Friday, March 27, 2009

Happiness is not needing a bear locker

I've been working on our vacation plans since sometime last October. That's when, fed up with work, school, and damn near everything else, I announced to M, "I'm going on vacation in the spring. I don't care if you go with me, but I'm going." After kicking around a few options, we settled on taking the train out to Cali and visiting Yosemite. Well, he wouldn't commit to any of the options, really, so I chose that. Then I extended it a bit and added a few days around Carmel, including the one night at Bodie House. Yay me. (That's what he gets for letting the photographer plan the entire trip.)

At the time, I scheduled us three nights in Yosemite, the first being at the Wawona Hotel in the southern part of the park, and the next two in the Yosemite Valley, in a Curry Village cabin. It didn't have a bath, but that seemed minor compared to the alternative lodging available at the time in the valley: a tent cabin. For those of you not familiar with lodging at Yosemite National Park, I'll educate you on exactly what comprises a tent cabin. It's a wooden floor and canvas stretched over a wooden frame. That's it. Oh, and what the web site describes as "cots" but which the reservations staff testily corrected to "cot-beds." Neither sound particularly comfortable. Some of the tent cabins have heaters, but park staff turn them off in April (our trip, naturally, being scheduled for May). None of them have bathrooms, and all of them require you to place your belongings in what's called a bear locker.

A bear locker is not a place to hold your cute little teddy bears, nor is it a particular brand of locker. A bear locker is just that...a metal locker with a padlock designed to keep actual giant dangerous (and, apparently, nosy) bears from eating your things. I like nature, but I'm not so much into it noshing on my chapstick. So I took the cabin no-bath with pleasure because it at least has wooden walls and a roof along with the wooden floor.

Then my MIL read a tiny article in the paper about Yosemite having to close a bunch of their cabins because of rock slides or some other minor nonsensical incident. Knowing our luck, I immediately called reservations. Sure enough, our cabin was one of the now closed ones. And our only other two in-park lodging options were the $480/night Ahwahnee Hotel and the $99/night unheated tent cabin.

Knowing M would have a coronary before shelling out 500 smackers for one night in a hotel (nevermind that it's the freakin' Ahwahnee which is way cool), I grudgingly took the tent cabin.

And so began my months-long daily visit to the Yosemite on-line reservations site, hoping to find something else...anything else. Because they update the reservations site only once a day or so, I had a couple of glimmers of hope that were quickly dashed once I tried to book the room it claimed was available. Then, one day, I struck gold. A room, double bed, opened up in Yosemite Lodge our second and final night in the valley. I took it. One night down, one to go. That was over a month ago.

Tonight, the planets aligned once more, and I managed to get us a room, double bed, in Yosemite Lodge. Which means that not only are we no longer in a freakin' tent cabin, but we're in the same place two nights in a row, which M much prefers to having to move on a nightly basis. (Before getting this lucky I told him to suck it up because if moving two nights in a row got us four walls, a roof, a toilet and our own shower for both nights, we were doing it.)

I cannot describe the relief I feel over this one, small accomplishment. My worries about charging the D300 battery, the cell phones, the laptops...all gone. The bears can eat someone else's belongings, and I get my very own shower every single night in Yosemite.

As M would say, life is good.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, that's NOT good!!! You should have kept ONE night in the tent cabin, just for the experience! I'm thinking about starting a blog JUST to refute all of the bullshit you've spewed about the tent cabins in Curry Village. Seriously - WTF? :-) Love ya...

2:48 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Keep it up and I'm gonna drag your ass out to Yosemite and stuff it in a bear locker. I'll make sure it has wifi so you can blog from it.

Experience exschmeriance. I'll be happy to get my experience during the day, not at night while I'm trying to sleep while thinking about the bears...THE BEARS!

11:11 PM  

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