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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Road Scholar: Yosemite

First view of El Capitan and Half Dome
"An American Icon: Majestic Yosemite National Park" was my 27th trip with Road Scholar, October 7-12.  Both the park and the week's itinerary lived up to my expectations.   

Fortunately the weather was clear that day
My husband wasn't able to  join me this time, but my fellow Magpie MJ was a great travel companion and roommate.  We took BART into San Francisco Sunday morning. It was a beautiful day and we walked and walked from the Embarcadero BART station along the bay (lunch at Pier 39) to Fisherman's Wharf (dessert: ice cream from Ghirardelli).  We ran out of time to take the cable car back to Powell St. and BART, but we made it back to the hotel in time to meet up with the Road Scholar group.

With 39 participants this was a larger RS than our other recent trips. The leaders, Pete and Arline Hora, are veteran RS leaders who have conducted this RS numerous times.  The itinerary allowed us to see the major aspects with flexibility for discovery on our own. 
* Coach bus from Burlingame/SFO to Yosemite, and also for transportation in the park
* Lunch at the historic Wawonah Hotel, established in 1879 for the first tourists
* A short hike through Mariposa Grove (sequoias) with commentary by naturalist David Lukas
* Yosemite Lodge -- comfortable motel-style rooms with cafeteria-style meals at the Food Court
* Tuolumne Meadows, Olmstead Point, Tenaya Lake
 * Yosemite Valley and Bridal Veil Falls (a mere trickle at this time of year)   

Sequoia roots

Ahwanee Hotel

Ahwanee Dining Room

Bridal Veil Falls

* Lunch at the magnificent Ahwahnee Hotel  
* An evening with John Muir (reenacted by Frank Helling)
*  Glacier Point  
The scenery was magnificent and the company was very pleasant.   We concluded our Road Scholar trip on Friday afternoon....and MJ were on to our next adventure with the Magpies! 

With MJ at Glacier Point; Half Dome in background

I saw this same plaque at Isle Royale. It is a memorial to Stephen Tyng Mather, under whose administration the National Parks were established.  "There will never come to an end the good that he has done." What a wonderful tribute! 

Half Dome from Serenity Bridge

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