Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ditching Yosemite

"You can bet I'm not putting on any deodorant this morning.  
I don't want a bear to sniff me!"

 By the looks of those first few pictures, I imagine it might be hard to believe that Yosemite National Park was the only disappointment of our entire trip.  We just didn't like it at all.  Considering how independent we'd been in the parks up until this point, it came as a huge shock to find Yosemite covered with people eating at massive buffets, buses with 27 stops hauling folks en masse to the nearest waterfalls, and bike paths so jammed with people it was nearly impossible to ride.  We hauled luggage through the woods and looked at mountains through parking lots; the lovely isolation that hiking brings was non-existent and every hike was a constant steam of people. Even our lone coyote walked right up to us like he was so used to people being around that he expected we'd hand feed him.  Something about the place felt off and finally Leif said, "I feel kind of duped."  We all did.

 The other parks we were in seemed to celebrate the grandeur and beauty of our country, but Yosemite seemed to take advantage of that same beauty; it is  a global tourist trap.  Maybe we were a little spoiled after our experiences at Zion, Grand Canyon, Sequoia, and King's Canyon, but when I saw an man wearing his pajamas at dinner put down his plate of buffet weary  tater tots to take a picture of a mountain through a closed window above a "No Exit" sign I lost it.

Yep...we bailed to the Hilton for the second night and had a marvelous time!  I am sure there are many amazing things to see in Yosemite and I'd bet it is a haven for rock climbers and probably really relaxing for people who would prefer not to drive in the mountains, but for us, at this time, on this specific vacation it was not what we had hoped for.

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