Yosemite & Mariposa Grove.

Trip Start Mar 21, 2010
Trip End Apr 29, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, March 26, 2010

Before leaving Melbourne we checked the Yosemite road closures for our time there and were disappointed to discover that we would not be able to get up to Glacier Point ( the best lookout for the park) or Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees. The grove did disappoint the most because we really wanted to take the kids to see these magnificent trees. But we resigned ourselves to doing as much other things as we could. When we went to the visitor centre on Thursday however we could not believe our luck when we noticed on the board that it said Mariposa Grove to open early on Friday March 26! Things seem to be falling into place extremely well for us this holiday we can't believe it. Someone sure wants us to have a lovely holiday I think.

So, with this news, our second day was easy to plan. We all dressed very warmly (including Brodie) because the forecast for Thursday was 11 deg but Friday was 10. As soon as we drove out of the hotel we saw that the sky was clear and bright and we instantly lost faith in the weather man again! We went up to Tunnel View again for a different aspect and were feeling quite comfortable outside but was it just our warmer clothes?

Back down in Yosemite Valley we headed off on the lovely Cooks Meadow walk, a leisurely 1 mile walk on boardwalks through the grassy meadows with lovely 360 degrees views above us. The kids kept asking where we were going and what are we going to see! After yesterday's treks TO waterfalls and lakes, they just couldn't grasp the point of just walking around in a circle! We were also quite warm by this stage and so I had Brodie wishing he had his shorts on! Can we ever get it right!!??

Having done all the walks we felt we could do in Yosemite we headed off for the windy drive up to Mariposa Grove, crossing our fingers that it did open. We were a bit worried because we noticed more snow today than yesterday on the mountains and especially in Yosemite Falls. We wound our way up to 5000 feet and the snow was getting thicker as we went. It was such a sight and Brodie was desperate to get out and play in it but it was very dirty and Tom kept saying "I am sure there will be a bit of snow at the Grove". He certainly could not have been more right!

As we drove down the road into the Grove the snow was everywhere and quite a few feet thick! It was amazing to be some of the first people through the gates since the start of winter. The shop was all snowed in and still closed, as was the tram tours we took last time. You could barely make out the path as the snow still covered a lot of the fences! The kids were beside themselves with excitement and I thought we would freeze to death but it was great! We headed off up the snow/slush/mud path that some people had gone on before us (thank goodness). Everyone was slipping and sliding all over the place but we soon got the hang of it! I gave up telling the kids to be careful and decide they would dry off eventually! What fun and how exhilarating! The sun was really warm and we all ended up peeling coats off! The trees looked even more spectacular surrounded by a thick white blanket of snow.

We made it up to the California Tunnel tree which was about the fourth of maybe 7 trees on the hike and about 1.3 miles of a 2.6 mile trek. By this stage it was getting harder and harder to work out where to go, so we decided that we would head back rather than cause a search party the bother of finding us! The kids shoes were both soaked through too, although this certainly didn't curb their enthusiasm as they ran through knee deep snow mounds squealing with delight.

All this fun after Madi didn't even want to get out of the car just to look at trees! They couldn't believe how big they were either. I am just amazed how they seem to only grow on select smallish areas!
Tom has become quite the photographer (I think he is just trying to prove to me that the new camera was warranted) I have been impressed by some of his photos, and on 'manual' too! I wish we could post some but I guess a laptop would be necessary for that. Maybe in Chicago we can.

We then drove the 2 hours to Fresno, well actually Selma, LA side of Fresno. I must admit I fell asleep for a bit but I don't think I missed much! The hotel is very nice. Just opposite quite a big shopping complex. We got in about 5:30pm, so headed out for tea. After contemplating Pizza Hut we decided to try Panda Express as the Courtney’s had told us that it is nice. It was great, fast fresh and yummy Chinese food. They should open one in Australia!

Well it is now past my bed time so I better stop raving on. It is Toms birthday tomorrow and we meet up with the Courtney’s. Yay! Hope that is enough of a present for him because I haven't managed to get him anything! Other than this trip of course!
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Allan on

Sounds as if you are all having a great time, thanks for sharing. Hope you have a happy birthday Tom keep on taking those photos so we can see something of what you write about.
Cheers for now,
Dad and Mum,Papa and Grandma.

Jean on

Your blogs from Yosemite were great reading, I can just see Brodie and Madison running through the snow and having so much fun. I guess it would be spectacular in winter and different from the last time you saw it in the summer. You will be excited to see Jenni and Geof etc. that's all the presents you need eh Tom? Have a great week and think of me when you go on these rides at Disneyland. Love, Mum. xxxx

Jen on

Hey guys,

Have been following your trip online and thought that seeing as it's my baby brother's birthday I'd better actually post a comment for once.

Glad you got my SMS Tom, your reply got to me at 1am - lucky I was at work and awake!! Anyway - a great big happy birthday to you. Don't forget to post the dates you are going to those games so we can try to spy you on HD 1 or ESPN.

Madison Rachel, start enjoying the shopping - in 10 years time you won't believe you had this chance and didn't appreciate it (plus if mum and dad are paying you ALWAYS find something to buy!!).

Brodie - don't forget that LeBron is better than any Celtics player, so I want to hear you yelling at the game.

Nene - just enjoy the fact that Madi hates shopping - you'll need a second job to keep up with her soon enough!!!

Anyway guys, keep on enjoying. Our love to you all.

Jen, Ross and all the gang, xoxo.

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