A Long Weekend in Yosemite, Day 1

 We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard in Fresno, convenient to the Fresno Yosemite Airport (FAT).  We got an early start on Friday.  The drive to the Park entrance takes about two hours.  There are plenty of small towns, like Oakhurst, along the way to stop for breakfast.  We arrived at the Park around 9 AM and there was no line to get in!  It is a winding road through the Park with plenty of places to pull over to enjoy the views.  Our first stop was Tunnel View which offers some of the most famous views of the Yosemite Valley.

From there, we drove into the Valley.  We wandered along the boardwalks through Cook's Meadow.  I saw a western tanager taking a drink and got this shot:

It is an easy walk through the Village to see the lower part of Yosemite Falls.  We also enjoyed seeing some noisy Stellar's Jays.  The Village has a casual eatery and a grocery store.  

Then, we took a nice hike to Mirror Lake.  You can walk along a road or take a trail.  The Lake is pretty with some small waterfalls along the way, but the water is very cold.  The dogwoods were in bloom throughout the Park.

After hiking, I collapsed in the lobby of the historic Awahnee hotel and made my friends bring food from the bar.  We had drinks, a charcuterie plate and an artichoke salad.  The food was very good!

We rented a house in the Park in Yosemite West.  I highly recommend this.  Yosemite West is a community of houses about a 25-minute drive south of the Village.  There are dozens of houses available in a quiet scenic area.  We stayed in a clean, comfortable two-bedroom, one-bathroom house with a full kitchen.  It was so convenient.  Food options are limited in Yosemite, so it was nice to make some soup and relax after a busy day.


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