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February 2015 day trip | November 2- day trip

Ahwahnee is what the Indians called Yosemite
Millie said what they all were thinking... "Let's go to Yosemite for the full moon! Whoa! Big fun midnight adventures in Yosemite Valley by moonlight!" But Verne warned "Bears! Mountain Lions!"  Tyler spoke up "We can run fast!"
Verne noted "Yosemite Lodge half priced off season...that's good!"
Verne said "OK you maniacs! But this time you have to behave because it's a National Park so there will be no pooping on the trails, no peeing on cars, no chasing bears, mountain lions, or Bambi, -- no barking, no howling at the moon, no begging food from tourists, no mounting other dogs, no fighting, and Collie you are NOT ALLOWED in the bar at the Ahwahnee..." Verne droned on and on... but they were not listening. They were lost in fantasies about Yosemite Valley.

Yosemite Lodge: Wow! Half price off season! OK dogs sleep on bed!
Verne reserved a room at the Lodge
While the Lodge was booked up for Thanksgiving, a room was available a few days before. So they would have two nights for only $340.

Whoopeee! Big fun Yosemite!
First they would go to the Lower Falls.

That's a wonderful place where the dogs could set up their mobile petting zoo for confused earthlings needing to connect with the unconditional love of a therapy dog.

Collie had never seen squirrels before. She called them tree rats. They darted about near the trails hoping to pick up treats from tourists.

Off season Yosemite has few visitors, making it peacefully quiet and special. Verne could not imagine visiting during the hot summer when the roads would be traffic jams of buses, campers, and cars full of noisey children.

He and the dogs visited in the fall and late winter. They felt that was the best time to enjoy the magic of the valley. It was a spiritual magic that lasted inside oneself for a long time.
Maybe they could visit Bambi in the Meadow...
Then Verne could get coffee in Yosemite Village...
and another souvenir hat.
After visiting the falls the collies blissed out in the woods at a quiet stream.

They all sensed the deep peace of being in nature. Yosemite is a wonderful, sacred place.
Hey! We can all have lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel!

The last time they went there Collie disappeared. Verne, Millie, and Tyler frantically looked for her. Finally an employee brought her by the collar - "I found her in the bar!"

"The bar!?" said Verne, "She's not old enough to drink!"

Photos of the Ahwahnee

Getting there...and coming back. Verne missed the correct turn in 2011 and drove the long, hard way--
...shown in green and then blue.  That was at night...and the road long, winding...with cars tailgating,
their headlights distracting him as they hit his eyes from the rear view mirrors.
Is the route through Merced better because the roads are faster? Less winding mountain roads?

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