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Yosemite Road Trip

Yosemite Road Trip - Spring 2001

Day Two

Half Dome in Spring I got a late start on the second day also.  I guess I was just feeling lazy again!  One thing I must say - it gets mighty cold at night in the tent cabins at Curry Village.  I felt very grateful that I had thought to bring some long underwear with me. The night had been pretty chilly.  Even though yesterday ("Day One") had been a little warm, and the cabin seemed stuffy when I first arrived, it cooled off considerably when the sun went down. Each cabin seems to be equipped with a little heater, but I never could get mine to work. I guess I wasn't that motivated! (Besides - I unplugged the heater, to use the cabin's sole outlet for the laptop!)

I must hasten to add that my day was probably not typical of many Yosemite visitors. I have visited many times. I guess after all these years, I try to do things a little more leisurely, and differently.  I decided that I would try to concentrate on doing watercolors on this trip. I am no great landscape painter, but I enjoy the mere act of sitting down and painting Yosemite on location. I find it really enhances my whole Yosemite experience.

So, even though I got a late start, I thought I'd make the best of it.  I headed down from the Valley to Hwy 41 (passing the famous Wawona Tunnel View - and stopping to take the obligatory pictures).  Because I stopped a few times along the way to take photos, it took me 50 minutes to get to Glacier Point, my destination.  It appears to be "off season" there, because the snack shop at the Glacier Point store is "closed for the season". Bummer! Also, there didn't seem to be any running water currently up at Glacier Point, and they had those charming porta potties out as well.  I lingered at Glacier Point for over an hour, painting my small watercolor. It seemed to turn out OK. The weather was overcast and a little "stormy" looking.

On the way back up to Yosemite Valley, I had to stop at the Wawona Tunnel View again, to take some more pictures!  The sun had come out in a very dramatic way, highlighting Half Dome spectacularly. I was rather hungry at this point (it was past 2 pm) but taking a good picture of Half Dome was more important than lunch!

I got a quick lunch at Yosemite Lodge's General Store. I had kind of hoped to eat at the Yosemite Cafeteria, but was dismayed to see that it is undergoing remodeling. (I am unsure if it'll remain the Yosemite Cafeteria that I grew up with, though..).  I ate outdoors, near the Lodge, and had some very fat mooches of squirrels as my companions.  The squirrel population is rather plump, and greedy for any treats Yosemite visitors may drop. But be warned - do not feed Yosemite wildlife!

After having a late lunch, I headed out towards the famous "Gates of the Valley" to do another watercolor. This scene has El Capitan on one side, Bridalveil falls on the other, with the Merced River in the foreground. I don't know how I could have neglected painting it until now! It got rather stormy-looking, and a few drops of rain even fell as I painted. This put me out a bit, but I didn't stop painting. The scene became was really quite beautiful in the light rain. A thick mist fell over El Capitan for a few moments, and I was fortunate to capture it with my camera. I finished my watercolor, which also looked passable. Ah! A good day's work.

I drove around a bit more, taking pictures when I pleased, and then headed back to Curry Village to have dinner and relax.

I am now enjoying the evening in my cabin, listening to MP3 music files on my laptop (yes, even this old crappy laptop can play MP3s!) and working on these web pages.

End of Day Two.

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