The holidays are over, the weather has been kind of crummy and cabin fever has reared its ugly head, here in the Scribner household. We had been promising the kids a trip to the snow for some time, so this weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity for a daytrip to Yosemite, which would allow the kids to get their snow on, and us parents to take-in the winter spectacle that is Yosemite.Yosemite is not the cheapest destination for a daytrip, at $20 per carload, but your receipt is good for seven days so if you are planning a multi-day drip, you do not have to stay in the park, itself. Chains are required on-and-off, throughout the winter months, but despite a heavy blanket of the white stuff last weekend, the roads were clear all the way into Yosemite Village.
That does not mean there wasn’t plenty of snow, however. The place was not exactly empty, but were less than a dozen cars in the visitor’s lot. We bundled the kids up in their new snow gear and headed down to the Merced River to blow-off some of the pent-up energy from the 3 ½ hour drive. Yosemite Village is tourist-central, but that’s because there is just a lot of cool stuff to see, from this location. In the winter, it’s also the best place to grab a hot cup of coffee or cocoa.
We bummed-around the Village for a few hours, taking in Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. One of the coolest parts about hanging around the Village in the winter is that we heard two rockslides while we were there. These happen all the time, but in the winter when the water is freezing and thawing they are particularly frequent and the sound is really spooky – like the long rumble of thunder, but at a higher pitch.
We finished-up our visit to the Village with a trip to the store for really expensive trinkets. Call us old-fashioned, but we try to get a refrigerator magnet ($3) every time we go somewhere, and I had to have a new Yosemite t-shirt ($20). It was getting late in the day, and we still had to find someplace for the kids to get their sled on, so we piled back into the CampingBlogger rig and headed out of the Village in search of a hill which, go figure, is quite hard to come by in a valley.
We parked the rig just west of Ribbon Falls and did some scouting along the Merced River. As luck would have it, we found a huge granite boulder that had a perfect 20-foot face made just for sledding. While we were there, we heard another rock slide up around the Cathedral Spires area across the river. We could not see it through the trees, but it provided a great backdrop to the gnarly sledding.
With the sunlight fading, we packed it in and headed back towards home. Everyone was starving, so we made a stop in Mariposa at the Pizza Factory. I don’t know if it was the cold, the long day, or what – but that was the best pizza I’ve had in a long time. We got a medium, two personals, a pizza bread, a salad and drinks for $26 – not bad.