is the name of a tribe of Native Americans who lived in eastern California up until the 1880s, and it’s the National Park we camped in last weekend as well! The views are glorious!  Down in Yosemite Valley you can look up at the domed granite cliffs, or you can drive up and around on the North or the South to see the same breath-taking Half Dome, El Capitan, The Three Brothers, Echo Peaks, Cathedral Peaks, and so on.

You would not believe the effect that listening to John Denver Greatest Hits 🙂 while driving to 10,000 feet elevation along Tioga road would have on you until you try it!  And what if your cute kids are totally into some of your favorite music?  It adds even more punch to the “rocky mountain high” that you’re on.  HA!  Jenny, remember how we listened to Troy and Travis’ cool music over and over until we had every word memorized?  I told the kids how we would argue over who had the words right.  I admit that I also told them that you eventually gained a respect for my wonderful memory for lyrics…wouldn’t you agree? Hee Hee.

This is me, detaching the camera-case Velcro from my lovely camping sweater for the third time.  Hand-me-down sweaters made of acrylic yarn are very sticky, people.  I’m gonna have to keep a tighter surveillance on the location of the camera in the future…I guess I thought it was funny enough to share, though.  Hmmm.

I have to say that I “stand all amazed” that the wonderful world of nature goes on all around us, in it’s majesty, whether humans notice it or not.  The world spins, the insects buzz, trees grow, trees house other animals, drop seeds, burn sometimes, fall over other times, but mostly offer some of the best beauty and solace we children of God ever know.  Little animals find their food and store it, birds stay together flying around and playing, and the effects that the flow of water bring all year round keep it all continually changing.  Here is a great shot of a chipmunk that Janelle got at Glacier Point.

We had planned this trip since we’ve met some people that are pretty enthralled with Yosemite.  We took good food, a couple of frisbees, and gear.  I’m glad that we had a secluded spot–glad for ourselves as well as potential neighbors–and the kids found plenty to explore.  Rachel found herself flat on her tummy every half hour it seems, but enjoyed herself nonetheless.  She takes to rough terrain with a lot of courage, but doesn’t have the balance she needs to stay upright all that much!  Friday afternoon, while Scott took a rare nap, I taught that awesome game I learned at girl’s camp to Janelle, Derek, and Christine, where a couple of people are the rescue team and they wait in a hidden spot until the “lost” people call them to come find them in the wilderness.  The exciting part is that the lost people have laid down an intricate set of clues for the rescue team to follow to their hiding spot.  Sticks set up to look like arrows, words spelled out in sticks, such as “31 steps North,” pathways dug out of the pineneedles, and other landmarks that would point the way to the location of the stranded hikers.

So, while a couple of times I felt a little put-out that meal preparation and clean-up took the bulk of 5:30-7:30 p.m., I also realized that we had the time for it!  Here is the wonderful enlightenment that allows me to be at peace with my work even at home: I have the time to do this valuable task, and I am going to do it.  There is no hurry.  Janelle and Derek felt wonderful about being old enough to do most of the fire-starting and tending, and Christine and Melissa felt very grown-up about helping me cook at the stove.  Especially the little girls couldn’t believe they were actually cooking at the stove!

The weather was accommodating, the site was private enough, and the views were fantastic.  This was another great camping trip!