Without fully forming our plans for this day, we eventually landed on making our way back to Yosemite Valley area to re-explore many of the water areas, like Mirror Lake and the various “beaches” of which we saw the signs. This led to a bit later start than the day before, but hey, it is Tuesday we thought – should be slow at Yosemite. There was, admittedly, a bit more traffic and roadwork on the way to Yosemite this time around, but at our first stop to hike to Bridal Veil Falls wasn’t overly difficult, but did require use of a blinker to find a spot. We trekked up to the falls, which weren’t close to what we experienced the day before at Little Yosemite Falls, and then back down to the resulting creek below, where we did some quick scrambling on the rocks and creek beds.
Then, armed with our bathing suits and towels, it was off to the beach!
We made the short drive to Cathedral Beach and, again, no big issue in finding a spot to park, nor with traffic. We gathered our belongings and picnic lunch and headed to the water. The beach was full of large stones and rocks, which extended into the freezing water. The current was calm near the beach area where we dipped our feet in, but strong a little further out where we saw some braver folks taking a ride down the river. Brooke said this was one of the most beautiful places she had ever seen. I agreed.
We got plenty of pictures and then decided it was time for lunch. This is where our day decided to get progressively less fortuitous. We forgot many of the basics for our picnic, like bread. We had also forgotten Weston’s bathing suit.
We made do, used apple slices as bread for peanut butter sandwiches and ate the rest of our food. We packed up and headed to our next beach, and to make the hike back to Mirror Lake to really get to swim (not as cold or swift there). The next beach, Sentinel Beach, was only explored by Brooke as parking was harder to obtain, so we made our way to the visitor’s center.
This is when we discovered the sheer volume of people visiting Yosemite that day. Traffic was snarled and there were people walking everywhere. We passed the visitor’s center (after some crafty relaying to take Weston to the bathroom) and passed many Lot Full signs as we made our way closer to the Mirror Lake trail head. However, we discovered it was impossible to park anywhere relatively close, even if I dropped off the group and then caught up. Knowing we were defeated by our later start and the popularity of Yosemite, we decided to head back toward Groveland and visit the Pizza Place (more for the WiFi than the pizza).
Being that we arrived at Two Guys Pizza Pies in mid-afternoon, we were happy to see that we were the only ones there. Our last attempt to visit the place had not turned out so well because of the wait. We set up camp at a large table, ordered a pizza, fries and chicken fingers and pulled out our laptops to use some WiFi for the first time since leaving San Francisco. We let the kids play on their tablets while we researched and worked, and all of us ate that way. I am sure that as others arrived, they looked over at us all and thought poorly of us. “How could they just let their kids play on iPads while they sit there on their computers…” But, this was a once in forever type of situation for us and made me think that I should think twice about this type of judgment in the future. After spending quite a bit of time there (more than 2 hours), we finally packed up and headed back to the vacation home to pick up Weston’s bathing suit and over to the pool.
It was warmer than our last visit and we stayed for longer, letting Lila try to learn to swim a little bit. We dried off before dark and headed back to the house to pack and get ready for our next road trip and stop in Monterey, CA. We spent some down time with the kids watching their new favorite show, Chopped on Food Network, and then after bedtime, Brooke and I watched the stars. They were amazing and plentiful. More than I had even seen. Brooke mentioned wanting to see a shooting star badly, then 5 minutes later, we both witnessed the streaking light. It was amazing! Off to bed so that we could get an early start back out to the coast!
This is day 8 on our California Road Trip Summer 2016. Make sure to check out the entire trip!