Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yosemite Day 1

Sharon and I have tried to make it a tradition to get away for a night or two for our anniversary. Dropping Jack at the Outlaws Baseball practice Sunday morning, we rolled out of town. We are spending a couple of short days in the Yosemite Valley.

Leaving Elk Grove about 9:15 a.m., we got to the Ahwahnee Hotel about 12:45 with a couple of quick stops. Our room was actually ready so we are able to check in; we ended up in a nice corner room (A210). Dropping the bags, we headed down and had a light lunch on the patio in the back of the hotel.

The plan for the rest of the afternoon was a hike. From the Ahwahnee, we ended along the North Side Trail to the Mirror Lake Trail.

Half Dome from the Mirror Lake Trail

I had told Sharon about some pictures I had seen of the views from the Snow Creek Trail. We pushed to the junction of the Mirror Lake Trail and the Snow Creek Trail and then started up the Snow Creek Trail. It is steep with repeated switchbacks. I am interested to see what the GPS map ends up looking like; the GPS was getting confused as we headed up the switchbacks. We got to a point above the tree line with a view back down the valley before we turned around.

Back on the Mirror Lake Loop, we went as far as the Tenaya Creek Bridge. The South side of the Mirror Lake loop was closed due to an enormous rock fall. We turned around and headed back towards the hotel. With the quick stop at Mirror Lake, we headed up covering more than 6 miles in about 2 1/2 hours.

After getting cleaned up, we headed down and had sat in the Great Lounge and had a drink. The Great Lounge is 77 feet long and 51 feet wide with 24-foot-high ceilings and a massive fireplace.

I walked outside to get some better phone reception to check on Drew and Jack. The twilight view of the hotel against the granite cliffs is amazing.

We finished the evening with dinner in the Ahwahnee Dining Room. Sharon had prime rib, while I had the rack of lamb. We had a bottle of Mary Edwards Pinot Noir with dinner. While the food was adequate, the dining room is unique. It was a 34-foot high ceiling with large sugar pine trestles and ceiling-to-floor windows framed with stained glass.

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