Wednesday, April 30, 2008


WOW! Yosemite is awesome.
Last night we drove into Groveland where our campground is located. It is a great campground - very picturesque and not crowded at all. They even have a petting zoo and some other kiddie-type attractions. We are planning to explore Groveland some time later this week - it boasts the country's oldest saloon that has been serving up drinks since the gold rush. I plan on saddling on up to the bar and ordering a shot of whiskey. I am not much of a whiskey drinker but it just seems like the appropriate thing to do. In fact, I will probably be ready for a double in a couple of more days.

We are told that Yosemite is not crowded at all right now. We are glad to have been informed of this because we wouldn't have known otherwise. We're used to Big Bend. There were more cars in the parking lot(s) of the Visitor's Center in Yosemite than in the entire Big Bend park during its busy season. We even had a couple of traffic jams. A good part of the park seems to not even be open right now due to the snow (the higher parts of the park). Anyway, today we drove around, had a picnic, and toured the visitor's center and watched a beautiful movie on Yosemite. We have learned about John Mueir, the naturalist who has written so much about the park. Some of his quotes caused me to tear up quite a bit. He strikes me as a little Thoreau-ish.

My quest for timelessness on this trip continues to elude me. I am a slave to the clock and was hoping to escape it on this long, rambling journey. But that has not been the case. We've been "trying to make good time" - "trying to arrive before nightfall" - "trying to make it before dinner".....blah blah blah. When I try to rest and relax I am every bit as aware of the clock (knowing that I have a certain amount of time to sit before we must be on our way again) as I am at home with all of our scheduled appointments and commitments. And of course it is hard to relax when you are not only responsible for your own urges of hunger and potty-stops, but those of 5 children as well. So I am literally always taking someone to the bathroom or getting something to eat or drink.....very much like at home only I am surrounded by big thunderous waterfalls. So definitely an improvement : ) Still, I need to find ways to live in the current moment within my role as sardine mama. I have just read "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle for the third time. I think I keep reading it in an effort to keep placing the act of taking responsibility for the current moment, into the future. After all, as long as I haven't finished the book I'm not expected to practice living in the now, am I? Oh well, I am quite the spiritual work in progress.

Enough of that. I feel the desire to describe our physical living/traveling conditions. We are in a 26 foot travel trailer. 26 feet seems like it should be a lot but we are dwarfed by the rigs surrounding us. Every place we've stayed has been full of gigantic 5th-wheelers or rock star buses. When their doors open, either a childless couple or a family of 4 emerges. When our door pops open we pile out like clowns from a Volkswagen. But we love our trailer! It has the unique feature of sleeping a ton of people. The back holds two bunkbeds - so sleeps 4 in a very small space. The couch folds out into a bed, as do the seats of the table. The trailer is what is called a hybrid, meaning that one end has a pop-out queen-sized bed like a pop-up camper. So we sleep 8, which is our entire family with room for a brave guest.

Today Ellie got to talk to Juliana on the phone while lying on a huge downed tree (see photo below). We have had very poor cell coverage for the past few days but Ellie managed an entire conversation. I have tried to use the phone a couple of times (Susan and my dad) only to be dropped. But we have wireless Internet access so I can blog and Jeff can keep up with the Spurs.

Tomorrow we are planning on a couple of gorgeous (and probably crowded) hikes. One of the trees we'll be hugging was alive during the reign of Cleopatra. Makes us and all our problems seem rather fleeting, no?

I will write more tomorrow!
Oh - thanks for the comments!! Ann - yes, after I wrote about Disney I thought, "I've been to Disney since 1976....." Do you remember those little matching outfits we bought? Mine was yellow and yours was blue. They were "wrap" shorts with tube tops - tropical print....
Sardine Mama


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  2. pics of snowfights?? is that possible?

  3. i am so jealous! (sending waves of envy through computer)

    but seriously, it looks and sounds really beautiful and i know you guys are having a wonderful time.

    thanks for calling yesterday ellie, i was really happy to hear from you. and holy freaking god!, that's a HUGE tree! wow!

    enjoy the rest of your days in Yosemite and wherever else the "Magic Bus" takes you. :)


  4. I've always wanted to see Yosemite. I'm very happy for you being there
    (YES, I really mean it.) Love your tree photos, especially the one with the dead fall that looks like dinosaur bones being conquered by two kids. I vote for more tree photos. We do get to vote, don't we?

    John Michael

    April 30, 2008 9:16 PM