Yosemite Bound! + a ghost-town for good measure

Lodging: Hilton Garden Inn, Folsom, CA

Food: Chili's, Folsom, CA

Several long days of driving behind us, we had one more long day ahead of us. We'd decided to hold off on going to Reno, NV and South Lake Tahoe, CA because it was the weekend.

What were we thinking?

Trade in the Lake Tahoe area for Yosemite on a weekend? Crazy.

En route to Yosemite, we stopped at a few different ghost towns. The first, Mariposa, had been described as "semi-ghost". This is not a semi-ghost town.

Hotel & Old-Timey Jail

It's a fully functioning town that has been been kept in service or brought back to service (not quite sure), but there were businesses all over the place.

It's really a charming town.

From Mariposa, we drove to Mt. Bullion hoping for more a more ghost-y ghost town. It's a very sleepy community, yes. It's a very small community, yes. But we couldn't find what we consider ghost town remains.

With "high hopes" for Bear Valley, we continued driving down 49. We were rewarded with a sweet if small ghost town. Now, Bear Valley is semi-ghost. There are still people leaving in the area, but there were also abandoned buildings at a variety ages.

This is the part that was ghost-ish.

Enough fun in the ghost towns, it was time to hit the road! We drove back to Mariposa, and headed off to Yosemite.

Not only was the park magnificent, as a national park should be, but the drive in was beautiful, too.

The park was crazy busy, but crazy spectacular, too.

Most of the park was closed due to on-going snow removal, which made the "busy factor" all the more evident. Of course, I suspect the congestion isn't any better when all the roads are open because more people are there.

We made several stops. A few due to roadwork that caused us to stop or slow down and a lot for photographs.

Spotted by a mule deer!

Yosemite's easy hike was free of snow. Finding parking, even for those of us with a handicap placard, was difficult. Lines at several restrooms had lengthy waits. The ladies restroom near the barber shop / hair salon did not have a wait.

We started out on a footpath combined with a bike path from Yosemite Village to the base of Yosemite Falls, which finally split to provide bikes and pedestrians with their own space to move.

The lower falls path is a combination of boardwalk and paved path, which permitted my mother to walk out to the base of Yosemite Lower Falls. The spray was amazing! I can't believe we didn't think about it and weren't prepared.

More waterfall photographs.

Heading out of the park and northwest to Folsom, we passed through three brief tunnels. As we entered the third tunnel, we looked back at Bridalveil Fall. It was fascinating to see how small it looked from this distance, but realized it really spoke to its size to be so far away and still see the fall distinctly.

Dogwood in bloom.

We had a long drive ahead of us to Folsom. En route, I was pulled over for speeding, and I had to hold myself back from making a joke about getting a cell in the Folsom County Prison. Thank goodness I didn't is all I can say.

That night, because we arrived really late, we ate at the Chili's next door to our hotel. We're not actually big Chili's fans, though we freely admit there isn't anything better than their chips and salsa.

First, mom ordered a bottle of wine. Being Chili's, the waitress didn't realize she wanted a bottle; so she turned to me, asking, "What would you like to drink?" We reiterated we wanted a <strong>bottle</strong>. Oh.

Off she went to get the bottle, or so we thought.

She returned to confirm bottle, vintner, and veriatal.

When she returned with the bottle, she didn't seem to know how to open it. When she figured it out, she poured two glasses (no sniff / taste test), and walked away.

Mom said, "Doesn't she know how to serve wine? We're in California!"

I said, "We're at Chili's!"

Created By
Meredith Rendall
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