An Unexpected Pleasure

The anticipated 4 hour drive from Sequoia National Park to the south entrance of Yosemite National Park was nearly doubled by detours caused by fires. We had booked several nights in the southernmost part of Yosemite, anticipating park excursions from that location, but were thwarted by fires, and restorations in the sequoia groves which closed them to visitors. As is often the case, initial disappointment turned to its own kind of pleasure.

Big Trees Lodge, known until 2016 as The Wawona Hotel, is a National Historic Landmark, and is loaded with Victorian-style charm. The cottage complex where we stayed was built in 1876-77, and retains the big porches and large lawns that encourage lounging without agenda. Fires had been raging for several week quite close to the nearby town of Wawona, and we could smell the burn and see pink-tinged skies. At night, very tired firefighters came to the hotel to eat quickly, sleep lightly and rise early to refuel their trucks at the bottom of the driveway. There were signs of appreciation for their efforts in nearly every yard in town, acknowledging them as the heroes they are.

We spent our last morning there walking to The Pioneer Yosemite History Center, constructed as a small frontier town. The smokey morning mist provided a lovely setting for imagining frontier life as extremely pleasant, unlike its certain reality.

Big Trees-1Big Trees-3Big Trees-36Big Trees-29September 8, 2017_755_170908Big Trees-25Big Trees-31

6 thoughts on “An Unexpected Pleasure

  1. Again, beautiful photos. I was there in 2007 and there was a similar threat of fire from just east of the park. One of our high lights was stopping on the side of the road high above a vast prairie watching about 75 -100 buffalo grazing at leasure. Something you don’t see in dallas.

    Like

    1. Interesting that we didn’t see one bit of wildlife on this trip, maybe because of the fires…animals are smarter than we are, I’m convinced.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s