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yosemite story

June 25, 2011

the photographer at work...

The three of us are back from the Yosemite trip, mine and Lukie’s first time there. We drive to Curry Village and stay in a tent cabin near the center of the village, and Lukas begins performing on the camp stage and talking with everyone. We meet a great family from Santa Cruz with a kid a bit older than Lukie who is friends with one of our friends back home! It is a nice surprise to be hanging out with them during our stay, in a low pressure situation where no one has to meet, but we keep meeting at the perfect times.

We enjoy Happy Isle with Lukas, he plays on the riverbank and then we all walk to the nature center. The next day we attempt a hike up to Vernal Falls which ultimately means me carrying the 40 pound boy on my back 1.6 miles uphill up to the bridge, where he promptly starts playing on rocks I couldn’t even climb on… When I make him come down the biggest tantrum I’ve ever seen begins and all these Mennonites stroll past us looking curious. Then I carry him down the mountain and he yells three quarters of the way about wanting to climb “the big rock”. It is rather humorous by the time we are halfway down (but maybe not before…) and I calm him down once and for all at the bottom of the trail by nursing him. This makes the Mennonites even more curious. I’m glad we did the hike, in spite of the tantrum and so is Lukas, oddly enough, when I ask him about it later! For the few minutes I see the falls up there, it is spectacular. And the crazy walk down becomes very meditative and we stop to look at the beautiful cliffs and waterfalls, and it calms him down a lot to stare at these majestic scenes.

Another day Scott, Lukas and I walk out to Lower Falls (again, carrying the 40 pound 3 year old) but this time he is totally happy the whole time, and we see the place where John Muir built his little cabin in front of a breathtaking scene. There is a lot of water there this year due to the late winter and now I am spoiled by experiencing it with so many falls!

We check out the Ahwahnee Hotel by having breakfast there in the gorgeous dining room. I’m not into luxury hotels or that kind of thing but the Ahwahnee is something else entirely. Otherwise we have our own food in the bearproof locker or eat at the Curry Village buffet. Everyone is so friendly and likes kids. Most people have time to just start talking with each other whenever they want. This is how we meet our “friends of friends” family. I will say again that it is so worth it to have another family to hang out with on a trip like this when you have a little kid. The boys play together and the mamas talk and the dads talk. It is pretty ideal!

Lukas is allowed to eat ice cream every day and M&Ms. He is amazing on the car trips; he only wants to play with one toy and that isn’t until the last hour on the way up. He is just back there talking or sleeping or playing with his fingers or singing. On the way home he does some drawing. And he keeps asking about the airport for about 100 miles. I finally tell him that if he mentions the airport one more time I am going to eat all the M&Ms. He never says a word about it after that and is quiet, then I look back and he is drawing airplanes and helicopters. Heehee! Then when we actually approach the Travis Air Force Base, he says “Is that the airport?” His favorite things about the trip include: 1) the tent cabins; 2) riding the shuttle bus; and 3) the air hand dryers in the bathrooms.

Scott’s favorite things include: 1)photographing the infinite beauty; 2) seeing the faces in the granite cliffs; and 3) seeing Lukas (and me!) explore this place for the first time.

I can’t really even believe how incredible the place is. It makes me think more about how life and spirit are not just found in people and animals or plants, which grow and die, but in places, which have a certain eternal life of their own that is unexplainable. My favorite thing is that we have just scratched the surface.

a dip at happy isles

"nice place for a cabin." says John Muir

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