I have been asked a great many times what my plans are for the summer. I told most of those people, "build a fence." This task took up a week of my family's life, and then the rest of the summer stretched out in front of us like an open highway. In the past, this has been our cue to hit that open road and make good with the trip thing. We have driven all over California. We have made a grand circle out of the desert southwest. We have flown to Colorado and made a race out of returning home via competing modes of transportation. Spoiler alert: the guys in the airplane won. We have flown across the country to drive up and down the east coast. Somehow, in the flurry that is summer vacation, we carelessly glossed over Yosemite National Park.
This oversight has been noticed by family and friends much in the same way the dearth of Grateful Dead CDs is treated when those same family and friends view my music collection. Shock and disbelief. With just a twist of disbelief. How have we managed to live in the Golden State for this long without ever taking in the breathtaking majesty of nature's splendor found just a few hours away?
The answer can be found most readily in the number of times my family has made the trek to the Happiest Place on Earth. The argument could be made that anywhere I go with my family is the happiest place on earth, but while that remains generally true, there have been plenty of summers in which our saving grace came at the House of Mouse. All of this leaves me with the sad confession that I am integrally connected to the mountains of Space, Big Thunder and Splash, while I have never witnessed the looming presence of El Capitan or Half Dome. It is my understanding that neither of these have roller coasters hidden inside them.
And that's fine. I don't mind a little nature. I have been known, on occasion, to take long walks in the woods for purposes other than searching for lost keys. Way back when, I spent most of my summers in a log cabin in woods not dissimilar from those where keys get lost. I hauled water and brought home bags of pine cones and kindling to fuel our wood-burning stove and read comic books in the evenings by the light of a kerosene lamp. What I am suggesting here is that I have done rustic before.
Yet somehow I missed Yosemite. I built a fence out of redwood, but I have yet to take a hike in those pre-lumbered forests. I suppose I can always pretend that I am making my way to the nearest churro stand. They do have churros in Yosemite, don't they?