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Re: Spring Break Camping

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avatar Spring Break Camping
March 13, 2018 10:57AM
Let me start by saying I have been camping in Yosemite since I was a toddler (my parents had a super 8 video). My earliest memories are probably from when I was 5-6. My family would drive from SoCal with the backseat packed so high that there was barely room for my brother and I to lay on top of all the gear (that was ~'52, well before seat belts were a law). We would drive up at night, 1) to avoid the valley heat, and 2) so us kids could sleep instead of asking "Are we almost there?" every 15 minutes. We always camped in campground 14 (Now Lower Pines), in the section that is now under restoration. Back then there were no designated sites. We would pull in and 'stake a claim' by putting ropes around trees, hang blankets/tarps on them, thus creating a little village. Aunts, uncles, cousins and grand-parents would all come and join us. Great times! One of my fond memories was to go to the old store in 14 and buy Pez candy dispensers and squirt guns. And the Fire Fall. I hated it. Why? Because it meant it was time to go to bed...LOL.

I have 3 aunts and a couple of cousins that worked seasonally in Yosemite, as I did I. I worked as a camp helper and waiter at the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge the summers of '64 and '65 (after I graduated from high school) and stayed up there and worked from Sept-Feb ('65-66) as a waiter at the Lodge restaurant in the Valley (back then the restaurant was right next to the cafeteria. I'd of probably stayed there a lot longer were it not for Viet Nam and my lack of a student deferment. (I shortly after joined the Marine Corps and spent 21 lovely months in Viet Nam).

My wife and I spent part of our Honeymoon camping in Yosemite (both in the Valley and Tuolumne) and took our kids camping there whenever we could over the years. We go back for major events whenever we can, and when I turned 70 last year that is where I wanted to be to celebrate it (not sure 'celebrate' is the right word...commemorate?)

I have two reservations for camping there over Spring Break; one the week before Easter with my son's kids, and one the week after my daughter and kids. The first site is in Upper Pines (because Lower is not open that week) and the 2nd is in Lower. This is my 8th year of doing this with the grand-kids. I started when the oldest grand-daughter was 10, and this will probably be her last year because she will be heading off to college ;-(

Most years I have been fortunate to get a 'very good' or better site, but this year I had to 'settle'. I have a 5th wheel, so this limits the sites I can go after. I have a priority list that ranks the sites between Perfect to "would I rather be in Yosemite or stay home". Perfect sites have easy access for parking the trailer, wide/long driveway, good views, not close to neighbors, close to play areas/rocks for the kids and trees for hammocks and/or tarps if it rains. Ever since the day I made the reservations I have had two tabs open on my browser: one for Upper Pines reservations, and one for Lower Pines. Every time I walk by my laptop I refresh those tabs to see if a site higher up on my priority list has opened. Since the reservations were made mid-Nov., Dec/Jan/Feb were pretty quiet, but now in March the action has started to heat up. Last week there were two in Upper pines that opened up, but not on my list. But today there were actually 2 sites available at the same time! (Neither on my list) I suspect this has something to do with the long range weather forecast not being as 'pleasant' as some people might prefer. Two years ago, on the weekend between Spring Break weeks I was actual able to snag our favorite site for the 2nd week...tenacity pays off!

This link was from the 1st trip with the grand-kids, and snow we got on March 31, 2010 (this year may be a repeat!). The grand-daughter heading off to college has the blue jacket
Link

Sorry for the ramble. It's rainy here today and golf was cancelled, so I am bored ;-)

Steve



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2018 11:03AM by calberry.
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 13, 2018 11:36AM
That is awesome.

I'm at work.

I'm no longer bored.

smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 13, 2018 11:41AM
Quote
chick-on
That is awesome.

I'm at work.

I'm no longer bored.

smiling smiley

Pounding head on desk
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 13, 2018 11:53AM
Wow!

How did you know my job?

tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 13, 2018 11:56AM
Quote
chick-on
Wow!

How did you know my job?

tongue sticking out smiley

Rolling on floor laugh
Re: Spring Break Camping
March 13, 2018 01:06PM
Thank you both for brightening my day!!!

Loved reading the history.. my first camping trip to Yosemite was when I was 3 months old, I have been told.. often. Anyway, have been going at least once a year my whole life.. obviously much more often as of late...

We have been trying to go on our friends’ summer holidays for backpacking, but it’s so hard to get sites now.. so we have converted them to backpacking to make up for it!!! Hehehe..

We got talked into going elsewhere for our honeymoon since folks told us we go to Yosemite all the time... do something “special” they said.. suffice to say, we spent our first anniversary in Yosemite, and I really can’t recall how many weren’t in Yosemite.

Sigh. Nice to have “met” others similarly enchanted.

Hope you all have a great day!
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 13, 2018 01:51PM
Quote
JustKeepWalking
Thank you both for brightening my day!!!

Loved reading the history.. my first camping trip to Yosemite was when I was 3 months old, I have been told.. often. Anyway, have been going at least once a year my whole life.. obviously much more often as of late...

We have been trying to go on our friends’ summer holidays for backpacking, but it’s so hard to get sites now.. so we have converted them to backpacking to make up for it!!! Hehehe..

We got talked into going elsewhere for our honeymoon since folks told us we go to Yosemite all the time... do something “special” they said.. suffice to say, we spent our first anniversary in Yosemite, and I really can’t recall how many weren’t in Yosemite.

Sigh. Nice to have “met” others similarly enchanted.

Hope you all have a great day!

thumbs up
Re: Spring Break Camping
March 14, 2018 12:02AM
Quote
calberry
Let me start by saying I have been camping in Yosemite since I was a toddler (my parents had a super 8 video). My earliest memories are probably from when I was 5-6.
Steve

Steve - This is awesome! Thanks for sharing your story including the drive from SoCal in those days. Bowing to his greatness
Also hats off to your perseverance! You might get some more spots opening up with the not so sunny weather for next two weeks.
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 14, 2018 12:36PM
Smiling dogpile
Quote
nwhkr
Quote
calberry
Let me start by saying I have been camping in Yosemite since I was a toddler (my parents had a super 8 video). My earliest memories are probably from when I was 5-6.
Steve

Steve - This is awesome! Thanks for sharing your story including the drive from SoCal in those days. Bowing to his greatness
Also hats off to your perseverance! You might get some more spots opening up with the not so sunny weather for next two weeks.

thumbs up
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 14, 2018 10:28PM
Steve, great story. Thanks for sharing. :-)

Last year I was able to move my May camping reservation from Wawona to Upper Pines a week before the trip because the forecast was for rain. It rained two of the three days I was there but it was one of the best times ever. I rode my bike in the rain, stopping to take pictures often. The worst weather can make for some of the best memories!

This May I'm already booked into Upper Pines. winking smiley
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 15, 2018 07:39AM
Tenacity pays off!

I don't think there is a year that I have camped there over Spring Break that it hasn't rained at least part of the time. To your point, it sort of adds to the adventure. But I guess some people don't look at it that way.

But I always try to get site with trees so I put up tarps and canopies to give us a dry area to cook, play games and have a fire

LINK


And w/out rain you can't get pics like this:

LINK



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/15/2018 07:53AM by calberry.
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 15, 2018 09:19AM
Yeah, you can't get photos like this either, without rain.

avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 15, 2018 10:04PM
thumbs up
Quote
JohnC
Yeah, you can't get photos like this either, without rain.


Nice pic! thumbs up
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 15, 2018 10:32PM
Thank you.
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 16, 2018 02:57PM
This is a test to see if I have figured out how to upload a pic. Even though I used the Insert Image URL before, I don't think I had the kind of URL for my source pic. Thanks to JohnC for some instruction.

Hopefully this works this time:





Edit #1: Argh...after posting I see that neither of these Shutterfly links worked, so it is back to the drawing board ;-(

Edit #2: I did just discover that if I click on the little icons above the image will open in another tab.

Anyway, this pic was from the afternoon of Mar. 31, 2010 when the grand-kids and I got snow the night before.

Steve



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/2018 02:58PM by calberry.
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 16, 2018 03:07PM
You need the URL of the image; not the URL of the page the image is on.

avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 16, 2018 03:20PM




Quote
calberry
This is a test to see if I have figured out how to upload a pic. Even though I used the Insert Image URL before, I don't think I had the kind of URL for my source pic. Thanks to JohnC for some instruction.

Hopefully this works this time:







Edit #1: Argh...after posting I see that neither of these Shutterfly links worked, so it is back to the drawing board ;-(

Edit #2: I did just discover that if I click on the little icons above the image will open in another tab.

Anyway, this pic was from the afternoon of Mar. 31, 2010 when the grand-kids and I got snow the night before.

Steve
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 21, 2018 07:35AM
Still trying to figure out how to post a pic from my Google albums. This was from Mar. 29, 2016...and upon Preview it looks like it worked!



And this from the week before, Mar. 22, 2016



And this of our camp the morning of Mar. 31, 2010. It had been raining when we went to bed and in the middle of the night it got VERY silent...so I was not surprised to look outside after the sun rose and see all the snow.
Re: Spring Break Camping
March 21, 2018 07:00PM
Thanks for sharing your Yosemite story. You are so lucky that you started going to Yosemite so early in your life. I was 34 the first time I went, not due to lack of wanting to go but the fact that most of those 34 years I lived back east and my parents were not outdoorsy people and didn't think about trips to national parks. However, my son's first trip was when he was 3 months old and now he has many trips under his belt.
avatar Re: Spring Break Camping
March 21, 2018 07:01PM
Quote
parklover
Thanks for sharing your Yosemite story. You are so lucky that you started going to Yosemite so early in your life. I was 34 the first time I went, not due to lack of wanting to go but the fact that most of those 34 years I lived back east and my parents were not outdoorsy people and didn't think about trips to national parks. However, my son's first trip was when he was 3 months old and now he has many trips under his belt.

thumbs up
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