Showing posts from July, 2014

Vajentic Family Western Odyssey: Week 2, Day 11 (Tuesday, July 23)

Not surprisingly, given our busy day and late night the day before, we slept in on Tuesday!  I hate to waste vacation time sleeping, but if you have to do it, you might as well do it at a nice cabin in the woods in one of America's most beautiful national parks.  We wanted to see the famous Yosemite Valley and get our national parks passports stamped at the visitor center, so after poking around the lodge during the morning, we loaded up in the car and headed south around 1 PM, after dropping a few postcards in the mail.  It was around a 45 minute drive through more beautiful scenery to get to the valley.  We stopped at one of the parks leading into the valley so that we could walk up to the Merced River.  Standing there on the bank, I was reminded of an antidote I read about John Muir.  Some 19th century tourist came up to Muir and told him that he only had an hour in the park, and asked if Muir could recommend what he should do with his limited time.  Muir replied, "if you …

Vajentic Family Western Odyssey: Week 2, Day 10 (Monday, July 22)

The Evergreen Lodge is a privately-owned facility just outside the northwest border of Yosemite National Park.  While planning for the trip, I had originally looked at staying in one of the several lodges within the park itself.  I was particularly drawn to the posh Ahwahnee, which is located right in the heart of Yosemite Valley.  It turns out that most of the park's lodging is booked well in advance of the one month with which I was working.  I stumbled upon the Evergreen Lodge on TripAdvisor, and it looked perfect!  It had beautiful, relatively new, yet rustic looking cabins that were nestled among sugar pines.  Our cabin had two bedrooms and a common area.  The cabins did not have TVs by design, in keeping with their philosophy of enjoying a retreat away from electronics.  The boys weren't crazy about this, but I loved it!  There was a nice little deck outside our front door on which we could sit and drink morning coffee.  A system of lighted walking trails wound throughou…