All posts by Kirsten

Yosemite National Park – Photo Blog

There is so much to see in Yosemite, we didn’t spend nearly enough time there, even with Mirror Lake and most of the falls being dried up (normal, by this time of year, though with the drought they had apparently dried up earlier than usual). I’ve selected just a few photos, because the web is already rife with better ones. The enormous granite cliffs, the wildlife, the amazing trees… I couldn’t capture the half of it.

Ceremonial Roundhouse, Ahwahnee village, Yosemite National Park | www.kayoz.com
Ceremonial Roundhouse, Ahwahnee village, Yosemite National Park

 

Cathedral with Spires, from Yosemite Vally | www.kayoz.com
Cathedral with Spires, from Yosemite Valley

 

Haze Half Dome in the Distance, Yosemite | www.kayoz.com
Hazy Half Dome in the Distance

 

Swinging Bridge, Yosemite Valley | www.kayoz.com
Swinging Bridge, Yosemite Valley

 

Tall Trees, Yosemite Valley | www.kayoz.com
Tall Trees, Yosemite Valley

 

Entering Tuolumne Grove, Yosemite | www.kayoz.com
One mile down from the road, probably another mile walking (up and down) around the grove, and then a final mile up, up, up, back to the car. This trail took us a LOT longer than we expected from the “one mile” information on the trail guide!

 

Giant Sequoia, Tuolumne Grove, Yosemite National Park | www.kayoz.com
Giant Sequoia, Tuolumne Grove, Yosemite

 

Giant Sequoia, long dead, Tuolumne Grove, Yosemite National Park | www.kayoz.com
Giant Sequoia, long dead, Tuolumne Grove, Yosemite

 

Giant Sequoia, fallen, Tuolumne Grove, Yosemite | www.kayoz.com
Giant Sequoia, fallen, Tuolumne Grove, Yosemite

 

 

 

 

Camping in America

Camping with Kids, Day 9: Stanislaus National Forest – Lost Claim Campground

This is more my memory of camping in America, even though I only came up this way once. Then again, I may have camped in this very campground. I certainly spent a couple of nights up here at a very similar one.

Tall, tall trees (even if a lot of them have burned down recently), pines and ceders, and seemingly no-one around for miles.

Stanislaus National Forest,Lost Claim Campground | www.kayoz.om
Evening in Stanislaus

Tomorrow we will head down into Yosemite National Park, but tonight we are up here alone among the tall pines, listening to the crickets or cicadas (I never know which is which), and hoping no bears stumble in. We’ve carefully stored all our food, dirty cloths & smelly toiletries in either the food locker or the car, so we should be okay. 🙂

The kids have started to ask me to tell ghost stories at night (my fault, I told them one last night). Have to try to keep it fairly benign!

[5 hours later]
Okay, so this is the worst of camping.* We couldn’t get a perfectly even site for our tent here, but we got a spot that mostly slopes only in one direction. Most of the tent has a mild slope towards our feet, but one end has a slope sideways as well. And of course, that just happens to be where *I* sleep. I’ve spent the night so far fighting gravity, which wants to pull me off my sleeping mat and into the wall. Not a good night!

*You know, aside from when you think your daughter’s dying, or other nasty moments like that!

 

Reflections, Camping Day 8, Lake McSwain

Early morning at Lake McSwain. First time I’ve managed to be up before the kids. Torn between sitting & writing, taking a wander around the campground to enjoy the early morning light, or getting started on coffee & pancakes.

Just really enjoying the quiet, though I think I hear movement from kids in the tent. Being up before them is a joy, I think I will try to make it a common practice.

Early light at Lake McSwain Campground | Travelling with Kids | www.kayoz.com
Early Morning Light

[Later, same day]

We stopped at the store in Snelling, California today (population 200 odd), and it reminded me of the corner store in Mossy Point when I was a child. The only store around, so it carried a little of everything. Groceries of course, but also plumbing supplies, camping supplies, hats, toys, some seemingly decades old hair ties, sporting equipment, and more besides. Oh and Starbucks Frappaccinos and a soda & ice machine.

[Later again]
Everyone’s asleep except me, but I am ensconced in the tent with them.

I went out to use the restroom after finally getting Elli settled and down, and the stars tonight are amazing. Being a Sunday, everyone else  packed up and left while we were at the lake today, bar one couple in an RV. So there’s no other light or noise (RV couple appearing to be asleep already too). It’s just the beautiful Milky Way, thick with stars.

It’s been hot with loads of flies, and remarkably like Australia here, but different too.We saw blue birds here in the day time, and hawks quite close, and a bat fluttering around against the sky, just as dusk was starting to give way to night.

Next stop: Stanislaus National Forest, and Yosemite.

Kids paddling in Lake McSwain, Ca |camping with kids | www.kayoz.com

 

Is This Trip Jinxed or Something?

Camping Day 7. Third campground, Lake McSwain, California.

Lake McSwain | Camping with Kids | www.kayoz.com
Lake McSwain, California. Doesn’t it look like Australia? Loads of Gum trees, and flies to match!

Got out the stove to cook dinner after setting up camp. We borrowed this stove from some friends I used to go camping with back when I lived in the States, 20 years ago. We used this exact same stove back then, and it’s still going strong. It is a Coleman duel fuel stove, and works really well. Or, it did.

At camp grounds number 1 & 2 we used it to cook pancakes, hot dogs, pasta, eggs…

We got it out today, and started to pump to create some pressure in the gas compartment. And nothing happened. The little metal tube just slide in and out with no effort at all, and no pressure building.

That’s right, one week in, and we have already managed to bugger up my friends’ stove, after they’ve kept it going for over twenty years. After our very inauspicious start, I have to ask – is this road trip doomed?