Friday, July 18, 2008

Another Trip to Tuolumne

I'm just back from our yearly camping trip to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite. This time only two nights since I was late in getting reservations (oops, grrrr), but still lots of fun. Once we got over the shock of seeing gas being sold for $5.55 in El Portal. Geez! Price gouging anyone? That is a full dollar more than the next town down the road. This is the little town right on the outskirts of Yosemite, so they apparently can charge any damn price they want. All those motorhomes gotta fill up to make it up and down the mountain.
It is not every day that one gets to see a marmot! And not one but two, hanging out in their rocky nest near the Soda Springs/Parsons Memorial in the meadow. They're about the size of a housecat, only live at high elevation and wary but not skittish. They just kind of looked at us for a while as we took our pictures.
It made me remember one of my favorite John Muir quotes which mentions marmots:
" How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! In such places standing alone on the mountaintop it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make -- leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents or piled stone -- we all dwell in a house of one room -- the world with the firmament for its roof -- and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track. -John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)

Click on this picture to see the marmot on top of the rock a bit better. They really do have good camouflage don't they? The last time I saw one was at the summit of Mt. Whitney,(yes really I did that hike, way back when I was quite a hiker), as it was stealing my trail mix right out of my backpack sitting next to me. We've always been telling the boys stories about our encounters with marmots and I was so glad they finally got to see one up close and in person.
Ahhhh, I just love those High Sierra Meadow Colors!

Now back to doing camping laundry and dishes. Yes dishes, our tradition is to bring home our last day's worth of dirty dishes to wash up at home. That way, when they are put away until the next trip they'll actually be clean instead of just "camping clean".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You would love the John Muir quote wild life columnist Gary Bogue reads in the John Muir Tribute cd.