Trying to collect my thoughts on last week as we drive along route 1 in California. It’s bumpy and I’m singing panic as we go…
We arrived at Yosemite early Monday from Reno. Reno, surprisingly was a success is more ways than one! I hadn’t expected much from the casino city, but I found a sweet Ashtanga studio, great food, and a casino/smoke-free hotel!
I’m always reluctant to explore the larger more popular national parks, but Yosemite seed to be calling. Just a hop away from the festival in the Sierra Nevada and then another hop to San Francisco, it made senses. I was curious about all the talk of the valley and these granite mounds?! Our visit started with a perfect little hike at tuolomne meadows to Dog Lakes. The girls were amazing and we followed their lead! Their Boulder hikes were paying off. Vertical ascent into the forest? Got it! Meandering meadows? Wonderful. We built some cairns along the way and sat out in a granite boulder at the end of the hike.
We found a great camping site behind a outcropping of boulders at the end of the campground at Porcupine Flats. The girls pulled out their camping chairs, kicked up their heels and got right down to business! Telling stories, creating concoctions and making plans. Stephen and I busied ourselves with setting up camp, but soon had to hurry some more as rain was coming in. Oh how I prefer camping in the desert!
The next day we visited a grove of sequoia. With the girls encouragement, we all crawled through a fallen and hollow sequoia, surviving it’s tapering end. The adventures we have because of our children!
What did we learn from Yosemite and our children those 4 days? Keep it simple! While our ambitious hikes often yield lovely experiences, keeping it slow and simple while hiking and camping is surely an avenue to explore. Again and again. The hours we spent wading in the Merced River in Yosemite’s valley, sitting around the campfire, making trails in the woods behind our tent, snuggling and chuckling in the tent (morning and night) were definitely the most precious and fulfilling.