And Then There Were Four… Yosemite National Park

After San Francisco we left for Yosemite National Park with 4 people, all necessary camping stuff and food to fit in to a Rav 4. A fantastic vehicle but not the biggest car in the world. Luckily, thanks to Seb’s incredible packing skills we managed to get it all in and still manage to see out of the back window. Seb had a number of responsibilities. He was GPS programmer and navigator too. This all came under the umbrella of minister of transportation. The rest of us had roles too. Jack was minister of information. His job was to be the accomm booker as well as the person who had to find out information to the extent he was often pouring over a book rather than being able to enjoy the view however. Poor Jack! As Seb needed a lot of internet access for work he had purchased this little device in Seattle. It worked so well and we could connect 5 devices to it. I love having the internet as did the rest of our group so we all loved this little addition to our glamping trip. Maija was our official photographer. I especially appreciated this. I love having photos but I am not so keen on taking them. I was food and beverage manager. I was also finance manager but I completely sucked at this job and got completely confused with about 2 days. I did manage to look after our shared kitty fairly well. Due to all of us having our own cash but having a lot of shared expenses like gas, food and camping fees we used a spare purse for a kitty. It sure makes things a lot easier at bill payment time. There you have it. Today’s group travel tip. You’re welcome.

Will it all fit in?

It did!! Just!!

I knew that Yosemite was supposed to be beautiful but it really is amazing and possible my favourite type of climate and landscape. Most people stay in the valley but it was completely full. We stayed at White Wolfe Campsite (no showers!) which was up in the high country and almost an hour from the valley. We arrived at lunchtime so while the others set up tent I prepared Pastrami Reubens and a huge side salad which was so easy to make especially on the grill pan we had which was similar to this one.

Campfire food – Pastrami Reubens

Setting up camp!

After lunch we headed to Luccens Lake which was only 4 km walking distance from our campsite. Not a stunning walk, but the destination was stunning.

Walking to Lucens Lake

As the sun went down it started to get really cold. I cooked us up Quesadillas for dinner which was such easy campfood. So easy to make if you are car camping. Get yourself a tortilla spread it with hummus, salsa. black beans, spring onions and non-dairy cheese. Don’t put too many filling ingredients in or it will be too difficult to flip. Put another tortilla on the top and place it on a hot griddle or large fry pan. When it is brown and crispy flip it and cook on the other side. Serve with a splodge or non-dairy sour cream and guacamole. These were a big hit with our veg campers.

No Queso Quesadillas. Also perfect campfire food. I know.. A wine bottle is up my nose.

Maija demonstrating her Finnish campfire skills.

Seb and I slept so well, but Maija and Jack (total cold bunnies) had a very fitful night’s sleep. The temperature dropped to 2 degrees and we were quite unprepared for that. The time between getting up and leaving for our morning walk in the valley was really hard and it took ages to get moving.

So cold. Maija warms her hands on the tea water.

We headed down in to the valley and went to the carpark. Popular national parks have central car parks and you catch shuttles to get around the more popular areas. While it took a while to orientate yourself to get around the park it really did work well and buses arrived on a very regular basis. We took our first shuttle to El Capitan. Using some borrowed binoculars we were able to see people who were climbing up this 900 metre high monolith. I’d like to be able to rockclimb.

Glorious day with El Capitan in the background

We walked back through to the valley by Yosemite Falls alongside the river and ate lunch there.

On arrival in the village we went to Ahwanee Hotel for a coffee which was inspiration for the hotel in The Shining.

Ahwanee?? Again?? Yep.. It’s so beautiful!

We were pooped so we drove back to our campsite and I prepared South Western Quinoa Soup and completely messed up the campstove for th rest of the trip due to an overfull pan and total darkness. Perfect for our rapidly freezing bodies and a great camping dish generally. Serve it with the sour cream and guac.

Maija prepared the equivelent of Finnish Smores. Bananas peeled half way around and dark chocolate broken in to squares and inserted in to the banana and then heated through. Much healthier and easier than that marshmallow stuff. Next time though I would not put them on a grill as we nearly lost them to the fire. I shudder to think.

We woke up early the next morning so we could pack up and head to Los Angeles. Like all the national parks we visited I feel like we only got oriented and saw a tiny fraction of the park. In order to be at peace with the fact I had to promise myself to come back, to consider this trip a taster for exploring some areas in a lot more detail next time.

Freezing cold breakfasts at White Wolf

Bear cupboards

Actually when we departed Yosemite rather than arriving.


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