Monday, February 20, 2006

Yosemite National Park... Not!

A lesson learned during this past weekend was that a trip can be fun even when you never make it to the intended destination! Since it was a long weekend and my brother was stopping over on his way back to India, I had booked a trip to Yosemite National Park for 2 days. I booked it a couple of weeks ago when it seemed like spring had arrived prematurely in the Bay Area. But that was not to be. After a week of spring-like weather, winter came back with a vengeance.

Fully aware of forecasts of rain and snow over at Yosemite, we left yesterday morning. But the dreaded "Chains Required" board stopped me 4 hours later, about 10 miles outside the park. I wasn't about to attempt driving with chains for the first time with 2 kids on board and so I turned around.

The amount of snow in the area almost made us think we had driven to Lake Tahoe by mistake. But this also meant that there were a bunch of places by the roadside with freshly fallen snow. So we stopped at a couple of these. Kavya had a whale of a time playing around in the snow, trying to build a snowman and having snowball-fights with us.

We then decided to drive to Bass Lake. That turned out to be a really beautiful drive. With trees coated with snow lining both sides of an empty, smooth road, it was a sight to behold.

But then it started snowing and within a couple of minutes, started coming down real hard. The road became wet and in what was becoming a familiar routine, we decided to turn around again. But driving back in the snowfall was an exhilarating experience. The falling snowflakes were sheets of pretty dots all around us before they zoomed in and smashed on the windshield. So we simply ended up stopping at a couple of more snowfields for more fun for Kavya.

Today morning was warm and sunny and we drove again to Yosemite but the chains requirement still stopped us a few miles outside the park. So we again drove to Bass lake and with the weather helping, managed to make it to the lake this time. The sparkling blue lake looked heavenly.

We then stopped by a cute little town called Pines Village. A typical seaside town, it had a number of houses right by the lake.

We took a walk down the snow-covered docks right upto the lake.

So I would say our trip to Yosemite National Park was great... except for the tiny fact that we never went into Yosemite National Park :-)


At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaj, reg. national parks, just wanted to know,
1. if you are going there with just adults, what kind of time pass activities would you intend to do? I believe there would be some hiking trails around the park is that all pretty much? If I intend to spend a day at the national park I would like to know how to spend time there.

2. also how safe it is to go on those trails(in terms of getting lost, crime etc.)will there be ppl around all the time?

3. do you guys usually carry food down there or are there any eateries at such

BTW, photos look good. I believe it doesnt snow much around where you live though.

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

yep, hiking and looking at scenery is pretty much it. we usually just pick up a map and try to catch as many vista points as possible.

personally, i think its best to pick a trail that is popular and/or has a really interesting scenery at the end. that will ensure there r a bunch of people on it. i remember 1 trail my wife and i took on our last trip to yosemite. even a mile can seem like a long time when u have no idea how far u've walked. we were the only ones on the trail and it was a bit scary.

there r typically eateries at major points. unless ofcourse u plan on taking one of those long hikes...

nope, doesn't snow at all where i live :)

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Siva Nara said...

I envy you Balaji.

The place where we live New York / New Jersey, it snows almost thrice every month during winter and we have a hard time cleaning it and resuming to work.

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Camping is a great enjoyment at yosemite.

At 12:13 AM, Blogger Visithra said...

the photos look great

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji, thanks.

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