Yosemite, Mammoth and Death Valley

Report courtesy of Sarah

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Day 2, Thursday 
Distance Driven: 40 miles
Hotel: Awahnee
City: Yosemite Village

The Plan

Today will be spent at Yosemite National Park.  I just purchased an annual park pass on my recent visit to Death Valley.  I also found out there is a photo contest to determine the card picture.  Perhaps I’ll get some good shots to enter!  I just purchased some filters for my Olympus C-750 digital camera and I can’t wait to see the results.  We’ll be entering through the south park entrance and out first stop will be Wawona.  There is a Yosemite History Center there I would like to check out.  The parks webpage says you pass a covered bridge and walk into Yosemite’s past.  Historic buildings of many kinds have been collected from throughout the park and furnished with authentic items of the period. Interpretive signs mark stopping places on this self-guiding walk. During summer volunteers do interpretive, interactive role-playing of pioneers (living history). It sounds really cool, so I hope it is open.  I would like to stop at Glacial Point because it is one of only overlooks that requires no hiking.  It offers a commanding bird’s eye view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, the crest of the Sierra Nevada, and some of Yosemite’s famous waterfalls. Glacier Point is one hour from Yosemite Valley and one hour from Wawona.  However, the part says it is closed in winter which usually means it opens Memorial Day weekend.  We’ll hit all the touristy locations on the way to the valley.  This includes the tunnel view and anything else we can find.  We’ll plan on spending the day in the valley.  I enjoy visiting the Ansel Adams art gallery.  We will be staying at the Ahwahnee Hotel, which is a National Historical Landmark and one of the most distinctive resort hotels in North America.  The Ahwahnee is well known for its great granite façade, striking beamed ceilings, massive stone hearths, richly colored Native American artwork, and finely appointed rooms. Featuring 123 rooms, comprised of 99 hotel rooms, parlors and suites and 24 cottages, The Ahwahnee offers a perfect balance of history, hospitality and elegance. It's no wonder that for generations this grand hotel has been the destination of queens and presidents alike.  Completed in 1927, The Ahwahnee features a unique blend of design influences including Art Deco, Native American, Middle Eastern and Arts & Crafts Movement. These elements can be seen in every aspect of the hotel including stenciling, woodwork, lighting fixtures and china patterns. Every room is finely appointed for comfort and visual delight and reflects the natural surroundings and Native American influence of Yosemite.  If that wasn’t enough to convince you that it’s a great place to stay, they also serve tea and cookies in the Great Lounge in China dinner wear.  I would like to experiment with my camera in the valley as much as I could.


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