Yosemite in Winter!

Shortly after the new year we started to get some inclement weather. What should we do?

Go to Yosemite!! Without the trailer of course, a day trip is in order.

We live 137 miles from the Yosemite valley floor. But how often do we go visit? Not very. It is a sad state of affairs, I know.

We had a free Saturday so let’s go. Our truck has 4×4 and M/S tires. Unless it is a level 3 chain requirement, we don’t have to do chains! I brought chains anyway.

We left home relatively early and the weather had been stormy the day before but was clear. But there were still level 2 chain requirements on CA41 into the valley. That’s OK! It will be an adventure.

We stopped in Oakhurst on the way to get some sandwiches at Vons. Bringing our own food in is a way to show how cheap I am! At least I didn’t make them at home. It was pouring rain in Oakhurst, a good thing I thought. More chances of snow in Yosemite!

As we climbed out of Oakhurst on CA41 there were more signs of snow on the ground. We rounded the corner and found the CHP stopping people to put their chains on. He asked us if we were 4×4. Yes. Were we carrying chains? Yes. Proceed. It was very nice to drive past all the others out in the cold and wet putting on chains.

The road had snow on it most of the way and I had to switch in and out of 4×4, but that is a switch on the dash so I didn’t even have to get out. It took us about an hour to get to tunnel view. And it was amazing!

Tunnel View

We were surprised by how pretty it was. It snowed on and off. A bit of rainy slush thrown in here and there. We were also surprised by how many people were up here.

We got out and took the trail to Bridalveil falls.

Bridalveil Falls

We drove around a bit then had our lunch at Yosemite Valley Lodge food court.

After some┬ámore sightseeing we headed back home. We stopped in Fresno for dinner at the Shepherd’s Inn. This was the first time I noticed how dirty the truck really was!

I would highly recommend a trip to Yosemite during the snowy season!


Yosemite – Day 1

We woke up a bit late this morning.  11AM actually!  My philosophy is if you sleep that long you must have needed it!  I think we did.  So we skipped breakfast and went straight to lunch.  Duh.

We headed over to the main visitors center.  We have never really spent much time there so this was a welcome relief that we were not rushed.  In a bit, a naturalist walk/talk was starting just outside the door.  We decided to join up.  The talk was very enjoyable and the walk was very easy.  However, 3 months after the fact, we cannot remember the specific subject.  We walked across some meadows and one of our fellow attendees pointed out some deer in the grass (see below).



After the walk was over we walked to the nearest bridge and took the requisite shot of half dome.

Half Dome

We went back to the main village area, looked around a bit and went back to the trailer.  I had heard of someone talking about going to Glacier Point to watch the sunset over the valley.  This idea intrigued me so we headed out to do so.  As we got on 41 and headed to the Tunnel the traffic was backed up.  I was not sure if we would make it to Glacier Point in time (it takes about 1 hour to get there).  An additional problem was that I didn't have any headlights!  What?  That wasn't going to work.  We pulled over into the Tunnel View parking lot.  I started to investigate the headlight problem.

It turns out that I found the problem.  I added a special harness that senses when the lights are turned on and then powers the headlights directly from the battery.  It is supposed to help headlight brightness but it uses two relays.  One relay is for the low beams and one is for the high beams.  The low beam relay had failed.  I swapped the relays so I had low beams but no high beams, which is workable.  However there was absolutely NO WAY to get to the sunset viewing now.  So we just sat at Tunnel View and watched it.

Sunset from Tunnel View

With a bit of sadness we went back to the campground but decided to go to the evening ranger program.  The subject was bats.  Again, very informative.