This incredible week just flew by. The condos are so comfortable and convenient. I slept a murphy bed - partly for the novelty, partly because it has a great firm mattress, and partly so I could hear my guys coming 'home' from hanging out with their siblings after my bedtime. Which wasn't much of an issue for long, because we all came back from Yosemite happy but tired!
Tuesday Jared was sick so he and Tom stayed 'home' while we visited Mariposa Grove and Bridalveil Falls. We took the easy hike to the California Tunnel Tree. We took the stroller on that hike, but the trail was not completely stroller friendly. Benjamin carried Naomi in the stroller over one rough stretch. You do a lot of looking up in Yosemite! At Bridalveil Falls it was like standing in a rain storm. Mist is hardly the word for the water in the air. Beautiful and awe-some. When we returned Jared was all smiles and playing. : )
It's was Debi's turn to be sick Wednesday and Thursday which was overdoing it just a bit. This is supposed be vacation, not sick leave. She slept in and tried to come down later on Wednesday, but still felt so sick, she just slept in the car in the parking lot. Not fair! Thursday she stayed at Worldmark and fortunately Friday she was able to enjoy Yosemite again.
Wednesday morning we did a service project working as volunteers with Ranger Tom, Ranger Molly, Ranger Lindsey, and Fire Service Kelly. Oh my horror when I learned our job was to KILL BABY TREES! Apparently the conifers grow faster and require less sunlight than the Black Oak and will take over the meadow if not stopped. Fire - either natural or set by the natives - used to thin out the undergrowth and kill the baby conifers giving the Black Oak (which produces superior acorns for eating) a better chance. (Also, if the conifers take over, it will spoil a lot of tourist views) It wouldn't do to let fire have free rein in Yosemite Valley, so we were the fire.
We visited shops in the afternoon which was nice, but not nearly as nice as working with the rangers.
At some point Wednesday, Benjamin realized that his flashlight was missing and probably had fallen out during our work in the meadow. He determined to look for it the next day.
Thursday morning got off to a slow and shaky start. Debi was still sick and kid critical clothing needed to finish laundering. We made our way by separate groups to the park, did our own thing for a bit, then met up at Yosemite Falls. The boys and I did a like bike riding in the valley. Awesome! (Isn't everything in Yosemite?) First, Benjamin biked back to Cooks Meadow, scene of the tree removal. We had worked a fairly large area. What were the chances of finding his flashlight?? But Benjamin knows Someone who sees and knows everything. A quiet little chat, a bit of inspiration, and Benjamin not only found his flashlight, but a lopping tool that had been overlooked.
We did the easy little hike to Lower Yosemite Falls. Spectacular. Then we drove out to Glacier Point. Talk about a view!
That is Some Artist!