National Parks Tour travel blog

Our lady bus driver.

Winding along Merced River.

More winding road.

Fast fowing water.

Into the park.

Autos waiting to get into the park.

Wet and weary travelers.

View of the valley.

Partial view of the falls.

More water falls.

Our campground host told us about a bus that would take us from Mariposa to Yosemite and bring us back later in the day. Having already decided that we did not want to chance driving the RV in the bad weather (in addition to not wanting to buy chains for it—where would we carry them?), we followed her instructions and took the bus. We were later in the day getting started than we should have been to have time to see much, but it was enough to bring back memories of previous trips. In addition, the waterfalls were really flowing—much more than I had ever seen. We only caught glimpses of them from the bus windows, but they were beautiful.

Sam was lucky enough to get a seat right at the front of the bus where he could take at least a few photos through the big front windows. I was right behind him and was fascinated by the Merced River which we paralleled the whole way up. I knew, of course, that a lot of snow falls on the mountains in the wintertime, but seeing mile after mile of the river with so much water coming down from snow melt that there were standing waves almost all the way really makes it seem real. My first thought on seeing it was “that would be great fun in a kayak” but a few sights of the hairier parts and the thought of the water temperature convinced me that it would be much more fun to watch than to do! In addition, of course, to the fact that I have difficulty getting in and out of a kayak these days even in perfectly still water.

And, as always, we met interesting people: a couple going up on the bus celebrating their wedding anniversary and a woman in the park lodge who was a tour guide for the park.

Our friendly campground host also loaned us a copy of the Trailer Life Camping Directory. For years, we used this to find campgrounds, but thought with the coming of the Internet we would not need it. Big mistake! All the really great campgrounds (like parks, Corps of Engineers, and such) don’t advertise so are not easily found. She said they are still selling them at Camping World stores, so that’s on our to-do list. Right after we use her copy to find a place to stay for the next couple of nights!

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