I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this year has been an absolute whirlwind and I have no clue how it is nearly October. I mean, yes, I understand the basic concept of time moving forward, but let’s not kid ourselves, it moved fast. While I haven’t exactly slowed down, I am trying to make time for things I enjoy and be slightly more productive. For example, instead of dinking around on my phone like the guilty millenial I am, I’ll instead use that time to write (and yes, it’s writing for a blog, which still makes me a guilty millennial, I know). That being said, here I am typing away!
I thought I’d start by writing about a little roadtrip I took with some friends… in May. Yes, I’m late to the game, but at least I arrived? Anyway, we left Seattle at 7pm (4 months ago…), drove all through the night and 14 hours and a couple coffees later, we made it to Yosemite National Park in California!
This is THE place to be and it was THE place where everyone was. Despite this, we still enjoyed breakfast with a view and patiently waited our turn to take pictures sans people. While waiting, we hungout with a couple of squirrels (or perhaps a squirrel couple?) as we watched a large group attempt to capture photos of every conceivable combination of the 8+ people present. The squirrel hangout definitely helped.
This was also THE place to be, but luckily most people go where they are told and don’t explore a little farther out, which worked out nicely in our favor. After moseying through a few trees and up a rock or two, we found a quite place above the crowd with a massive view of the valley at sunrise.
TRAVERTINE HOT SPRINGS
Once we felt satisified with Yosemite, or the parts we could make it to, we decided to head to the much quieter city of Bridgeport. While here, we camped at Travertine Hot Springs, which are **SPOILER ALERT** very hot. I submerged for a few seconds at a time, but mostly did a happy little toe dip and called it good. The cold beers also helped.
Travertine is neat in that there are several little hot springs around the land that fit a small group of people (comfortably 2-5). They are often already in use, so there’s a high chance you’ll be waiting for your turn, but it is worth it. Even if you are a happy little toe dipper, like myself.
HOME VIA RENO
On the way back, we stopped in Reno and I quickly learned that it is a very, very sad place to find oneself, especially at 9am on a Monday. We arrived and searched for a bathroom in the casino and kept seeing people shuffling around the streets that looked like absolute zombies; there was a striking dichotomy between their demeanor and the intense flashing lights of slot machines all going ping!-ping!-ping! at once.
On the way to the bathroom, we got sidetracked by those pretty machines going ping!-ping!-ping! and I ended up winning $6.72 using absolutely no talent whatsoever! I pushed a botton on the cat and dog themed slot machine and boom – I came out a winner! I technically only won $3.72 since I paid to play, but I still left with more than I walked in with, so basically I’m rich. And my S’mores Blizzard basically paid for itself.
Another noteworthy area I visited was at the start of the trip. While my friends parked themselves at a Starbucks to work remotely for a few hours, I headed to the lake and explored. If I said I knew exactly where I was, that’d be a lie, but it was somewhere near Stanislaus National Forest. I think. Anyway, it was a misty day but it made it look pretty neat. Case and point:
And that was our weekend exploring Yosemite National Park and Travertine Hot Springs! My recommendation is to be smarter than us and avoid Memorial Day weekend. Just like everyone else, we wanted to make the most of the long weekend and decided to brave the crowds, but just as one would expect, it was Packed with a capital ‘P.’ Actually, it was PACKED, all caps. Luckily, my friend had been to Yosemite before and knew of a few areas that saved us from complete tourist-overload, but I look forward to visiting again for the full non-Memorial Day Yosemite experience, too!