The Big Trip Out West
Though I haven’t even been home for more than a month, I’ve been pretty busy. Almost immediately after coming home, my family and Julia set out on a great adventure west. Our goal was to see some of our nation’s most beautiful parks during the Centennial of the National Parks Service. Our goal was to see the Badlands, the Corn Palace, Custer’s State Park, Mt. Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Craters of the Moon, Crater Lake, Redwoods State Park, Yosemite, King’s Canyon, Sequoias, Moab, Canyonlands, Arches, the world’s best cinnamon roll at Glen Haven, and Trail Ridge Road. But even the perfect plan can have its bumps and amazing surprises. Come along on the journey, as I’ll be posting each day (and roughly each park) throughout the next few months.
Starting Off on the Wrong Side of the Bed
When you’re going on a trip this long, eventually, you have to do laundry. Which is usually fine.
If you get to your hotel early.
Which we never did.
This morning, Julia and I had to wake up at 6:00 am just to go put our laundry on at the Motel 6. What a palover! Since we only had a $20 bill, the hotel staff gave us some free laundry powder. We quickly got set up. Though we dug through our things for more quarters, we realized that the dryer was stuck with 1 minute left. No matter how long we waited, that minute never ended. We dried all our clothes for free!
At 8:30 am, we left the hotel and headed to Yosemite. It wasn’t until a half our down the interstate that we noted that mom’s jeans and Zach’s Chubbies shorts had been left behind in the dryer! We lost an hour here just heading back to the hotel to gather our things.
Around 1:30 pm, we arrived at a town we had been waiting for since we saw it on the map: Copperopolis. There, along the side of the road, was a little burger joint called Matt’s Take Out.
We waited outside on swings and chairs for our food and sat underneath the awning in a drizzle. It was such a fun stop! Julia and I even investigated a crazily decorated house that sits across the street from here.
At 2:00 pm, we turned on the radio. Road closures in Yosemite. This couldn’t be happening! Because of the tropical storm, a huge snow cloud had dumped on the canyon. There was a blockage on the road that we needed to take out of the canyon. However, we continued on and took our chances.
Finally Seeing Yosemite National Park
That afternoon, we finally entered Yosemite Canyon.
There was so much fog and lots of rain. Before the tropical storm had hit California, the waterfalls in Yosemite hadn’t ran all year. Now, they were gushing. Not five minutes into the canyon, we stopped as a cascade waterfall and looked down into the most beautiful park I’ve ever seen.
It took nearly two hours to arrive at the bottom of the canyon. We weaved our way back around waterfalls and deer.
On our first night here, mom wanted to stay at the poshest hotel in town: The Majestic Yosemite Hotel. A massive lobby greets you; you’d recognize it if you watched The Shining, as they recreated it for the movie! Afterwards, you enter a room with a grand fireplace. It wasn’t until later that we realized that the large seating room contained another fireplace. That second fireplace was so big that it even contained built in benches!
Rather than eat in the posh dining room (who are we kidding? We didn’t have the right clothes), we went to the Yosemite Lodge food court. It was a stressful dinner, since Zach was once again called away for business. Since there were so many people in the hotel, the wifi was too bad for Zach to work on his jobs. Good to note if you work remotely.
Following dinner, we all went down to the sitting room and cuddled up by the fire. Julia and I chatted for a while until the warmth of the fireplace lulled her to sleep. We went to bed early for the first time in days and slept like absolute kings.
Be kind to one another,