Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Warning: un-profound blog

Several months after my husband died when people would ask me how I was doing,
I would reply: “the polite answer, or the truth?”

Yesterday morning when my brother enquired as to my night, I replied short story, or long?

We had arrived in Oakhurst, just outside Yosemite, in the late afternoon and started looking for hotels: ended up in a separate lodge at the Best Western Plus at a good rate as they were full in the hotel itself. Totally acceptable if very 1970s – I should have taken pictures, but some things are better ignored.

We had a lovely meal at El Cid’s Mexican restaurant up the road then returned to plan our next day – two nights in the park – and follow the shutdown news (I posted my feelings on that to Facebook when midnight in Washington D.C. came and went with no progress and what we were personally concerned with came to pass: no parks open).

Off to bed to gird ourselves for the coming days: Turned in at 11 p.m., got up to put on jogging pants at 11.05; I awoke at 4 a.m. and put on jogging jacket (didn’t want to turn on all the lights to find the heating unit – there were no extra blankets handy). Awoke again at 5h30 and contemplated digging out the new down coat, drifted back to sleep until 6.30.  There were some coffee packets, but no creamer at all. At least wi-fi was up and working well so we could follow the saga of the shutdown.

Yosemite saga

Very conflicting information – our final plan was to drive through the park then perhaps go along the California Nevada border: before retiring for the night the plan had been to drive a 100-mile loop then head out across the state for Mendocino (talk about being weather vanes with a change every 5 minutes, we were going full force).

At the park entrance, we were handed a yellow slip of paper specifying that  stopping or parking on roads or in pull outs was strictly prohibited and  that no restrooms or concessions would be open.  The first side road that we came to was barred with “road closed” signs and the restrooms were locked. At the first lookout view of the valley where we stopped, in spite of the yellow instructions, in the process of taking pictures for others and in turn having our pictures taken, we gleaned the fact from someone leaving that restaurants and stores were open on the valley floor. 

We took heart and decided to present ourselves for check-in at Curry Village and see what would happen (we figured that we wouldn’t get a reimbursement in any case so might as well try). We ended up not only being able to check in for the two nights that we had booked, but also being able to get an upgrade and move into a cabin, which cost us less than the original rooms: win, win, and yet another win when we went to have lunch at the Ahwahnee Inn.

Caeser salad at the Ahwahnee

Chocolate torte at the Ahwahnee

Yes, roads are blocked and several pull outs are barricaded, but we spent a wonderful day enjoying Yosemite. Today my brother got up and on the trail to climb Half Dome at 6 a.m. leaving Kathy and I to enjoy the things that are still open.  The park has to be vacated at 3 p.m. tomorrow, which is when we were planned to leave anyway – I truly lead a charmed life sometimes.

Half Dome at sunset

Cabin fire in the Curry Cabin, Curry Village, Yosemite, CA