Yosemite National Park - December 27, 2008
We needed a break after the rush of Jena arriving, the wedding, John leaving and then Christmas. We had not been up to Yosemite for several years or since the horrific fires, so what better day to go then my father's birthday? Yosemite and San Francisco were his favorite places.
We made it to Mariposa for lunch at the Red Fox on Highway 140, under new management and now owned by Missy. It was not a disappointment. The interior is done in a pleasant burgundy and white, tables for four in a sunny room, white lace curtains. The room was covered in hand made paper snowflakes. Not your average childlike designs but fascinatingly different, small works of art. I took pictures of each one. The menu offers breakfast and lunch, a good variety, and each entree had an extra, enticing detail about it. I had the tuna melt and fries, David had French Onion soup and half a turkey sandwich. The food was hot and delicious, reasonably priced. The bathroom was a welcome as it was large, clean and quite warm, a relief from the severe cold outside. We searched for the gold mine store to find it had closed, looked a bit further for gold pans (to replace the pans on the ponds) to no avail. The trip was not a total loss in that the local clothing store had my impossible-to-find light brown felt cowboy hat!
On the road again.
There is still a bypass around a rock slide that covers a section of 140. A quick detour on a tinkertoy looking bridge across Merced River to the road built on the old railroad path, then back again once you are past the slide they have not been able to repair as of yet. The quantity of rock is breath taking. I started taking pictures the minute we saw snow, and I would laugh at these scant pictures later. I am glad I am still mesmorized by the sight of snow. Jena, who now lives in Germany has had enough of it, and John, stationed in Illinois, will probably soon feel the same.
David took a delight in having four wheel drive and snow tires, able to pass everyone on the side of the road struggling with chains. It was quite nice.
The trip was a winter wonderland. Everything was covered in glistening, glittering, silent white. While there were tracks on almost every meadow, it had not been long enough for the purity of white to become completely trashed with dirt from travelers. Alas, rudeness and lack of consideration for others has permeated Yosemite. We simply try to be twice as polite in our wanderings to make up for those who are not. Karma is good.
Two extremely tame ravens met us on our first lengthy leave of the car, I mourned I had nothing outside a Necco wafer, which they promptly gobbled. I would have taken another hundred pictures (I took 218) had it not been so cold, having to return to the car every so often before my face froze. It was very hard to stop snapping, every turn provided another perfect Kodak moment. A hot coffee at the visitor center and we headed back home, rewarded with a spectacular sunset over the dark mountains. A hot dinner at the Branding Iron and back to our cozy home, fireplace in the bedroom and gloriously happy animals. A lovely way to celebrate our fifteenth day of marriage.