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Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April

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Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 02, 2008 11:25AM
Hiya, I should be in Yosemite for the first time later next week.

From a bit of a look I can book a CV non-heated tent/cabin from the main national park site.

Is this ok? I am not hardy enough for real camping but pretty hardy (I'm from the UK) with the weather.

I tried to find the Curry village reputation in the forums but it looks like people aren't recommending it much.

Do I have other budget tent/cabin options somewhere central?

Any ideas most appreciated.

Thanks
loothi
Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 02, 2008 04:27PM
loothi, the only other low-priced option would be Housekeeping camp, and I'm not sure it will be open...it was still very "closed" last week when we were there.

Neither choice is much above a tent, and in some ways, the tent cabin is below. However, it may not be overly crowded in the valley, so you may not have so many close neighbors as you would during spring break, for example.

The tent cabins' worst part (in my opinion) is that they're crammed closely together, and being canvas-sided, you would want a neighbor that doesn't snore 8^). Or argue with family, or party too hearty, or.... (foam earplugs are not a bad idea)

However, there are hot showers, food nearby, and it's centrally located. Bring WARM clothes and sleeping gear...temps in the 25-30 range are common in April, and it can get colder.

Assuming you don't have neighbor problems, it's a good way to have access to the sights and trails of the valley. Just don't think of it as a place to 'kick back' as you would in a cabin or hotel room, you're basically getting a place to sleep and change clothes. If you keep busy with things like hiking, biking, exploring the trails, ranger walks, and maybe even the evening movie or talk at the Lodge, it should work out fine. If you go with the idea of relaxing in your room between occasional activities, you probably won't be happy 8^). I generally stay in a tent at the campground, and in winter and spring it's the same situation...I'm up, grabbing a cup of coffee, then out of there for a day's activity, coming back maybe for food or snacks but that's about it.

It's beautiful there in April, and things are starting to green up, the falls are outstanding, and it's not so crowded as during summer. Renting a bike for a day might be fun, and there's always a hot meal at the lodge's food court, and no doubt around Curry. (Curry is basically in the "refrigerator" of the valley, so it's nice to get up and get elsewhere when it's cold outside). Enjoy your visit, it's a great time of year.





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 02, 2008 04:43PM
Someone had a photo. They just finished installing bear boxes last year in front of every tent cabin.



Be sure to store all of your food or scented items (toiletries in the boxes and be sure to lock them securely. I've seen boxes that weren't properly secured and the bears would have an easy time getting into them. Don't store food in your tent or leave food in your car after dark.

I've seen citations left on cars for improper storage at night. The one I recall was for storage of "cleaning products" (could smell interesting to a bear) that were clearly visible from outside.

Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 03, 2008 12:07PM
It's about time they put bear boxes at each cabin - having them only out by the parking lots was silly. This is much better.

Look, the only thing you're going to do in the tent cabin *anyway* is sleep. When you see Yosemite in the spring, you won't want to go to bed. I know *I* never do. I'd rather camp in a tent, but these are an acceptable alternative when camping isn't an option.

Note - you cannot cook or have food in these units - you must either eat as you hike, or at a picnic area (several nearby to the west along the roadside) or buy restaurant food, any of which works fine. There is yummy pizza right there at Curry Village and across at Degnan's in Yosemite Village, plus a bunch of other places to get sandwiches, cafeteria-style food and quality sit-down victuals.

And for heaven's sake, don't worry about the bears. Just give them a respectful distance, don't leave food or smelly stuff lying around, and you'll be fine :-)





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
hi folks..

i m planing to book a tent in Curry Village- April last week.. I was not sure if i would need Heated or non heated tents.. Its the first time i trying out tents.. What do u guys suggest?
Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 15, 2008 12:51PM
Shining_smiling wrote:

> hi folks..
>
> i m planing to book a tent in Curry Village- April last week..
> I was not sure if i would need Heated or non heated tents.. Its
> the first time i trying out tents.. What do u guys suggest?

Bring plenty of your own bedding, be prepared for chilly nights, and an unheated cabin ought to be fine. I have camped there many times in March and April, a good sleeping bag (20 degree F) plus some thermals kept me cozy enough. Bring a pad for comfort - something with a combination air/foam is most useful. That is what *I* would do. Daytimes ought to be comfortable with typical spring-into-summer clothing.

Having said that, if you aren't strapped for $$, a heated unit wouldn't hurt - it may not help *much* (it is just a canvas tent on a wooden platform with some very rustic furniture, no insulation) but some radiant heat will help a bit.





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 15, 2008 07:33PM
i haven't given it a whole lotta thought, but seeing that photo with the bear boxes outside the front door makes me nervous. outside the FRONT door???? lolol why not in the back or the side? if i had to exit, i certainly wouldn't want to if the bear was right outside my door.
avatar Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 15, 2008 08:30PM
forrestranger wrote:

> i haven't given it a whole lotta thought, but seeing that photo
> with the bear boxes outside the front door makes me nervous.
> outside the FRONT door???? lolol why not in the back or the
> side? if i had to exit, i certainly wouldn't want to if the
> bear was right outside my door.

Probably better out in the open rather than packed in a narrow space behind the tent cabin. Most of the talk I hear is when a bear is confronted, it's best to leave it with options to escape. I wouldn't want to head to one of the bear boxes while a bear is trying to negotiate between the tent cabins.
avatar Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 15, 2008 08:53PM
The storage units in this area are properly called Bear boxes (note capitalization) since they are named for Yosemite’s first recipient of the Darwin Award, a Mr. Afraido D. Bear.

Their proper use is described in the following, ideal scenario:
(1) bear forages for food in woods behind cabins,
(2) “camper” inside tent cabin freaks out(OhMyGod,I’mBeingAttackedByAKillerBear!!!), rushes out front door, falls down steps, breaks leg, and thereby changes official Yosemite status to “food,”
(3) bear strolls to front of tent and stores newly designated food inside box for later retrieval (in process removing tripping hazard from pathway).

I hope that this clears up any misconception as to the proper purpose and use of these units.
avatar Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 15, 2008 09:51PM
The bears usually just ignore the boxes (ok, maybe a quick test to see if you locked it). There shouldn't be any problem with having the box next to your door.

Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 16, 2008 08:20AM
forrestranger wrote:
> i haven't given it a whole lotta thought, but seeing that photo
> with the bear boxes outside the front door makes me nervous.
> outside the FRONT door???? lolol why not in the back or the
> side? if i had to exit, i certainly wouldn't want to if the
> bear was right outside my door.

The bear boxes aren't really to store stuff in for the bears to get...it's supposed to work the other way. So it's not as if you'll walk out your front door and find a bear perusing through the bear box looking for the ketchup. 8^)

People should understand that every night you spend in a campground or even in Curry's tent cabins is likely to have at least one bear wandering through, most will never even be noticed unless some careless person has left them food, and maybe not even then. There are exceptions to that part:

1) Someone sees one and remembering part of the bear warning leaflet, grabs a large pot and starts yelling and banging with a rock. The bear, who was just quietly looking for free gifts from careless campers, gets scared and runs down the road and vows never to snap a twig when walking again. Meanwhile, the whole campground is now awake, thanks to the 'pot concerto' and the valley's great nighttime acoustics.

2) Someone has accidentally slopped a little milk on top of the bear box and forgotten to wipe it up. The bear, appreciating the thoughtfulness, climbs up on the box and happily laps up the milk, which is noticed by a nearby camper peeking out the tent flap to see what's going on (this really happened).

3) In a hurry, people start to close the bear box a bit hastily, and don't get it latched fully. Grandpa bear told them about this, and taught them that if they bang hard into the door, it will sometimes snap open, sort of like a bear slot machine hitting the jackpot. So at 2AM when the bear casino opens, the whole campground is awake because of some strange banging that sounds like a woodsman chopping a giant tree. Since it sounds like that, they all stay warm in their bags and plan to complain the next morning about people chopping on trees in the middle of the night.

There would be no reason to put the bear boxes on the side or in back, it just means you'd have to walk further to get your food. Most likely the bear is over in the parking lot anyway, looking for goodies left in cars. If they do happen to be browsing around the bear box, the worst thing you could do would be to go running out the door, regardless of whether it's on the side or in front.

But just assume that bears WILL be by every night, and realize they have no interest in bothering you, so just don't reward them by leaving them a treat, (or something they think might contain a treat) and don't worry about them. The problem usually is caused by the less intelligent creatures that bears atrract:
http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/image/88516300





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 16, 2008 09:48AM
Sierrafan wrote:

> 1) Someone sees one and remembering part of the bear warning
> leaflet, grabs a large pot and starts yelling and banging with
> a rock. The bear, who was just quietly looking for free gifts
> from careless campers, gets scared and runs down the road and
> vows never to snap a twig when walking again. Meanwhile, the
> whole campground is now awake, thanks to the 'pot concerto' and
> the valley's great nighttime acoustics.

This is a common occurance in any of the campgrounds, and is to be expected. Of course I met a kid whose backpack was hauled away by a bear. He left it alone for just a few seconds, and the bear was just lying in wait for someone to turn his back. These Yosemite bears are sneaky. Some rangers are also stuck on-call for bear deterrent duty, which may involve noisemakers and non-lethal projectile weapons.

> But just assume that bears WILL be by every night, and realize
> they have no interest in bothering you, so just don't reward
> them by leaving them a treat, (or something they think might
> contain a treat) and don't worry about them. The problem
> usually is caused by the less intelligent creatures that bears
> atrract:
> http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/image/88516300

I know better than to get that close. I've taken pictures before, but those clowns look like they're maybe less than 40-50 ft away. When I came across this bear, I assessed the situation, backed off a little, and was at least 100 ft away when I snapped away. Zoom lenses are very useful.



I have heard of cases in Yellowstone where there are grizzlies with cubs that don't seem to be raiding campsites and hang around areas with people. The rangers know which bears these are and I've heard that depending on the situation they'll let people get closer to them than their normal recommendations (100 yds I think). It's still a matter of getting to know the tendencies of individual bears.

Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 16, 2008 12:18PM
y_p_w wrote:

> I have heard of cases in Yellowstone where there are grizzlies
> with cubs that don't seem to be raiding campsites and hang
> around areas with people. The rangers know which bears these
> are and I've heard that depending on the situation they'll let
> people get closer to them than their normal recommendations
> (100 yds I think). It's still a matter of getting to know the
> tendencies of individual bears.

In Yellowstone, as you imply, the rule is "do not approach to within 100 yards of any bear." The rangers usually read this pretty literally for individual bears, whcih means that if you stop at that respectful distance, and there are a "few" (and I use the word loosely) others around, and the bear is minding his own business, the ranger will frequently permit people to hang out if the bear approaches more closely. Of course, if there is no ranger around, people will often not only allow the bear to come much closer, but they will also ignore this pretty intelligent rule and intrude to much smaller distances.

We spotted a black bear off the road about 100 feet at Yellowstone a few years back - we were first the scene - and we immediately got out on the *other* side of our minivan, standing on the deck of the open rear door. The incredibly cute bear was just wandering through a prairie munching on flowers. A ranger stopped and was completely content to allow us to continue watching, even complimenting us on what she felt was an effective way to be close and not affect the critter's behavior at the same time. In the woods you don't have this luxury, of course.

When a mother grizz has cubs, the rangers are stricter for obvious reasons. Mother black bears are more likely to bolt and call their children after them if they perceive danger, but you still don't want to tempt fate.



Post Edited (04-17-08 08:42)



Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 16, 2008 09:30PM
y_p_w wrote:
>
> I know better than to get that close. I've taken pictures
> before, but those clowns look like they're maybe less than
> 40-50 ft away. When I came across this bear, I assessed the
> situation, backed off a little, and was at least 100 ft away
> when I snapped away. Zoom lenses are very useful.

The people shown in that photo had a great view to begin with; the cub was in an Oak at the west end of Stoneman meadow, and folks were watching from the roadside walkway. This was great for most of them, but one paparazzi-wannabee had to creep up the dirt path with camera, tripod, etc. Of course that meant others followed, I guess figuring that having a camera gives you special privileges.

I understand the people wanting a souvenir photo of the bears, but I also think people should show a sincere respect for wildlife...which doesn't consist of creeping in on their space as they mind their own business, pointing an arsenal of cameras at them.

Wild creatures do have a reaction to cameras; while I doubt they understand what they do, you can see it time and again how they get nervous or react and leave when a camera is pointed their way. It might be just the fact that they can't see your eyes, but regardless, a dozen people creeping close with cameras extended is not being respectful of the bears. They do it with the deer too, close enough for a head shot and they still have to creep closer. I wonder how those folks would feel if they were sitting minding their own business, and a dozen people with cameras moved in on them...8^)

Taking photos of bears etc. that you come across while hiking, as in your photo, is entirely different...nothing wrong with that, it's just a natural interaction between people and wildlife.

On that same trip, I was heading down Northside drive where two lanes go one way, and came up on cars stopped dead in one lane. Turned out some guy had seen a bear, stopped his car right in the road, got out with tripod and walked over to get some shots. Naturally, people pulled up behind and started rummaging through their trunks for their cameras...all this blocking one lane of the road. Happily a ranger came along and somewhat tersely told them to get moving.

Being somewhat of a camera fanatic myself, I hate it when people give a bad name to photographers by figuring a camera gives you the right to be obnoxious, presumptious and in the way...it happens way too often.





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 16, 2008 10:14PM
>but one paparazzi-wannabee...

The first time I went to Yellowsone I found myself quite rapdily disgusted at the antics of many of the photographers. Especially the ones with their big, giant white Canon telescope lenses that still felt they had to molet the elk to get a shot.

avatar Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 17, 2008 10:16AM
eeek wrote:

> >but one paparazzi-wannabee...
>
> The first time I went to Yellowsone I found myself quite
> rapdily disgusted at the antics of many of the photographers.
> Especially the ones with their big, giant white Canon telescope
> lenses that still felt they had to molet the elk to get a shot.

Didn't a professional photographer get mauled by a grizzly with cubs last summer?

http://www.jacksonholestartrib.com/articles/2007/05/24/news/wyoming/doc4655e949ba491667492930.txt

I would note that for black bears, there is a difference between a human "invading a bear's space" and a bear wandering into a human encampment. This particular bear had wandered through several campsites. It didn't show any aggression, and the half dozen or so of us in camping in the area were going to make sure that it didn't go for our food or tents. I showed the photo to several rangers, and none seemed to indicate that I was too close. While it did notice and looked at us, I think that was a good thing in this case.





Re: Budget Lodges / tents in early April
April 17, 2008 10:40AM
y_p_w wrote:

> eeek wrote:
>
> > >but one paparazzi-wannabee...
> >
> > The first time I went to Yellowsone I found myself quite
> > rapdily disgusted at the antics of many of the photographers.
> > Especially the ones with their big, giant white Canon
> telescope
> > lenses that still felt they had to molet the elk to get a
> shot.
>
> Didn't a professional photographer get mauled by a grizzly with
> cubs last summer?
>
> http://www.jacksonholestartrib.com/articles/2007/05/24/news/wyoming/doc4655e949ba491667492930.txt

This Jim Cole guy was/is sort of a nut. He's made a career out of getting too close to grizzlies, and this was his second time feeling the wrath of the bears. I agree, the photographers with the big lenses can be royally obnoxious, and they really should stop being so pushy and foolish - but I'd rather see that big lens at a safe distance than have a kook place a bear and himself in danger by getting too close.





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
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