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Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?

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How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 08:01AM
Over the last 25 years, I have visited the park at least 20 times, and I know my way around pretty well. But still, as I prepare for my trip next week, I am pouring over books, maps websites, getting ready. I own at least a half dozen books, including two copies of the Michael Frye book, Photographing Yosemite (forget to bring it one time). I have 3 or 4 of the previous year's park newspapers, and I remember when they used to publish two different ones, the Yosemite Guide which was a general publication, and Yosemite Today which had current programming information.

I'm proof that a few days, even a week could never be enough time to see this beautiful park.

How much of a nut are you?
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 08:36AM
Living near the east coast I'm now limited to one backpacking trip per year that occupies my mind all the other days of the year. Yosemite has become an obsession with me. I got it bad.hot smiley
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 10:41AM
I love the place. I have only been there twice. Once on three consecutive day trips with the family and once backpacking with my wife on our anniversary. I read all the posts here, plan for a million trips, but I will be lucky to do one a year. I live vicariously through those who post here...
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 08:49AM
Love the park, don't love the crowds. So I tend to visit a couple/three times a year, and almost always out of season. Been there twice already this year...probably won't go back until fall. i still have a looonnng list of hikes I'd like to do and haven't done yet...and I've been to the park many, many times.

But that doesn't mean I don't get up to the mountains...I'll spend this summer in nearby areas where there are fewer people....



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 08:50AM
Quote
hotrod4x5
How much of a nut are you?

Well, I currently live in NJ and still manage to spend 7-10 days a year in Yosemite. I have an entire shelf of books and maps (plus many more in electronic format on my computer). I've been known to go in to Google street view for the purposes of "walking" along a road in Yosemite. When I'm not in the park, I rarely go more than a few weeks without either reading a book about it, browsing through photos of the park or pulling out maps and trail books and deciding where I'll go on my next trip. I check the messages on this board several times a day. I'm little-by-little working on a book about the old roads in to the Valley and my wife and I plan to move to California within the next year or two, in large part so we can be close enough to hop in the car for weekend visits to Yosemite.

So who you calling a nut?!!?? grinning smiley

Oh and I agree about the crowds...I try to keep visits at least somewhat off-season but if I am there at busy times, my obsession with the old stage roads (and, more recently, abandoned trails), makes it pretty easy to avoid the crowds...only real problem is that I occasionally find myself having to drive through the Valley during the daytime and that can be a nightmare (although, I think I've only gotten stuck in bad traffic ("bad" as in something longer than a 15 minute delay) once or twice (plus a couple of construction delays when they were repaving the Wawona Road last year)).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2011 08:55AM by DavidK42.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 08:53AM
We started going to Yosemite in Oct of 1987 and stopped counting when we reached 70 times so I guess that I am more nuts than you are.

Our son's first trip to Yosemite was when he was around 3 months old and he now is 15 so he has been there many times. On my son's first trip we bought one of those National Park Passports and stamped it each time we went to a National Park or monument. After buying a few of those, we bought one of the large passport books that come in a black zip up binder. That works very well because you can add pages to it. It is a way to keep track of what parks we go to and how often we have visited a park. Wish we started doing this years earlier so we could have a way to see when and where we have been. My son also gets a postcard from parks and other places we have visited and has either stamped or written on the post card that date. It has become a way for him to remember places we have been.

The park is the size of Rhode Island so it would take a lifetime to see everything that you can hike, bike, ride a horse or drive to. Because of the times of the year we go up, Glacier Pt and Tioga Roads are not often open so we have days of things to do there even though I can't backpack anymore. We also spend time on trips revisiting places we like so that takes up time.

Even with that many trips, I still spend time looking at websites, books, maps, etc. There is always something new to learn about (like history) and it is a way to call up memories of past trips. I have a stack of old park newspapers and also those American Park Network guides. We have one room that has one wall that is all bookcases. I have a large section with books, maps and info on all of the parks we have visited and many that we want to see. All of these things have come in handy when a friend wants suggestions on what to do in Yosemite or in the other parks we have been to.
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 09:02AM
Quote
parklover
The park is the size of Rhode Island so it would take a lifetime to see everything that you can hike, bike, ride a horse or drive to.

I may be like a cat...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 09:01AM
If I told you I would have to type with my nose.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 09:39AM
Obsessed and...envious of chick-on's 14 or 15 exploits this year.

Likes: Can't get enough of the high country.
Dislikes: The Valley in the summer.
Favorite memory: Hiking to LYV with my 2 year daughter on my back (I was so much younger then).
2nd favorite memory: Sitting on the Curry Village Lodge porch with my morning coffee and watching it snow 5" in 2 hours.
Strangest Memory: 2006, Upper Pines Campground, The bear that rolled up the rear door on our U-Haul trailer at 11:30pm.
Next trip: Early November birthday blow-out!
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 01:44PM
Quote
btnicholas
Strangest Memory: 2006, Upper Pines Campground, The bear that rolled up the rear door on our U-Haul trailer at 11:30pm.

Had a bear come sit next to our table while we were eating dinner. Since it was dark at the time we didn't even notice him at first. Must have been a tactic to get people to flee and steal their food. The bear seemed annoyed when I ran at him instead of away.
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 02:38PM
Quote
eeek
Had a bear come sit next to our table while we were eating dinner. Since it was dark at the time we didn't even notice him at first. Must have been a tactic to get people to flee and steal their food. The bear seemed annoyed when I ran at him instead of away.

How far was he seated from your table?

And was it in Yosemite, or some other location?

And did you notice if he had already been tagged?
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 02:41PM
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plawrence
Quote
eeek
Had a bear come sit next to our table while we were eating dinner. Since it was dark at the time we didn't even notice him at first. Must have been a tactic to get people to flee and steal their food. The bear seemed annoyed when I ran at him instead of away.

How far was he seated from your table?

At it on the end.

Quote

And was it in Yosemite, or some other location?

Upper Pines in April.

Quote

And did you notice if he had already been tagged?

He wasn't and we did have a talk with a ranger about him.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 09:57AM
I went to Yosemite for the first time last July and have been back 13 times since then. I can't get enough of it. Yosemite is at the top of the list of things I will miss when I move to Washington next month. I hope to fall in love with the mountains/ national parks there or I will be very, very homesick.
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 10:04AM
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hotrod4x5

How much of a nut are you?

Well, the typical Yosemite nut is an acorn (from the abundant oak trees inside the park), and I'm no acorn so I guess I'm not a Yosemite nut. wink

That said, I'll make at least five or six visits to the park each year (depending on my work schedule and finances) and usually (but not always) including at least one week-long visit in February and a week-long stay in late May or June (though not this year). Besides that, I'll often make one to three-day trips scattered from February thru July and in October and November. I'll also visit the park on other months if I'm showing the park to family and friends who drop by to visit me at home. My favorite time to visit Yosemite Valley and the Hetch Hetchy region is in the winter, especially in February (where some years, if I'm lucky, I'll schedule TWO week-long visits plus additional visits on the other weekends), and my favorite time to visit the rest of the park is as early as the roads to the high country open up in spring (no -- or very few -- mosquitos!).

I visit the park often enough that a lot of the park staff (both NPS and DNC) recognize me by sight (and some even think that I work there (but I don't)).
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 11:05AM
I definitely qualify: For three years every three weeks...Valley in Fall Winter, Spring, Tuolumne in July (my June rezs often disappeared into late snow) & August for the Perseids & wedding anniversary (Engaged & honeymooned in Tuokumne). Still working on "The Role of Artists in the Creation of Yosemite as America's Secular Cathedral", disciple of F.L.O. & Starr-King.
Artist-in-Residence once - must do it again! And I never got to go as a kid! (Dad disliked crowds so much that he would rather drive to Glacier or Banff than fight for space in the Valley in the '60s - did get to Tenaya though...)
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 11:09AM
Plawrence, it is the same with my family. We have done volunteer work there and also attended some open houses so some of the NPS staff know our names. During those 70+ visits, we have stayed at Yosemite Lodge enough that many of the desk staff know what our favorite room is. My son is a picky eater and when we eat at the Mountain Room the regular waiters don't even ask what he wants to order.

Maybe we go there too often?

Some of our friends can not understand our fascination with Yosemite and they DO think we are nuts.

We also tend to go during the non busy times of the year so we have not experienced as much of the summer mayhem as other visitors have. Before school became an issue, our favorite time was to go the week before Memorial Day weekend when schools are still in session. Now we are locked into school breaks. We always spend spring break there and also during a portion of winter break and then an occasional weekend trip at other times. I wish that the school schedule would allow us to go in the fall when the trees turn. If I had to pick my favorite time of the year it would be pretty hard. I love winter, spring and fall and try to avoid the park in the summer because of the crowds.
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 11:52AM
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parklover
My son is a picky eater and when we eat at the Mountain Room the regular waiters don't even ask what he wants to order.

I've dined at the Mountain Room enough times (usually at least one night per visit) that when I return each year to the park in February a good number of the waitstaff will stop by my table to say hello even though they are not waiting on my table that night. smiling smiley


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parklover
Maybe we go there too often?

Nah...


Quote
parklover
I love winter, spring and fall and try to avoid the park in the summer because of the crowds.

If I can get two weeks off of work, what I love to do is to spend the last week of February in Yosemite then drive over to Death Valley and spend another week over there. That ying/yang of cold and warmth and the contrast between the snowy mountains and the dry desert in mid-winter is really sublime.
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 11:15AM
I'm a certified nut. Been going for 40 plus years...and fortunately I am only about three hours drive away. Annual backpacking trips with the kids and more Half Dome summits than I know (sunrise and sunset are the best). 6 trips so far this year, including a bucket-list trip over Tioga Pass the morning it opened in a big snow year.

Currently I aspire to be another Chick-on when I grow up. Or maybe just want to be up there as much as Chick-on...I think that one chick-on may be enough Head roll
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 11:16AM
I am a big time Yosemite Nut. My father tooke me and my brothers to the top of Half Dome in 1979 (when I was 10). We camped on the saddle, back when they let you do that. Now as an adult with Kids of my own, I am doing everything in my power to recreate those memories for my kids. OK, I am a little selfish. It's for me too.

I've been to the park five times in the last two years and only spent about two hours of it in the Valley. There is so much to explore beyond the crush of tourists.

From what I can tell, I've begun creating the next generation of Yosemite nuts!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 12:05PM
I moved to California 11 years ago and started my obsession with the mountains and desert with a trip to Yosemite's Housekeeping camp a month or so after I moved. Now, I'm in Yosemite several times a year. I usually kick off the new year with a snowcamp at Dewey Point with friends. I'll usually come back for one more winter trip in the Valley around February (camping at Upper Pines in the snow is slushy but fun). I avoid the Valley like the plague in summer, but do visit the High country. And pass through Tioga pass nearly every weekend, it seems (to access other east side trailheads). I love to camp up at Sawmill walk in campground and dayhike and fish and climb peaks around Tioga Pass for at least one weekend a summer, on good years more. Sometimes that's easier than waiting in line for WIlderness permits. In the fall I take two trips: One late season backpack down Lyell Canyon to fish and relax, wrap up the summer and enjoy the lack of crowds (I try to time this for the weekend before overnight parking is restricted). And I usually spend my birthday weekend (November 7) car camping in upper pines with friends, doing the typical Yosemite Valley thing.
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 11:44AM
Love it! Yes I am pretty obsessed too. I scour message boards all year, re-read books, old Yosemite today issues, and Death in Yosemite before every trip. Currently reading Shattered Air. I just can't get enough. I don't mind the summer crowds because I have no choice (being a teacher) as well as the Christmas crowds. I am going next week and again in December. People always question my love of Yosemite over other places and when they do, I bring them. No more questions!
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 11:55AM
My son is just as crazy about Yosemite as my husband and I are. Unfortunately there are other parks that we are also crazy about and would like to visit more often but they are in other states and there is just so much time and money for vacations. Yosemite is our favorite and since we live in S. CA, much closer than going to Wyoming, Utah or Colorado. Well, I should not say too much about not going to Utah since we have spent the last 9 Thanksgivings in Zion NP.

I guess my user name here says it all: parklover. My goal is to see as many as the National Parks and Monuments that I can and so far my total is somewhere around 40. Almost every vacation we take is to a park and two years ago we went to 7 National Parks, 4 Utah State Parks, 4 National Monuments and 3 dinosaur museums all in one trip. We do driving trips so we always seem to add another place along the way that we had not planned for. ( Our family saying is "On the way to the Grand Canyon, we stopped in Maine to see the fall colors." ) However, I don't think that I will ever reach the number that a couple that we know have. They have been to over 300 of the sites in the NPS system. They never had children, are retired and spend at least three months a year going to parks.

My parents are not outdoor people and my park experiences when I lived in the east were due to going with neighbors or with groups while I was in college. Most of my visits to parks have been within the past 25 years after I met my husband and have been in western U.S.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 02:19PM
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parklover
My goal is to see as many as the National Parks and Monuments that I can and so far my total is somewhere around 40.

That's also part of my long-term vacation plan but with a limited amount of vacation time, I always struggle with the difference between wanting to see them all and wanting to get to know some of them in great detail. I've not been to a single NP that I haven't wanted to return to but Yosemite is the one that always grabs at my heart strings and makes me want to come back again and again and again. Chick-on said it best in a post a while back...something to the effect of "you can never really take a hike off your 'hikes-I-want-to-do' list because if you do it in a different season, it's a different hike; if you do it at a different time of day, it's a different hike; if you do it in the opposite direction, it's a different hike; if you do it with different companions (or without any), it's a different hike [etc., etc., etc.]"

Part of the fascination with Yosemite, for me, is that since it was discovered early in the white man's occupation of the west and parts of it protected before the NP system was set up (hell, before there were even policies about what "protected" meant!), there's as much drama in the history of the place as in the majesty of the actual place itself. So many things changed so quickly in the early years that I can go on a hike from the standpoint of an archaeologist, an historian, a geologist, a botanist, a nature-lover, an artist and on-and-on. You can say that the latter is true of many NP's and I won't argue but there are very few places I've been where you can so readily play archeological detective without much formal training...whether it's looking for long abandoned trails, figuring out where some old building used to stand, wondering what that old decaying structure is and so forth.

For my money, there just aren't very many other places that let you have so many different kinds of vacation in a single place.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 01:35PM
These days not a nut about Yosemite and that has much to do with the fact I'm an old photographer that has rambled extensively both in the park and in the the Sierra south of Tahoe for several decades. And that includes dozens of trips into the Yosemite backcountry though there are still some significant zones I've never bothered to visit. For me there are more productive places elsewhere in the Southern Sierra to visit where wilderness permits are less awkward to obtain, so I haven't done too much the last decade in the park proper.

In any case I consider Yosemite Valley utterly incomparable both in the Sierra and as far as I've come to know about places beyond my travels, in the entire world. Despite those sentiments, as a picky photographer I had been rather frustrated as the new century came around a decade ago because I didn't think I had yet captured any truly remarkable images of the famous icons that could stand out from the vast numbers from other photographers. So a few years ago when I was between career work and could work the park as much as I wanted, I managed to nail a few such icon pics (most in my Gallery B). That satisfied, I'm back to working other parts of the range where a lot more old nuggets remain.

http://www.davidsenesac.com/images/print_06-e3-1.html
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 02:49PM
Quote
DavidSenesac

In any case I consider Yosemite Valley utterly incomparable both in the Sierra and as far as I've come to know about places beyond my travels, in the entire world.

Famed mountaineer and photographer Galen Rowell who had traveled the world extensively to some of the most exotic and wild places on Earth had expressed the exact same sentiments.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 04:56PM
BTW--Great topic. How nice to hear / read all these people saying such wonderful things about Yosemite...



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 05:25PM
Just went through a box in the shed looking for maps. Forgot about a lot of books. I actually have over a dozen books. Got several old hiking books off ebay a couple years ago. Have a guide to Yosemite by Ansel Adams. Have the book on the flood. Have Railroads of Yosemite and a few other pictorial history books.

I also located 3 of those AAA Guides to the Easter Sierra I was asking about in another thread. I knew I had some.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 05:04PM
I like how btnicholas did it. I took my first serious Yosemite trip two years ago and this past year, when I've had the time, I've been hooked. Turned 21 in feb and have used my pass 6 times.

Likes: Getting in over my head
Dislikes: Having other people I take up there not having a good time
Favorite memory: Day tripping half dome and clouds rest from the valley and san jose
2nd favorite memory: Getting to the top of cathedral for the first time with no rope
Strangest Memory: Valley in the Summer
Next trip: Saturday day trip
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 05:16PM
I would consider myself a Sierra nut, but Yosemite is the most beautiful and inspiring place I have ever seen, so far, in my life.

Took a field natural history class that included the Sierra and Yosemite, which got me started...1976. I worked in Yosemite, was married in Yosemite, (so was my sister and I've watched my nephews take their first steps, first solo bike ride, etc, there...they still love Yosemite, too.) We have spent an anniversary week camping in Yosemite for 27 years. I did Christmas craft shows in Yosemite for 10-12 years. Backpacked to Waterwheel Falls for my 50th birthday. Had a memorial on Half Dome for my youngest nephew. Yosemite is a solid part of our life.

This year, so far, have spent 13 nights...more to come. It is an extraordinary year in the Sierra. grinning smiley
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 05:32PM
smiling smiley

I'm at 30 nights this year so far... Only regret is that the wifey can't go more often.
I've been obsessed for a long time now... approx. 15 years... and it is getting worse..
I like all of the Sierra... but Yosemite just has my heart. Mostly it's The Domes... But I love
every bit of her from Granite Expanses in the North to Forests in the South...
I've yet to touch all the lakes... but I'm getting close.
Last March we spent our Anniversary at The Lodge...
and we've decided it's something we will do every year now...

There's so much to discover and re-discover. It's doesn't get old.

Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 05:42PM
The last time I stayed at the Lodge, I asked for a room with a view of Yosemite Falls. Was so awesome falling asleep to the sound of the falls.
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 05:45PM
I have heard that one a number of times... so I was slightly bummed when we got a Meadow View room.
It was anything but a disapointment:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/ValleyMar1921#5586983633252440066



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 05:50PM
Quote
chick-on
I have heard that one a number of times... so I was slightly bummed when we got a Meadow View room.
It was anything but a disapointment:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/ValleyMar1921#5586983633252440066
Very nice shot! When you reserve, they will input your request but they make no guarantees.
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 05:59PM
Gonna do that next year. That reminds me that they had old stereograph photos in the hallways. Very nice.
Love the old photos! Also reminds me that there is some sorta old photo thingie in the Yose Village Museum like that
that I wanna go see. Anyone go see that?



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 06:10PM
And for a very special anniversary (10th, 20th, 25th, 30th) I would highly recommend one of the cottages at the Ahwahnee. Extremely romantic... (though most don't have great views of the iconic landscape of Yosemite)
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 06:05PM
Quote
chick-on
I have heard that one a number of times... so I was slightly bummed when we got a Meadow View room.
It was anything but a disapointment:

https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/ValleyMar1921#5586983633252440066

A meadow view is the superior when Yosemite Falls has tried up for the season. The only thing I don't particularly care for the meadow view rooms is those rooms by the meadow are far more susceptible to unwelcome visits by the nearby field mice.

Often times I get a room with a "View" of Yosemite Falls, but most times that view is obscured by the trees on the Lodge property. If you want a room with a really nice view, request one of the handful of rooms with a view of Half Dome.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 06:24PM
For my wife and me, our Yosemite traditiion is spending Thanksgiving in the valley... every one since 1989. (I think we've had at least one reservation for accommodations in Yosemite continuously since the early '90's...) We used to do anniversaries at the lodge (or, one year, Curry 819) as well, but those morphed into backpacking trips around the same time.

So put us both in the Yosemite "nut" column, but probably a few notches below "Super Chick-On nut" :-)
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 06:59AM
We went to Mississippi Lake a couple of Thanksgivings in a row.
Someone in the party decided that they would prefer a B&B in Sonoma instead...
(the same person that said they really didn't want to have to be in
bed at 5pm in the snow on her Anniversary) (thus The Lodge) wink
Happy Wife, Happy Life
tongue sticking out smiley

As I have told Moosie... it's nice to know I'm not the only nutjob out there.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 05:57PM
My wife and I first visited the park on our 3rd anniversary. Tomorrow is our 5th anniversary and we'll also be our 9th trip to the park. We're about 7 hours away, so it's not too far. This will be our 5th backpacking trip in the park and I am more excited than ever. Yosemite has become the only place where I feel like I can breath. As soon as I hit forest the tension in my back just fades and life is good.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 07:27PM
Good to hear from the other Yosemite Nuts. I have visited almost every year since 1967 ( saw the firefall once). I worked as a volunteer with the Yosemite Association (now Yosemite Conservancy) several times, and have a bookshelf full of Yosemite history books, Ansel Adams books, and John Muir Books (My Yosemite license plate is JHNMUIR. Hard to explain - I just feel different when I'm there! When the time comes my ashes will be accidently spilled at a secret location.
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 14, 2011 07:38PM
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gtbhiker
When the time comes my ashes will be accidently spilled at a secret location.

It can be legally done:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ashes.htm
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 08:32AM
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
gtbhiker
When the time comes my ashes will be accidently spilled at a secret location.

It can be legally done:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ashes.htm

Wow, that's interesting (the NPS article). I guess I'm not the only one who plans to do that. We could start a separate thread on where everyone who has thought about it would have their ashes spread....
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 09:19AM
It's already written in to my will...glad to know that it doesn't have to be done clandestinely now!
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 10:36AM
I want a little bit of me in each of the parks that I love. My family and friends will have to do a road trip to accomplish it but then it will be a trip down memory lane to remember the fun we had visiting parks together. I like this much better than a eulogy inside a building.

Have any of you become a uninvited participant to an ash scattering? On a visit to Lake Tahoe were stopped at a overlook on the Nevada side just before sunset. My husband and my son, who was only 6 at the time walked to one part of the overlook while I went to another area. The sun was starting to set and I could see what looked like dust coming from the edge of a viewing area. The wind blew the dust towards me and I breathed in some of it. When I got to the viewing area there was a old woman and a younger one with a box and I realized what they had been doing and felt bad that I had intruded on a private moment. When my husband and son joined me, I quietly whispered to my husband, " They were scattering ashes and I just breathed in someone that I don't know." We were grossed out at first but I figured that I have breathed in worse things. I wonder who it was and if they had a good life.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 11:15AM
We have stayed at the Ahwahnee cottages for milestone anniversaries and wish we could afford to stay there more often. Unfortunately, on those visits we had our son with us so I can't say that they were exactly romantic stays. There are two cottage rooms with fireplaces and we were able to get one of them for one night of our 20th anniversary trip.

We have been staying in the Lodge meadow view rooms for years with one or two exceptions. We used to stay in Maple 3530 because it has a full on view of Half Dome from the balcony. It had been changed into a room after they had updated the room some years ago. It was changed to only a king bed so we switched to the Hemlock building and get a meadow view room that has a great view of Sentinel. We like the meadow rooms because living in a city, we don't want a room that over looks the parking lots or roads. We see enough cars when we are home. We almost always have a second floor room and have had a mouse in the room once. However, we have had squirrels and raccoons come in when we have had the balcony door open when we are in the room so we bring a portable door screen to keep them out.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 07:29PM
I would safely say I am obsessed with Yosemite. I first visited as an 18 year old to hike in the 1980's and since 1988, I have spent almost every weekend from July to Nov (or Oct, depending on the snow), ever since. I have missed the occasional weekend due to fatigue or illness, but in 23 years, I have spent at least 30 days a year inside the park, every year except two years, when I had a broken leg. I live 6 hours away in the LA area, so I leave from work on Friday and return on Sunday (and sometimes play hookey from work on a Friday and Monday!) My colleagues think I am crazy, but Yosemite fulfills me.

I have at least 20 framed Yosemite prints in my house. Hiking in Yosemite and in the Sierras is my all-abiding passion in life.

Curiously, I have never been a great fan of the Valley Floor. I think the Touloumne meadows area is the far better hiking locale. I never cared for Yosemite cafeteria, Yosemite Lodge or Curry Village, though if I could afford the Ahwahnee, I'd gladly spend months there! I have only stayed there twice in my life, but the place is gorgeous.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 09:18PM
It's fun reading all these.

Fun to read where all of you have stayed. I've stayed at the Lodge 4 or 5 times. At curry in a hard sided cabin and tent cabins 4 or 5 times. Even a tent cabin in winter this past December (brought electric blankets and was upgraded to a heated tent the second night for free due to power problems in the non heated) And I have camped in tents several times and in two different trailers that I have owned over the years. I love to take my 5th wheel up there, favorite sites in Upper Pines are in the second loop, mainly because they are long and easy to back into. But the price of gas is so high now, it would cost about $350 just for gas to get there and back, we now take our economy car and pay less than $100 on gas and just tent it.

How about where you have eaten?

I've had Easter brunch at the Wawona one year, was pretty good. Christmas dinner at the Mountain Room, not bad, but I really don't eat at the Mountain Room anymore, their menu is a little too fancy for me. When I want a steak, I want a steak, not some steak with sauce all over it. If the menu was a little more variety based, say like an Applebee's, I'd go there. Eaten at the Curry Village buffet for Bfast and Dinner many times. Had their pizza too a few times. Never eaten at the Taco bar, the hours are too limited, who is hanging around Curry between 11 and 5??? Eaten more times than I can count at the Lodge cafeteria. Had dinner once at the Ahwahnee and Breakfast as well. I've never eaten at the hamburger stand at the Village store or had a sandwich from Degnan's (just not a deli sandwich kind of guy)

I have to say my all time favorite place to eat is the Loft Pizza. Their crust is amazing and toppings are generous. Great beers on tap, nice atmosphere. I eat there every time I go.

What events have you been there for?

The same trip we ate at the Wawona was also Earth Day, and we rode a really fancy bus from the Village over to one of the former river campgrounds and spent half a day pulling some non native plants out of the ground that are growing there. Also on that trip, they had a performance at the Lodge of the Lorax. I actually got called to be up on stage to help act out the story. We did a sing along at Happy Isles that included self roasted marshmallows over a pretty big fire they built on another trip. I've seen Lee Stetson perform two or three times, he is really amazing. I took a back room tour at the Ansel Adams gallery, that was really cool.
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 09:37PM
Yes, we enjoy Degnan's Pizza loft too. I have had some terrible pizza in National Parks (Bryce was the worst) and the loft in Yosemite has pretty good pizza.
Love the deli too! Wish it didn't close at 5:00 though.

The food court/pavilion at the Lodge is okay. They have variety but just average for taste. The Curry Village Pizza was just okay.

One of the things I love about Yosemite is meeting people! I love it when people just start a conversation with you that is truly pleasant. Sometimes people just want to have a pleasant conversation with someone they have never met, and Yosemite sure is the place for that. We met a very nice man during an Ansel Adams presentation at the Lodge. He must have really enjoyed our conversation because when we were in line to pay for our food at the food court/pavilion, we found out our meals had been paid for by him. What a nice person!

The Mountain Room lodge is a very neat place for a drink and an appetizer/small snack. Great ambiance too.

We have been to the campfire programs in Lower Pines. Very basic and catered to children IMO. Always hear the calls for Elmer from North Pines (and the kids repeating it for the next hour or so)
Went to a couple of different Ansel Adams programs at the Lodge. One was great and the other (an old documentary) almost put me to sleep (and I adore him).
Went to a couple of the animal programs at the lodge too. Interesting.

My favorite programs are in Tuolumne. The long day ranger-led hikes are great and informative. Went on an all day hike where my husband and I were the only two non-rangers there! It was fantastic. The star watching programs in Tuolumne are wonderful too and they are free (they charge in the valley and aren't ranger led there). The campfire programs are interesting too. One of the rangers "spoke" bear and was very into what she did. I enjoyed it though.

Thanks for starting this thread hotrod! Great to read all of the responses!
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 09:50PM
Ahh yes the calls for Elmer. They continue to this day in Upper Pines as well. I think I first heard it at least 10 years ago.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 16, 2011 07:56AM
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hotrod4x5
Ahh yes the calls for Elmer. They continue to this day in Upper Pines as well. I think I first heard it at least 10 years ago.

They were calling for Elmer in 1966, my first visit, and every year since. A ranger told us this summer that Elmer was found way back when but people kept calling for him.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 08:51PM
You must have a very understanding boss. My husband and I wish that we had jobs that we could leave like that. Until my son goes to college, we are locked into his school schedule so when we go to Yosemite, Glacier Pt and Tioga Roads are not opened so the Valley is where we have to be. Because of the crowds we avoid Yosemite in the summer and go to other National Parks instead.

We have stayed at Curry but find that it is noisier than the Lodge. Before the flood, we used to stay in the cabins behind the Lodge and most of the time it was one that was near the Merced. If I win the lotto, you will find me at the Ahwahnee instead.

We find the food at Curry and at the Lodge Cafeteria to be sub par. The only meal that we once in a while eat at the Lodge cafeteria is breakfast. We eat at the Mountain Room the first and sometimes the last night of our trip. In between is pizza at Degnans or if the weather is nice we go to a picnic area and make dinner on a camp stove.
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 09:55PM
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parklover

You must have a very understanding boss. My husband and I wish that we had jobs that we could leave like that. Until my son goes to college, we are locked into his school schedule so when we go to Yosemite, Glacier Pt and Tioga Roads are not opened so the Valley is where we have to be. Because of the crowds we avoid Yosemite in the summer and go to other National Parks instead.

Honestly, it's so easy to avoid the crowds in the summer at Yosemite, that it has never been for me a deterrent to visit it during the summer. What limits me in the summer in visiting Yosemite is one: work; two: finding a decent place to stay or camp in or nearby the park, and three: the cost (if no campsites are available),. But the crowds are never an issue for me since they're so easy to avoid with just a little bit of planning.

Quote
parklover

We have stayed at Curry but find that it is noisier than the Lodge. Before the flood, we used to stay in the cabins behind the Lodge and most of the time it was one that was near the Merced. If I win the lotto, you will find me at the Ahwahnee instead.

Used to love to stay at the Yosemite Lodge cabins(with baths). But I also like staying at the Curry Village cabins (with baths). Overall, I have an issue with the summer pricing of the lodging accommodations at both Curry Village and the Lodge. They charge a lot of money for non-air conditioned rooms. Also for the price they now charge, especially at the Lodge, I expect better and newer beds, linens, and furniture. At the prices they now charge there's no excuse for having worn, chipped, and stained "hand-me down" furniture from the Ahwahnee in the Lodge's "Deluxe" lodge rooms.

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parklover

We find the food at Curry and at the Lodge Cafeteria to be sub par. The only meal that we once in a while eat at the Lodge cafeteria is breakfast. We eat at the Mountain Room the first and sometimes the last night of our trip. In between is pizza at Degnans or if the weather is nice we go to a picnic area and make dinner on a camp stove.

I find the Curry Cafeteria food sub-par too. The Yosemite Lodge food court is fine if you know what they do well and what they don't. You got to pick and choose carefully there to get a good tasting meal. But with experience, it's not too difficult. During extended stays, my family often has our first and last night's dinner at the Mountain Room too.

I enjoy the pizza at both Degnan's Loft and the Pizza Patio in Curry Village. Both taste good, though they have a different style of crust and offer different type of toppings at each location. The Degnan's Loft could though use a bit of a face lift in it's decor. It looks a bit run down nowadays, IMHO. And I truly get annoyed that they make Degnan's Loft only available to the park employees during the winter. Dining options in Yosemite Valley are limited as it is during the winter without making Degnan's Loft off-limits to the park's visitors, especially their overnight guests.
avatar Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 10:04PM
Quote
plawrence


Honestly, it's so easy to avoid the crowds in the summer at Yosemite, that it has never been for me a deterrent to visit it during the summer. What limits me in the summer in visiting Yosemite is one: work; two: finding a decent place to stay or camp in or nearby the park, and three: the cost (if no campsites are available),. But the crowds are never an issue for me since they're so easy to avoid with just a little bit of planning.

Agree completely! We go every summer (and sometimes winter), but there are ways to avoid the crowds. We usually camp in North Pines, take 3-4 long day hikes, ride our bikes, and enjoy the campground experience. You learn the avoid things like the mist trail, the falls trail, and bridalveil fall in the middle of the day. And you feel great as you ride your bike past the long line of stopped cars that extends from the falls to curry village. Finding summer time off isn't a problem, but finding a campsite can be!
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 10:25PM
Quote
plawrence
And I truly get annoyed that they make Degnan's Loft only available to the park employees during the winter. Dining options in Yosemite Valley are limited as it is during the winter without making Degnan's Loft off-limits to the park's visitors, especially their overnight guests.
I could not agree more! I visit in winter a lot and really wish I could eat there. It is OPEN, why the heck can't we? Makes no sense.
Re: How much of a Yosemite nut are you?
July 15, 2011 09:03PM
I grew up in the Merced area, and made my first solo camping trip to the Valley in 1966. From 1967 to 1973, I made the 2--2 1/2 hour drive almost every weekend to camp without reservations. In 1971, I wrote my BA thesis on Yosemite and visited the research library practically every weekend. There was no photocopier available, so I duplicated text with my 1950's Royal manual typewriter. In 1974, I moved to the east side of Yellowstone and haven't been to Yosemite since 2004 - and I miss it profoundly!

The one thing I would add about crowding is that I believe the record crowds actually occurred about 1954 - long before the infrastructure had been expanded. When I visited in the 80's and 90's, I noticed that the parking capacity had steadily decreased and parking spaces made larger than standard. Now that I am retired, I hope to visit Yosemite more often, but I suspect that access is going to be a challenge. This forum does help a bunch to keep abreast of some of the changes, however.
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