Saturday, September 1, 2007

My discoveries in Yosemite

I recently spent several days in Yosemite with some very dear friends of mine. Beyond the beautiful scenery, stunning displays of lightning, adorable chipmunks, delicious camping food, and refreshing hiking that I expected, I enjoyed several other unexpected discoveries.
First I rediscovered my need for independence. It wasn't that other people were planning the trip, or that I wasn't in control of what we were having for dinner that bothered me. It was the little things. I needed a chair, but they were locked in my friend's car. I had to wait for everyone to wake up to start on a hike (I am a die hard morning person) or have the planned breakfast. My need to be completely self-sufficient made this trip very difficult for me. Fortunately my friends are so wonderful and fun that I enjoyed being dependent on them anyhow. I just need to remember this quirk of mine when deciding which friends to vacation with.
Second, and vastly more interesting, I discovered that you can get to Yosemite by train/bus! It didn't take me any longer than driving, the connections were really really easy and short, and it didn't cost much more than that much gas would have! There are four different stops in the valley, and Yosemite has such a fantastic shuttle system that once you're there you can get anywhere within the valley. If you're staying there, or backpacking out of it, Amtrak is definitely the way to go. More time to watch the scenery, and it's better for the environment, AND you don't have to deal with parking or the crazy one way roads in the park.

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