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.
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.
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!
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.
[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.
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.
Camping Day 7. Third campground, Lake McSwain, California.
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?
Travel blog and information from Barcelona to San Francisco and back to Canberra