Man, Yosemite is purty! I'm really lousy about going through the 18 herculean steps that are required to transfer a picture from my digital camera to my blog, but I'll try to post some pictures in the coming days. Patsy requested pictures, and you know how she gets. Anyway, it's darn purty.
We cruised from San Francisco to Yosemite on Friday afternoon. By cruised, of course, I mean that we sat in traffic while I silently cursed being tricked into leaving the house again. Eventually, after racing through Yosemite Valley probably faster than any sedan in history, we made it to the Ahwahnee Hotel, where we were staying, in time for our dinner reservations.
The Ahwahnee is the premier I'm-Not-Going-To-Rough-It-So-Charge-Me-Through-The-Nose facility in Yosemite. It's a grand lodge in a ridiculously majestic location. Tellingly, "Ahwahnee" is also a Native American word that means "Many wampum, few amenities".
Sure enough, we paid more for our room than I've ever paid for a hotel room before. I mean, it was nice, and it had a walk-in closet, which is a rare treat in a hotel room, but how about delivering a newspaper to my room? Or maybe providing a mini bar? Or perhaps they could take the money that we spent in 36 hours and buy themselves a kick-ass computer so that the lady at the reservation desk doesn't have to page through a ream of paper just to make a dinner reservation? Just some ideas.
Instead, it looks like they took my money and bought rocks. Much of the hotel was built with rocks (and wood and tall windows). While Hank was using the ladies room at dinner one evening, I looked around at the grand dining room and estimated that I had paid about one dollar for each rock in there. I guess that's a good deal. They were pretty big rocks.
Yosemite is all about rocks, as it turns out. What makes the Yosemite Valley so spectacular is that it is surrounded by these gigantic walls of granite. You stand almost anywhere in the valley, and there are huge redwood trees all around you. Redwood trees are amazingly tall trees and are almost always the tallest things around. In Yosemite however, they are simply dwarfed by the immense granite walls and features. The sense of scale is absurd.
I had been to Yosemite before, once as a flu-ridden adult, and once as a child, but I had forgotten how damn scenic it is. It was nice to share the experience with Hank, who had never visited the park before. We spent Saturday hiking, biking, playing games, eating well, and enjoying each other's company. This was the first time we had ever left town without Daisy. Although this is entirely appropriate for an anniversary weekend, it was also a little disconcerting. Thankfully she was well-cared for and had a pretty good weekend herself. Next time we go to Yosemite, maybe we'll bring her along.
It was definitely too short of a trip though.