We drove up from Pasadena to a little town called Oakhurst California. The town is near the south gate to Yosemite National Park. We arrived late afternoon, and checked into a little motel, The Oakhurst Lodge. It looks as though the front half of the motel burned down recently as all that is standing is a fenced off foundation. The rooms were cheap and clean and summertime near Yosemite is a busy time so our options were limited.
We walked a half-mile down the road (literally) and found the South Gate Brewing Company. I had a burger and Claire had calamari. The place was kind of cool, though I am not a fan of restaurants where you have to go to bar and order and then they bring the food to you. Claire says they had the best sweet potato fries of the week!
We went to bed early and rose at 5:00am. The sun rose at 5:40am and we were out the door at 5:41. I have always heard how crowded the national parks can be during the summer, so Claire planned this part of the trip so that we could get in early and beat the crowds. That was the plan, and I have to say it worked out wonderfully! We actually drove into the park a little after 6am and had the place almost to our selves for the first couple of hours.
Soon after entering the park we came upon a black bear and her cub. Since we startled each other and were only 25 feet apart, we didn’t get particularly good pictures but it was a pretty amazing experience.
The scenery and views were more than I can adequately describe, so I will rely on some of the pictures we shot to tell the story. Claire and I have been around the world and seen a lot, but we both agreed this was the most beautiful and wondrous place we have ever visited.