Having come early to Oakhurst, we had the opportunity for a much more leisurely tour of Yosemite. This turned out to be a good thing, as it takes a good hour and a half to reach the heart of Yosemite from here.
I said I’d let you know if I found any gasoline more expensive than at home. Today I came close: I paid over five dollars a gallon. $5.109, which works out to $1.34 a liter, I believe. However, this was for premium, and when I gassed up at home I paid $1.38 for regular. We have noticed in the past that Californians pay near Canadian prices for gas. This gas station is staffed by day, and you can pay at the pump at night. I was getting ready to get annoyed if it asked for my ZIP code, because that would mean that after-hours gas would only be available to Americans, but I was pleased to discover that this station did not require a ZIP code. I tip my hat.
The drive into the park was spectacular, with snowy hillsides and hairpin turns. Our altimeter – yes I actually have a pocket size altimeter – agreed with the roadside signs that we touched 6000 feet a couple of times before winding down into Yosemite Valley at 4000′. We thought May would be a quiet time to visit this park, some of the roads rarely open before June, so access is limited. We thought wrong. Traffic from our entrance was light, but once we reached the valley it was choc-a-block. Saw our first Quebec licence plate, for instance. The loop road through the valley has been converted to a one-way road. This is probably a very good idea, as it opens up parking areas on both sides of the road to everyone and eliminates diving across the head-on traffic for a coveted space.
Did not even attempt to park at the village, so it turns out we should have stocked up on picnic supplies here in Oakhurst. Made do with cheese sandwiches and chips at the lovely picnic site below El Capitan. After lunch we retraced our route to Oakhurst and restocked our picnic cooler.
Our whole hotel seems heavily populated with middle-aged German tourists. This was quaint at breakfast, but horrifying at the hot tub. No spa for us this afternoon. If I can’t be the scariest one in the tub, I won’t go.