Today, we are going somewhere which ranks very high on the bucket list; Yosemite National Park. We will spend 3 nights at the Cosy Bear Lodge in Yosemite West. Having read some reviews of our accommodation, I have come to the conclusion that we’re going to either love it or hate it.
After a breakfast consisting mainly of waffles, we check out, stock up on supplies (our accommodation is 17 miles from the nearest shop) and set off for Yosemite along the Central Yosemite Highway, which follows the course of the Merced River, into the National Park.
Once we have paid our $35 entrance fee, we enter the park. A one way system is in operation; Southside Drive runs east along the south bank of the Merced, while Northside Drive runs west along the north bank.
We park up a couple of times as we drive along Southside Drive; first at Bridalveil Falls viewpoint. Then, we stop for lunch at Cathedral Beach picnic area, where we eat lunch in the shadow of El Capitan; a 914 metre high granite rock which towers above us. Three of us sit by the river, enjoying the view, while daughter No 2 can’t resist prospecting for gold in the Merced.
After lunch, we continue along Southside Drive to Yosemite Village and take a walk to see Yosemite Falls; one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. Water falls a total of 740 metres, in three sections. We take a trail to the bottom of the falls where the power of the water blows a huge amount of spray into the air.
We walk across bridge over the Merced to the 19th Century Yosemite Chapel, which sits beneath the enormous Half Dome which rises 1444 metres above the valley floor.
Then, back across another bridge, to rejoin the car. We drive along Northside Drive and head off to find our accommodation. We must ascend from the valley floor, along Wawona Road, up and up, until we are almost 2000 metres above sea level. The view is both spectacular and sad, as huge chunks of the forest have been destroyed by wildfires.
We reach our accommodation; Cosy Bear Cottages, in Yosemite West, some 17 miles from the valley floor. It’s a two bed cabin and the owners are very much guilty of taking a theme and running with it – literally everything is covered in bears. Bear bedding, lamps, tables, shower curtain… If you can buy it with bears on, it’s here.
Pre warned by reading reviews on trip advisor about the remoteness of the location, we have come stocked up on food (and wine) and have dinner on the patio before all the travel/fresh air/wine gets the better of me and I’m in bed by 7 pm!