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Yosemite National Park

May 5-8, 2006

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Yosemite was our next destination with our Rainbow RV Club. Lee, Troy, and myself headed out Friday morning at 10:35 am. The day was cloudy around 63 degrees. We actually had no problems. The cats in their usual traveling positions, under the covers of the bed. Troy was excited.

Oh forgot, who is Troy? He is a 24 year old transplant from Omaha, looking for a job, and we have sort of taken him in. He lives in our motorhome in our driveway when he is not in Berkeley looking for a job… which he’d better get going on.

The trip up was wonderful. Troy had never been to Yosemite and was getting excited. But the detour was a bit grueling, all uphill, which really took a toll on our transmission. The smell of burning transmission fluid permeated the entire cab. Both Lee and I were a bit tense after all the money we spent last year on Blue Boy. We arrived in Yosemite around 4:30 that afternoon. Lee was doing the tour guide bit and we were reminiscing about our last time there in 2000 for my fiftieth birthday. Another story.

We got to our site and, oh dear, I can’t describe our spot. We were trapped between six trees that were eleven feet apart and across the road was a ravine that we or I should say Lee had to navigate Blue Boy into and back carefully between the trees. A crowd gathered as this drama unfolded. One of our group actually took a picture of Blue Boy in the ravine. We all sweated bullets but managed to get him in place.

Okay, so our campsite wasn't this narrow… but it sure seemed like it!

To line up for the narrow tree-lined campsite behind us, Lee had to pull into the ditch across the road. Then the Bounder's transmission decided it was too overheated to back out.
Photos courtesy Mark Littlewood

I got into setting up housekeeping, Lee was out talking to the other campers and Troy was everywhere. We had a meet & greet potluck at 6:00 where we reconnected with friends from previous RRV events. Lee and I retired around 9:30 with three rather pissed off cats while Troy continued to meet, greet, and get drunk. When he finally came back he decided to sleep under the stars rather than on the Bounder’s daybed. Fine with us.

The next morning after coffee, we joined about fifteen of our RRV friends at 10:30 and went on a ten-mile hike to Vernal falls. Our friends set a rapid pace out of the campground and by the time we reached the trailhead, Lee and I dropped back, taking our time. Troy disappeared, bouncing off rocks into the Yosemite wilderness. The hike was grueling but the scenery was beyond beautiful. The whole hike was uphill over rocks and streams, and encountering lots of people. Lee was shooting pictures along the way and Troy would pop up out of the woodwork now and again, whooping and just being the ultimate nature boy.

Getting back to our site, Lee sank into a chair with a beer outside while I fixed scalloped potatoes for our Saturday night get-together. Dinner, and the company was really fun. The more trips we go on with this group, the more people we meet and rekindle friendships. Lee, unfortunately, was really suffering from the day’s adventure. We retired around ten and Troy boy slept out in the night air. He was so jazzed about the whole adventure.

Left & Right: around the RRV campfire.
Photos by Mike Shaughnessy.

Center: our Yosemite campsite patio.
Photo courtesy Mark Littlewood.

Sunday, Lee and I decided to take it easy. At last night’s dinner a bunch of the guys talked about taking the tram tour through Yosemite. Hum, not a bad idea. We asked Troy if he wanted to go along but he preferred to bike around the park. So off he went and off we went. We took the bus around first and see some sights, then stopped at Curry Village where I needed to pick up some batteries for my camera. $111.บบ later we went back to our rig. Lee had talked me into buying a beige hat which I must say myself looks quite good on me. Six-twenty-nine for a two ounce jar of honey. Two Yosemite coffee mugs with our names on them and an ashtray with Yosemite logo on it . How touristy can we get!

Lee and I took the two-hour tram tour; wow, was it beautiful! The falls were outstanding and the weather was perfect. It was a photo-opt moment that anyone would die for. There were dogwood trees in bloom and the river was so clear and rushing over the boulders. Having been there many times before I was still in awe of the beauty.

Sunday night we had our last get-together potluck with the RRVers and naturally, no one wanted to return to reality. Monday morning was sunny and 56 degrees. We started off with coffee and we managed to get the cats to at least come out and stretch their legs. I started packing up. Lee and Troy were helping. Next came the dreaded getting out of our space. Actually it went quite well and not as exacerbating as we had imagined.

So we started off on our trek home trying to delay any way we could. Check out time is 10:00 a.m. and we were on our way by around 9:10 after having said our goodbyes. Troy wanted to go to Yosemite Falls; this was GREAT by me since I didn’t want to leave anyway. Finally we had to go home.

There was a detour on route 120 and we missed the turn, but the signs didn’t say that RV’s couldn’t go. So, on we went. Priest Grade was an experience. It was a seven mile twist and turn, downhill, brake-grinding ride. Troy fell asleep which was good. Cars coming up were flipping us off and just plane looking at us as though we were totally out of our minds. We couldn’t turn around; the road was a two-lane with hills on one side and cliffs on the other. Lee decided about a third of the way down to pull over and cool off the brakes. “Don’t move, just sit there; I don’t want to rock the boat.” So we sat for around fifteen to twenty minutes. What a time to have to go pee. Lucy and Ricky had nothing on us.

The rest of the trip was uneventful except for the fill-up at the gas station. Half a tank, fifty one gallons, 3.29 a gallon: $167.29! Troy slept through the whole trip waking up about two miles from home. Nice to be home and I hope Troy had a good time.