Hello, Welcome to Bloggers Anonymous! Thank you Dr. A for letting me host this weeks meeting. I do hope everyone finds it enjoyable. If you don't catch the tour bus with the first group, another will be along shortly, I've asked that they drive back and forth all day to make sure everyone gets to come! Our first stop along the way is not our actual destination. We are meeting here in Mariposa, California on our way to Yosemite National Park.
Yes, I know, I live in Oklahoma, but I was raised in Mariposa and would much rather take you to my home than where I live now. :) Mariposa is a very small community that's primary role is to be the 'Gateway to Yosemite.'
The history of Mariposa County was far more glorious than the town (not even declared a town by the census) turned out to be. Mariposa County was one of the original counties of California, created at time of statehood. It was the largest of the state's original counties, but territory that was once part of Mariposa is now in twelve other counties: Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Merced, Mono, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, and Tulare. Thus, Mariposa County is known as the Mother of Counties. Part of the county's territory was given to Tulare County in 1852, to Merced County in 1855, to Fresno County in 1856 and to Mono County in 1861.
Mariposa is also known for it's Courthouse, the oldest FUNCTIONING courthouse in California. It is a beautiful piece of history.
Ok ... Let's hop on the bus and head out of town, but before we do, let's stop here to get drinks. The resteraunt was once our only fast food place. It was an A&W ... before we moved a way, it went through being an A&W Serve You, to a Hawks Dog (owned by the Hawkins family, friends of ours, who served killer foot longs with tomatoes and sourcream! YUM) and several other re incarnations. Whatever the name on the door, the food is guarenteed to be good and the service friendly.
Load up, and let's head on up the highway!
Enjoy yourself on the ride, read, talk amoungst yourself, watch a DVD on the screen up here. There is pop in the ice chest and a picnic basket full of various snack (chips, candy etc)like things if you didn't get something at the resteraunt.
Look! Out the window! It is the beautiful Merced River
Dr. A, lean back in the window of the bus! These mountain roads have sharp turns and steep inclines! The river can be seen INSIDE Yosemite as well as from the road. Geesh!
Cathy and Moof, see if you can entertain Dr. A and keep him contained till we get there. Get him a lap top so he can blog while riding this bus!
Our first stop in Yosemite is going to be Yosemite Valley.
If you get here before I get back to give you the itenerary, entertain yourselves with playing frizbee, looking at the wildflowers
Neonursechic ... Dr. A is feeding the Bears! Get him a laptop!
Ok ...back with the Itenerary (after a bit of a delay ... got chased by a bear myself ... AOL froze with one sentence left in our BA meeting!)
There are several things planned today!
Popular Hiking Trails
Taft Point/Sentinel Dome
The Panorama Trail
The Four Mile Trail
Swimming and rafting on the Merced River
Swinging Bridge and the Vernal Falls pool are common locations for swimming. For those who do not like the cold water, a few heated pools are available. Rafting ranges from drift rafting on the valley floor where guests can rent rafts for $15 (per person) for a slow and gentle 1 hour or more ride down the river. The other option is White Water Rafting on the Merced River. Pk here ... in all my years living in this area, my mom NEVER told me that white water rafting was available! Why?? Mary Anne and I are headed over there ..anyone want to join us?
Lea ... I can take you to just outside of Yosemite if you want, to El Portal where there are some good Running spots. When I was in 6th grade I ran my first long distance run ... I won 5th place ribbon and a T shirt that said I Ran El Portal! We trained for WEEKS in the hills in Mariposa before, and we still were shocked by the steep mountains and the difference in running and walking them.
You can always go check out some of the beautiful waterfalls in Yosemite ...Vernal and Nevada are always breath theives!
A popular fall here, is Ribbon Falls, many people see it on postcards, pictures, greeting cards all over the country and never know what they are looking at.
Let's sit here at the base of El Capitain and have our picnic lunch. A childhood friend and Park Ranger has arranged for us to have a picnic of fried chicken, Potato Salad, green salad and all the fresh California fruit we can stand! Heartlander's ...if you have never had California fresh fruit, you're in for a surprise ...there is nothing quite as tasty and sweet and juicy as a California apricot, or orange, or cherry, blackberry's ..just about anything you can imagine. The rolls ...those, those are fresh and made from a bakery in Mariposa that is owned and operated by the parents of a friend of mine from the third grade! I've asked for regular, whole wheat, honey wheat and rye ...so dig in. Something to please everyone!
Moof, No! No gingerale and Jim Beam! Put that away! We don't want anyone falling off a cliff or into the river! Trust me, I have plenty of drinks ordered for dinner ...including Grateful Deads.
Someone get Moof a Laptop! She's sneaking the Jim Beam anyway!
Ok, when we take off, stay in pairs for safety, these are mountains and people fall ..or get hurt by bears etc all the time. Also, if you each carry laptops, and anyone gets elevation sickness, or starts doing something really risky and rediculous ...you can hand them a lap top to help settle them down ...a few minutes of blogging and they'll be just fine! So all of you, watch your partners for the need of emergency blogging!
Ok ... for those that would like to take a tour with me of MY Yosemite ...let's head on out!
First we'll head up to Tioga Pass
Wolfbaby ... I think you'll find some lovely things to sketch up here!!
Then we'll go on over to Chilnulna Falls.
Ready to rest? Pull out your travel chairs. We can just sit and take a seista or blog. Or, how about sitting and watching the wild life.
And if you see one of these ...don't FEED IT!
Before we head on to our dinner meeting place, let's head up to Lambert Dome to look at Tuolumne Meadow's (Tow Wall Oh Me)
Let's Head on down to Mariposa Grove for dinner ... where we have waiting a delictible dinner prepared. California Tri Tip, artichokes steamed to perfection, green salad with raspberry vinegerette, and all the fresh rolls you can imagine! For those who don't like red meat, just tell the caterer, they have a caterer truck around the grove, and have access to other foods to suit your fancy.
Along with dinner is every imaginable drink, including Ms Moof's Greatful Dead's! Have no fear, Trams are taking us to the campground tonight!
Before we head out in the morning we will all go look at Yosemite's Pride and Joy HALF DOME
And before we all leave, my Ranger friend (TIM) has arranged for everyone to take a commmerative picture of Yosemite from Tunnel View
Welcome Wanda's Wings to her first BA meeting!
I hope you enjoyed your Blogger's Anonymous Meeting ...I sure enjoyed hostessing it!