The colors were so rich and vibrant. It was like looking into a child’s crayon box; the burnt sienna bark and the green, hunter green, and yellow-green leaves and blades of grass.
As we made our way through Yosemite National Park, the mountains melted into the fiery sunset as the big, bright full moon flickered through the trees like a flashlight leading the way before cresting over the tops as we hug the curve of the road and it lights the way. Of course, we get to really appreciate these views since we are continuously pulling over into the turnouts as our 30-year-old westy doesn’t fly as fast as the more modern cars, but that’s okay because the whole reason we bought this vanagon was to take the time to enjoy the beauty, and the moments, and our life…together.
Following along the Tuolumne River into Tuolumne Meadows we can smell the campfires, I love the smell of campfires (and beach fires, to me it’s the start of summer), but when you’re passing by campsite after campsite in the dark of night, once again traveling by “westy time,” the last thing you want to do is smell campfires…it just makes you more hungry for that hot dog dinner you planned for when you thought up the first nights menu.
*TIP: always have snacks and water between the seats. And a map you can read by flashlight when your phone has no signal.
This trip was our first trip with our three-year-old yellow lab, Cooper. We hope one day, when he’s more mature, he’ll be a “westy dog” until then, he barks at and charges at ranger horses, and freaks himself out when he splashes in the river and lakes. We love him though…as is.
When we awake at our new campsite, we are greeted by the tall, lanky trees covering us from the harsh morning sun, and can hear the hushed tones of rushing water nearby. As we all three get out to stretch our legs, we see how breathtaking this place truly is.
*TIP: Tuolumne Meadows is great in the summer months, the weather is about twenty degrees cooler than Yosemite Valley and its considerable less crowded. Conversely, Yosemite Valley is perfect in the winter months.
*TIP: the only showers we could find were in the valley across from bus stop 12.