Monday, October 12, 2009
Adventures in the Wilderness
We got back safe and sound from Yosemite last night. It was great and hard and quite a trip.
Friday, Laura, Simon and I met up with our friends Joan, Dre, Kim and Sommers (4 years old) at the house of Skeeter, Saun-Toy and Moses (8 months old) to head out on our trip to Yosemite. We ended up not leaving until 1:30 p.m., but thought, "No problem, it's only supposed to be a 3 1/2 hour trip".
Yeah, unless a car fire closes down the left lanes of the major freeway out of town and delays us by at least 1 1/2 hours. Then we HAD to stop for In and Out. We finally cross into the park at 6:30 p.m. and it's getting dark and I have Google map directions. They suck. I end up getting us lost in a national forest,, as night is falling and the only map we have is from the park service and has no street numbers or distances listed so we drove around in the wilderness for another hour and a half.
"No problem", I think, because we're supposed to have electricity at our camp site. We were staying at the Housekeeping Camp which has 3 sided cabins with a tarp on the 4th side and electricity including lights and an outlet (for a space heater in our case).
This is so great, except just as we arrive, the power goes out in the whole valley. Oh, and Sommers, the 4 year old, is recovering from a cold and has reactive airway disease and has been puking since they crossed into the park because he's congested and the cold really probably won't be so great for him. Oh, and we have an 8 month old. Oh, and Simon who is heart failure. And it's supposed to be 38 degrees. And we have no light, no lanterns, no power and we haven't eaten and it's 8 o'clock at night. Oh, and Joan and Dre's cabin is occupied by someone else and the front desk says they're on their own to figure it out.
After a brief conference in the parking lot, we decide we'll just see if the Awahnee Hotel has a room. Sure it's $400 a night, but we can sneak in 7 adults and 3 kids into one room and it will be affordable. Great plan, except there are 2 weddings there that night and they're booked. So, it appears that we will either have to drive all the way back home (at least a 5 hour trip) or make due. So we make due.
Joan assesses that one of the cabins next to us is empty, so Joan marches to the office and tells them that they'll be staying there and if the management has a problem with that, they know where to stick it. Skeeter butters up the neighbors on the other side of us and soon we have a propane stove, 2 propane lanterns and the use of their fire pit that already had a fire (they were actually going to stay overnight in a hotel b/c the wife was sick). Laura draws Simon's meds by carlight and gets him warmed up with four layers of sleepwear.
We got the kids settled and Skeeter and Saun-Toy made a yummy dinner and we sat around the campfire making S'mores and relaxing. The adults finally went to bed at about 11. The babies were a bit noisy all night but everyone seemed warm enough. At 4 a.m. the power came back on (we evidently left the light switch "on") and we turned the space heater on.
The next morning I walked out of our cabin to find that we were RIGHT on the river, in a most gorgeous spot. Click here to see pics of our trip: http://picasaweb.google.com/jaimejenett/YosemiteOctober2009#
We didn't really make it on any big walks, but definitely enjoyed the scenery. Joan, Dre, Kim and Sommers decided to leave on Saturday afternoon because Sommers still wasn't feeling well. The rest of us hung out that night eating chili, cornbread and brownies and tried to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. Good intentions, but the babies kept waking each other up all night and I think we maybe slept from 6-7:30 a.m. Still, it was so gorgeous when we woke up, I hardly cared.
We had to pack up camp in a hurry and hustle over to the Awahnee Hotel for a spectacular buffet brunch. Simon was PISSED about it, unfortunately. He was very tired and not happy with all the hubbub in the room, so Laura and I took turns walking him around while he screeched and hollered. We were very popular with the wealthy older couples dropping kajillions to stay there, let me tell you...
After a delicious brunch (highlights included amazing Eggs Benedict and a mango custard) we split up so Skeeter, Saun-Toy and Moses could go on a walk and we headed home with a sleeping baby.
It was a little challenging, a lot fun and definitely something to try again in the spring. Who knew we could go camping with a baby in heart failure?!?