Sunday, February 06, 2005

Super Bowl Sunday.....well I was cheering for the Eagles but they didn't make it happen. I didn't watch the game, personally I like to celebrate the Superbowl by not being a couch potato but by enjoying the outdoors.

So this weekend was spent at Yosemite National Park, for a weekend of cross-country skiing. I drove up Friday everything went well except I was sadden to hear about the death of Ossie Davis. He was an artist of class, vision, and skill and will be extremely missed.

Driving from the Bay Area to Yosemite has gotten progressively worst as people have moved farther and farther out trying to find affordable housing. But the traffic wasn't horrible and we made good time arriving in the valley.

We stayed at the Stoneman Lodge at Camp Curry. I like the Stoneman because the free bus service that takes you Badger Pass, stops right in front of the building. After a day of skiing, hiking or drinking hot chocolate you only have to walk a few feet to your room. The Stoneman is a motel like facility its' clean the rooms are simple but don't expect a TV set. I brought books, my Ukulele and music if you need more stimulation bring a portable DVD player.

Saturday morning we took the 8:00 AM bus to Badger's Pass, FYI bus is nice and comfortable why drive on icy roads? Badger Pass wasn't very crowded this weekend (GREAT). Badger Pass has downhill, snowshoe, tubing and cross-country. The cross-country usually isn't crowded and the downhill didn't look overly congested this weekend. Food-wise, we made the mistake of not bringing snacks this trip and Curry Concessions, which runs the lodging and food concessions in the park, doesn't have any mercy when it comes to food prices. Don't forget to bring food and drinks. Badger Pass has picnic tables and they're covered with ice chests by folks who were on their game. The park food is expensive I paid about $5.00 for a cup of coffee plus a cheapie pastry (that had a funny taste).

Where did we ski, we started on Glacier Point Road it's closed for the winter and is groomed for Cross Country skiers. The conditions were icy not the best after two weeks without a major snow but since it was warm the snow-ice was starting to soften this helped. The weather was beautiful, blue sky and sunshine we couldn't ask for a prettier day. We turn off the Road toward Bridalveil Campground where we took the Ghost Forest Trail Loop. The snow conditions off the groom trail were better eventhough the trail was more difficult. It was fun and challenging my only regret? I have to get in better shape, the trail was around 11 miles and I was so tired while skiing. I could really tell my aerobic fitness has gone down hill and has to be improved. Well, I'll continue the biking and add some more aerobic activities to my weekly schedule.

Sunday morning we walked the valley floor it was so quiet, the Park felt empty.
After coffee, hot chocolate and walking we heading toward Crane Flats on Hwy 120 for one more chance at skiing. There was plenty of snow but it was too icy. It was cloudy over the park on Sunday and it just didn't warm up for skiing. We had a gorgeous meadow to ourselves which was cool but alas it was too cold and skiing on icy hard snow just isn't very fun.

We decided to head out to the Bay Area, the drive was good except listening to the Super Bowl but it was all good. I wish that I was still in Yosemite for at least one more day to ski at Badger. Comment about Cross-Country Skiers, they are some of the most friendly people in the park. We had some very nice conversations on the trails with fellow skiers. Also, except for my ski buddy the only other soul folks I saw worked in the Park. Actually, we had a very nice conversation with a Park Ranger, Shelton Johnson who presents an interpretive program on the Buffalo Soldiers in Yosemite Park. I'm planning to visit the park in the fall when I'll get a chance to see the program. I encourage everyone checkout the beauty of Yosemite in the winter and all year, support our National Parks and learn about our history.

This Deer literally posed for the Camera

Glacier Point Road - if you look closely you'll see the Cross-Country Tracks

Badger Pass Downhill Ski Area from a Picnic Table


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