Campers have s’more fun – Day 1

It’s been a little over two months since our trip to Yosemite. I still enjoy browsing through our pictures and remembering the unbelievable beauty of that place.
The Pack:
The first challenge of the trip: pack light. I knew we would be staying in “bear country” and those creatures have a thing for the smell of women’s cosmetics.  I tried my best to whittle down on the products I would need. (Cut me a little slack, this was my first time ‘camping’ and a girl’s gotta ease into that sorta thing.)
I couldn’t skimp on the essentials. I packed deodorant (my tent mate thanks me), toothbrush, toothpaste, and contact solution. Then threw in some other items for safe measure: my Aveeno face wash (I can literally count on one hand the times I have gone to bed without washing my face), Archipelago Soy Milk Powder (all girls from the hot South know to not leave home without their powder), and then a little bottle of my Makeup Forever HD foundation (I know, I know…I never claimed to be an outdoorsman).
These are the products I parted with for the trip: hairspray and styling mousse (full pony tail mode for this trip), Aveda smoothing fluid (like I said, nothing but ponytails here), Listerine mouthwash (just sticking with toothpaste), Pond’s cold cream (because I don’t want to wake up to a bear licking this off my face), and lastly my razor (sorry Mr. BEY, camping chicks are rough).
The Road:
We hit the road bright and early for our four hour drive from San Francisco to Yosemite. We stopped off in Groveland and ate lunch at the Iron Door Saloon, the oldest saloon in California. It gets its name from, yep you guessed it, the iron doors. These doors were hauled in on mule back across the Tuolumne River. They were sold to the saloon as a fire protection device. The idea was, if the town was burning, you just shut the doors and wait it out.  Hmm, must have been a good salesman.
The interior was straight out of an old Western. Dimly light atmosphere with some stray bullet holes, beautiful wooden bar, old dusty chandeliers and lots of area artifacts. Such a neat, quiet town – you should stop by if you’re ever in the area.
After lunch, we hit the road again. Little Elle was kind enough to serenade us all the way to Yosemite. (Not sure if her ears were popping or she just didn’t like the backseat entertainment.)
The beauty:
Just as she dozed off to sleep, we pulled up to this magnificent view point. It was like nothing I had ever seen. This picture is a pitiful depiction of the actual beauty. We jumped out of the car and just stood there taking it all in. It was just too much, I started crying. I even get a little choked up thinking back to that moment. Standing there witnessing this beauty with some of my favorite people in the whole world. 
It wasn’t just the sight of it, it was the sound too. You could actually hear nature; the wind blowing through the trees, the roar of distant waterfalls. I couldn’t believe I was going to actually get to sleep in this magical place. 
Smiling from ear to ear.
When Elle woke up, she was happy to be in Yosemite too, or maybe she was just happy to be flirting with Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder. I think she had a serious crush.
We stretched our legs and just took in the beauty all around us. Then shared a little somethin’ somethin’ from the Wawona Store…yummy ice cream to beat the heat.
Now, back to exploring…
We took a short hike to the base of Yosemite Falls. Soaring 2,425 feet, it is the tallest waterfall in North America. This year marked a 30-year high for water volume, so as you can imagine, it was a site to behold.
Yosemite Falls consists of three levels – Upper, Middle and Lower Falls. Here, we’re at the base of the Lower Falls. This is the place to come if you want to get wet. There is a constant icy mist and every time the wind blows, huge sheets of water soak all the sightseers. 

Similar to Muir Woods, the trees in Yosemite were absolutely stunning. A fuzzy, green moss covered one side of this tree (the side facing the waterfall of course!)
The Camp:
After the falls, we headed over to Camp Curry to check in and scope out the campground.
Everything was so beautifully rustic. The whole experience made me want to say, “I love A-MUR-I-CUH”. (That’s me making fun of a Southern accent, I know…the irony.)
Keys in hand, now for the real excitement…let’s go check out the tent!
Aww, aren’t they just precious! There is no better way to experience Yosemite. So simple, so quaint, so perfect.
Here she is…#942. You go first Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder, make sure there are no bears hiding in there. 

Talk about the “bear” essentials. No posh bedding or fuzzy bathrobes here. Just the good ol’ fashioned necessities. 
I know these signs are for my own protections, but really? Who wants to read that as they are headed to bed?
Never fear, Bear Savers are here! All toiletries, food, even water bottles had to be locked up tight. Those bears are mighty good sniffers.
Hmph…I feel safer already.

The view:
As the sun was setting, we left Camp Curry and drove up to Tunnel View. From this point you can see the entire Yosemite Valley including El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Falls. Imagining it being carved by glaciers millions of years ago made me feel like a tiny blip in the grand scheme of things.
We enjoyed a sweet little picnic dinner as we watched the sun dip lower and lower behind the mountains. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I’d take a pb&j; overlooking Tunnel View than a gourmet dinner any day!
The sun dipped lower and lower and the shadows grew longer and longer. The sky swirled with so many magnificent warm colors. As night set in, the Valley transformed into an entirely different world. The mountains grew blacker and blacker in the distance like giant mammoths welcoming the cool darkness. No bright lights, no loud noises, just the gentle quiet of night and thousands of twinkling stars.
Night-night my sweet Yosemite.
The night:
With flashlights in hand we made it safely back to Camp Curry. I made myself go to the bathroom (twice), I did NOT want to have to make the trek to the potty in the middle of the night. We eventually got snuggled in our little bed and the camp’s mandated quiet hours began. It was so dern quiet. Of course something about this was absolutely hilarious to me and I suddenly got a bad case of the giggles. Some dude trying to make his way back to his tent ran into some bushes behind our tent and uttered a few words which sent me and Mr. BEY into fits of laughter. It sounded just like he was in the tent with us! Gotta love canvas walls.
It was so hard to just shut it all off at 10pm, we felt like kids having a bed time. So we decided to take some silly night shots. It was totally dark (except for the flash), I held the camera and snapped…
Mr: What? I thought is was gonna be a serious one.

Mrs: Okay, okay. Let’s do another one. I’ll be serious this time.

Mrs: What!? You dork!
*Fits of laughter…again*
We have so much fun with pictures. We have this little tradition when we are on vacation. We get in the bed, turn off all the lights and look through all of our pictures of that day. Ooh and ahh over our favorites and go to sleep with a guarantee of happy, happy dreams.

Posted 8/23/10, Topic: Blog

  • PJohnson
    August 23, 2010 at 7:44 pm |

    You and Chris should do a book. Between your writing talent and his photography it would be awesome. Having been there I really knew what you meant by the view and the sounds, even though we didn't stay in those lovely tents. Tell Chris that I heard Elle hopes you both will come back soon. Phyllis

  • jen
    August 23, 2010 at 8:14 pm |

    Beautiful pictures! We always stop at the Iron Door Saloon either coming or going. One question though, how in the world did you manage to take a picture at the base of Lower Yosemite Falls without any other people in it? Everytime I go there is at least some little kids.

  • {BlueEyedYonder}
    August 24, 2010 at 2:28 pm |

    Jenny – One word…patience. There were tons of people, but we found a spot near a railing so no one could get behind us and just waited until the perfect moment. Haha, it only looks easy in the picture, it was a bit trying 🙂

  • Misty Willis
    August 26, 2010 at 7:56 pm |

    Do you know how much I miss you?? I so wish we lived closer together!!

  • {BlueEyedYonder}
    August 27, 2010 at 2:18 pm |

    Misty – I wish we lived closer too! Oh the fun we had in our younger years, good times.

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