Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kramer Sighting! Yosemite Edition

So we get back to our van which we had parked by the Cemetery in Yosemite, and what should we see? Could it be?


Yeah, they had said they had moved, but maybe this was them.
Believability Rating: 60%. It was white and giant, and probably responsible for about one third of the Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. It did have Arizona plates, but that is pretty close to Florida, right? It was parked right next to us, and we had seen this van in Yosemite before. We were going to take a picture of the interior, because it looked like it was well used, BUT THERE WAS SOMEBODY ASLEEP INSIDE!!! So we did not take pictures of the inside. Besides, the person looked Filipino, and so far as we know, none of the Kramers are Filipino.
Not even remotely. Except possible one of the middle children.
Tune in again next time for another edition of KRAMER SIGHTING!

Yosemite: Winter 2010

So, as we noted in an earlier posting, we decided to make a one day trip to Yosemite Valley, just to walk around the cheap showiness of nature, take some pictures, and buy some postcards. We managed to do all three.

Forgot how far away Yosemite is, but we were glad we could make it.

We told all the kids that we needed to get up REALLY early, like around 5 AM. These are the kids who have a hard enough time getting up for school. But tell them that we will be going to a National Park, and that there might be the possiblity of souvenirs, and they actually get up before the adults, and are dressed and ready to go right when we need to go!

Let's get to the Park.

Before even getting to the park, just after Mariposa, there appears to have been a rockslide, and the entire road is blocked. They have built two one lane bridges that go around the slide. You have to wait about 15 minutes according the sign at the stoplight, but we did not have to wait that long.

To all of our friends who like Yosemite and Hansen's Soda, this picture is for you!

Kids love playing in snow! Just like the Grand Canyon last year, we could have just taken them to play in snow, and they could have done it all day. "Hey kids, Yosemite Falls is right behind you!" "Good! Hey, more snow!"

Sun peeking out through the trees.

Snowball aimed at a sibling.

If only our world was as beautiful as Pandora!
As a good friend of our said, "People, get out of your basement, and go walk around!"

Tree reflected in Merced River.

Greetings from the Valley floor.

Some Sun peeking through again.

Half Dome reflected in a puddle near Sentinel Bridge.

Yosemite Falls.

Half Dome again from Sentinal Bridge.
Yosemite Falls from the trail leading up to it.

At Lower Yosemite Falls. Getting wet from the Falls and from the sky.

Lower Yosemite Falls.

Yosemite Falls Bridge.

Kids wanted to take in a talk by a Park Ranger to get their Junior Ranger Badges. More on that later. The talk for today was about Bears, and the Ranger took us out to the middle of the Valley from Shuttle stop #6, so that we could get hailed on for an hour and a half! Thankfully, it was only small hail.
Anyways, Park Ranger Ben shows us what happens when a bear finds the Whipped Cream bottle, and then bites into it. the can blew apart, and killed the bear.

Bear Skull.

Bear Pelt.

So the girls finished their Jr. Park Ranger Books first, and so they got to be sworn in first. There were a couple of Rangers there, and there was a Lady who said that she loved to swear in Jr. Rangers, and that she even like to announce it to people. I thought she was kidding.

So the girls got sworn in.

Then the lady who liked to swear in kids swore the third kid in.

And then the lady did announce to everyone in the Visitors Centre, "Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just sworn three new Junior Rangers; please give them a hand!" And people did!

A wider view. The kids were really happy.

Some Internet Terminals at the Deli. They cost 25 cents a minute, and we know some people who used them last year.
We hope to go again to Yosemite, and get some pictures form each season, and maybe visit some areas we have never been to, like the Hetch Hetchy area. maybe we can visit some other parks as well, like Death Valley or Sequioa National Parks.
Hope you like the photos! We enjoyed taking them!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Planning Fail

Husband: "Hey, I got an idea."

Wife: "Oh yeah, what is it?"

H: "It's not supposed to rain this Saturday, or at least not until the evening. Wanna go make a one day trip to Yosemite? We could go visit the Valley and take a couple of short hikes."

W: "Sure. Let's go."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How We Missed Calls From Our Navy Friends: or Why You should Call a Place In Advance To See if they Are Open

We had nothing to do today, so we decided to go to New Almaden, an abandoned Quicksilver Mine just south of San Jose. Well, one should check to see if the museum is opened, because we did not. It turns out that the museum is being renovated, and not open until the summer. There is a large County Park where the mines for the quicksilver are (were?) located, and there is even a tunnel to go through. We did not bring water, however, so we just walked around for a bit, and took some pictures.

French Monica (Monique).

The little creek that ran beside the Park.

There was a sizable population here around the turn of the 20th century. This church was built by a woman whose son went off to fight in the Spanish-American War. She promised to have this Church built if her son came back alive from the war. The Church seems to be still used, although it does not belong to the Diocese.

Casual Elizabeth. Might make a good picture according to Mom if she had worn a better shirt. Again, failure to plan.

Overall, we would like to go again and go hiking in the park, and take some more pictures!