I can’t believe two weeks have passed since my last post. The last few weeks of school are such a whirlwind that time literally gets away from me as I try to pin it down and make it conform to my demands. (I realize it’s a completely futile effort.) We are now on our third day of summer vacation, are beginning to unwind and relax, and are taking advantage of the lovely warm weather while it lasts. If you live outside of California, you may not know that we’ve had a very rainy and cold spring season, much chillier and damper than our typically sunny state is used to. The sun finally had the good graces to make an appearance in the San Francisco Bay Area beginning yesterday, June 14, and we are thoroughly enjoying ourselves at last.
We had a very rainy and chilly annual camping trip in Yosemite this time around. No matter. We travel with a big group of friends and family, and we have fun together rain or shine. Here are a few photos from this year’s trip (one bookish photo, too, for those of you willing to hang in until the end of the post).
Torrential rain and even possible snow were in the forecast for the weekend. Like the pioneers a century and a half before us, we made sure that the Bookmobile was properly provisioned for any possibility. We packed warm weather clothes, cold weather clothes, four bicycles, food and drinks, a camping stove in case it was too wet to cook over a campfire, food, firewood, extra blankets and sleeping bags . . . the Bookmobile was packed even tighter than it is when I take it to a book fair.
Each day, this deer grazed in the wilderness on the edge of our campsite.
Here’s the view from the back of our tent — Yosemite Falls! The benefit of snow and rain that continues into June is gorgeous waterfalls.
Despite cold temperatures and a steady drizzle, the kids found things to do. Here, they’re having a rock-skipping contest on the river that runs next to the campsite.
Even though we had off and on drizzle on Friday and heavy rain much of Saturday, we still managed to enjoy a campfire. That’s Tom playing the guitar!
Thoughtful Husband took this photo of Tom and Huck and me, bundled in our hats and jackets in June. Note: Tom, having recently turned 13 (!), is now taller than my not insubstantial five feet nine inches.
Bibliophiles may recognize the name on the plaque in the photo below. James Mason Hutchings, relentless promoter of Yosemite since 1855. He founded Hutchings’ California Magazine (1856), wrote books like In the Heart of the Sierras (1888), and wrote the very first traveler’s guide to Yosemite, Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity in California (1862). It was fun to meander along a hiking trail and suddenly discover a plaque dedicated to Hutchings and his contributions to this beautiful place.
Of course, on Sunday, when it was time to pack away the soggy jackets and the muddy shoes and head home, blue skies made a brief appearance through the clouds. Here’s the majestic Half Dome, rising above the inclement weather:
As I mentioned in the previous post, John Muir wrote in 1869, “I must return to the mountains—to Yosemite. I am told that the winter storms there will not be easily borne, but I am bewitched, enchanted, and tomorrow I must start for the great temple to listen to the winter songs and sermons preached and sung only there.” It’s true that winter storms when camping in Yosemite are not easily borne, and, for wimpy campers like me who prefer the comforts of home to the deprivations of roughing it, there are things to be learned and pleasures to be enjoyed only by being there.