Magazine article Sunset

In Praise of Crowds at Yosemite

Magazine article Sunset

In Praise of Crowds at Yosemite

Article excerpt

I read the news today, oh boy. About how thousands of cars had been turned away from Yosemite National Park over the weekend. This weekend--Memorial Day weekend--the papers say, it's going to be worse.

My wife is reading over my shoulder. "Are you sure this is the best time to visit Yosemite?" she asks. "Where are we staying, anyway?" I quickly turn the page. "No problem," I cluck, disguising my panic. "Everything's under control."

For once these famous last words come true. Friday rolls around and we point the car toward Fish Camp, California, a dot on State Highway 41 a few miles outside the park's southern entrance, where I've booked innocuous lodgings for the night. At 7 the next morning, I rouse our boys; we stop at the local store for a couple of coffees to go and a package of doughnuts, and glide into the park. The park rangers aren't even checking cars yet--though by 10 or 11 they'll be turning them away. The kids complain and my wife mumbles something about sleep deprivation, but I'm invigorated. By the time we reach Discovery View at the eastern mouth of the Wawona Tunnel, the morning light is sparkling on countless spring cascades pouring into the valley. …

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