The blow-up mattress depleted the second we rested on it. The discomfort of lying on rocks and twigs highlighted my urban ways and also kept me up all night. To my relief, Brian’s back was equally as achy, minimizing my supposedly spoiled demeanor. However, more than a collapsed bed, it was the bears that likened my senses to a Doberman – sans courage though. When we entered the park, the rangers immediately warned us of bear presence in the park and noted a spotting of one in our campground. So, any rustle in the forest forced me into a cowardly fetal position, slightly lifting my head to watch over the kids. My only weapon was my son’s wooden sword, in case a bear duel was to occur. I wished the sun would rise to block the dark scare, but I eventually fell asleep. My surroundings – luckily not bears, but rather fellow campers – finally woke me.
The four of us quickly readied, as we were anxious to plan the day. Using our guide from the ranger’s desk, the names of places left me giddy with nostalgia. Exploring our area by foot and bike, the kid’s glee was reminiscent to mine when Yosemite was once my stomping ground. We decided on a laid back day, merely jaunting to the nearby museum and hiking around our campsite. We were all relieved to breathe in the fresh air, remarkable scenery and stretch our legs after such a long trek from Oregon.
We started our day with the Nature Center in Happy Isles. Initially, the Little’s were excited by the bear presence in the Park, envisioning sharing a marmalade sandwich with Paddington. The taxidermy section of the museum tamed their grizzly fascination and ignited a fear instead. The life-like presentation extended my paranoia. Being the smaller of the museums in Yosemite, the showcase of the wild life and Native American history was informative and a nice break during the hike.
We spent the rest of the day exploring until the kids resorted to making laps on their bikes around the campground. We had one other stop; our sore limbs led us to the convenient store in search of a mattress patch. Buying a few, we wanted to spare anything that would fail us, so stocked up on backups. We got the lay of the land in Yosemite Village for when we returned. I simultaneously searched for the ice cream joint where my parents would treat us to a cone with a swirl of ice cream so high, my dad “helped us” by devouring half. I was hungry to share these experiences with my children.
Back to the campsite, the weather was perfection, but rain was in the forecast. Embracing the cooler temps from home, we patched our mattress and made dinner while nourishing a rustic happy hour. The excitement from the kids over our first campfire and s’mores was contagious and we happily worked together to create a blaze around which we all sat for a couple of hours. Eyes getting heavy, we washed up and made several trips to the bathroom to avoid a scary walk there at night and potential encounter with wildlife. Brian and I too retired early. The lack of sleep from the night before made us ready to test the new technology in rubber patches, sworn by the sales guy.