December 14, 2012
Our youngest son, Andrew, returned from college for Christmas break. One evening while we sat around the fire at home, he said he wanted to go to Yosemite. “I’ll take you, Andrew,” I replied with excitement. I cannot recall when any of my children actually asked to be taken to Yosemite. He heard there was a dusting of snow and wanted to visit the valley on foot. A route quickly popped into mind that would include seeing the major valley attractions.
When morning arrived, Chris, Andrew and I donned winter wear and headed up the hill into Yosemite National Park stopping first at Bridalveil Fall. The stream of water dropping from the misty fall appeared to be turning to ice as it tumbled over the rock.
Before parking the car at Swinging Bridge, we caught a glimpse of a large, grungy-looking coyote as it ran through the forest. Stepping out of the warm vehicle, we were hit with a blast of cold air, and the thought ran through my mind, do we really want to do this?
Swinging Bridge was covered in snow as we crunched our way across on foot. The view of Yosemite Falls from the bridge was gorgeous and worth the walk in the frigid air.
As we walked to Yosemite Lodge, our frozen bodies begged us to stop the foot tour and get on the shuttle bus. We rode the shuttle to Curry Village where we thought we might go ice skating, but the rink was closed until late afternoon.
Instead we perused the booths at the Holiday Craft Bazaar held inside the dining pavilion where many local artists, crafters, and photographers were selling their wares.
A live musician played Christmas carols while a crackling fire roared in the stone fireplace. Lunch was being served in the kitchen, so we dined on tacos and all the fixings (proceeds to help fund the Yosemite Childcare Center).
After lunch we lingered by the fire to warm up before walking back to the shuttle stop. The drive back to Yosemite Lodge was slow going. Besides the regular stops, our kind bus driver paused many times to allow a tourist (who was visibly awed by the sights she saw) to take photographs. He also stopped to pick up a group of very cold and confused pedestrians walking in the middle of the road. I joked with Andrew and Chris that we spent more time on the bus than we did walking. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the snowy valley tour.
I am blessed to have my son home safely this holiday season. As I watch the tragic news coming from Connecticut and Oregon, my prayers go out to all the families affected. I wish each of you and your families a very blessed Christmas and a coming year filled with happiness and good health.