dirt, collecting rocks and feathers, forest golf, ping pong, Rook, cribbage, relaxing, laughing, and having fun.
The dog and house sitter is booked. The menu planning is done. The shopping and packing is done. We’re ready to hit the road!
We just spent five days in our favorite vacation destination: Yosemite.
I remember visiting the park as a child, camping in the Valley, and hiking the trails. I rode my first horse in Yosemite. I remember the legendary firefall from Glacier Point.
In 1989 we were invited to a cabin owned by dear friends and we’ve been blessed to return two or three times a year ever since. Our girls grew up looking forward to our next visit to “the cabin.” They’ve now hiked the trails. They’ve seen the effects of drought on the falls and the consequences of flooding in the Valley.
It’s now a family tradition: looking forward to our next cabin trip. One grand-daughter has now ridden her first horse around the park’s perimeter. The other loves playing in the dirt, splashing in the river, and hunting for feathers and bones (she found a deer leg on this trip!).
We have several must-dos on each visit:
We must visit the river.
We must take a nap on the deck overlooking the river.
We must walk to the store and have an ice-cream and perhaps visit the Pioneer Village, walk over the covered bridge and visit the jail and watch the horses pull the stage coach.
We must go to the Wawona Hotel on an evening and enjoy the resident musician, Tom Bopp, on the piano.
We love Hawaii. We love traveling to new places. But Yosemite is where we return every year. Like swallows who can’t imagine a better place to nest than San Juan Capistrano.
We get to go back in August and we can’t wait! Where is your favorite summer destination?