Well today has been one of the longest and funniest yet!
After everyone woke up, which with jet lag, hangovers, and in some cases both took a while; we met Esme’s friends for breakfast.
First time ever I have seen my brother not finish a plate of food, I think he was hurting more then he was letting on. Esme made it to breakfast, but food seemed to escape her too!
After breakfast we headed to Yosemite National Park, which was about a two hour drive away. The two cars met at the entrance and drive in convoy following the road around the park. We even pulled over to take the roof off, the weather was unvelieveable!
Our first road stop was a lookout at the top of a hill looking down into Yosemite and a waterfall. We all posed for group photos on the wall and took in the amazing view.
Our next stop was a waterfall. Esme had said we needed to walk to it, r was only a few hundred meters. Well as we got closer to the waterfall, we could feel mist. It was quite refreshing. As we got closer, the most turned into a spray, then the ground was wet. We carried on walking uphill, with our shoes removed and freezing cold water rushing over our feet. We made it to the base of this waterfall, and were no longer in the spray. It was like someone turned the hosepipe on! We were drenched. Like head to toe drenched! Again obligatory photos before very carefully walking down the hill. It was really funny, and so unexpected. The water was freezing too!
Back down at the road, still soaking wet we set off again to the main car park. We instantly hit traffic. It was ridiculous. It took us over an hour to travel 2 miles. We eventually made it to the car park, but by this time it was like 16:30!!
We grabbed some lunch/dinner and made a plan. We had been told about a starlight tour which sounded good; but we had to buy tickets from another location.
Now bear in mind dad, there is me, mum, Jon and Lauren. Tracey, Jamie, Esme, Holly and Neal, then Lucy and Rachel; Esme’s swimming friends. That makes a party of eleven! Moving eleven people around is a challenge!
We found a bus which would take us to the office for the star tickets. It was already at the station. We had to run. All of us, to the bus. That was funny enough.
We got off the bus and got the tickets. It started at 9pm. The time was 6pm. Now to find something to do for three hours. We agreed to hike to mirror lake. Again, a plan was formulated to get the free shuttle bus.
The tribe descended the bus, much to the amusement of the other passengers. Suddenly Holly is shouting that this is the wrong bus and it won’t be stopping where we want it to. Esme checks with the driver and Holly was right. So we all get off the bus. Tracey by now is doing head counts. We wait for the next bus, and as we wait Holly decides we should sing a song. We learn pretty quickly Neal does not know the words to some nursery rhymes. Yeah, really. So in true form, we try to teach him it. Holly thinks it would be a good idea to sing as a round. The most un-musical group I have ever come across dad! I attempted to explain how to sing as a round; but apparently rhythm and counting was far beyond any of them. They were still trying to get it right as the correct bus came.
The correct bus drove us back (with us still singing) to where we started and bought the tickets, then went on to mirror lake.
Somehow this had taken hours! Now we were short on time. It was about 8pm, and we had to get to mirror lake, back to the bus stop, back to the car, move the cars and get to the tour in one hour. Challenge accepted.
We finally arrived at the mirror lake stop. Esme said it’s half a mile each way, so as long as we were not more than half an hour we should make the next shuttle bus and have time.
Dad it was hilarious, a proper frog March hiking through yosemite to get to a lake. After Walking for 15 minutes and seeming to be no where close; we realised it was one mile each way! Now we were 15 minutes in, and with no chance of making the next shuttle. Now we were really pushed for time!
We rushed to Mirror lake, and the rush was worth it. The water is so still it creates a perfect reflection of the scenery around it. It really does look like a mirror reflection. We posed for a few photos and admired it as fast as we could. Time to rush back!
As fast as we could we hiked back, and made it to the bus stop before the shuttle.
Now the trickiest thing of trying to move a group of so many people? Making a plan and sticking to it! Every two minutes we were coming up with different plans on how to make it in time. After what felt like a hundred different plans we decided we might just have enough time. There was however one thing we had not accounted for; being able to all fit on the shuttle!
The shuttle came, and it was packed. Instant panic set in. We forced our way onto this bus, which was very overloaded! We were all standing down the whole length of the bus.
Still the plans were changing
Messages wondered being shouted from one end of the bus to the other
“Get off stop two”
“We’re not stopping at 2”
“Get off at 4”
“How about the drivers just get off?”
“OK just the drivers and the rest will go on ahead”
“Grab my jacket”
“Stay on until 6”
Up and down the bus. Every other passengers looked very frustrated at us. It was like Chinese whispers, everything was getting muddled and no one knew what they were doing.
After all this, we learn bus stop 4 is the last stop, so we would all have to get off anyway. This was then messaged up the bus!
We knew we would have to run. We had 10 minutes!
As the bus came to a stop, Rachel (our tiken american for the day) shouts at the top of her lungs
“TEAM GB, ARE YOU READY?!”
We all fall into a laughing fit! The other passengers by now look ready to kick us off themselves.
We again run to the cars, jump in, and suddenly realised we have no idea where we are even going! Sh*T! 7 minutes.
We gamble a road which takes us back to the main drag, it looks good. We see bus stop 6! But we can’t stop, there is no where to park! 5 minutes.
We found a car park a little up the road and just abandoned the car. Then once again, we were running. 3 minutes.
Somehow, and I am still not sure how we made it. Bang on time. We didn’t even have a minute to spare. We were out of breath and still laughing, but we made it!
Then Rachel decided she needed the bathroom. None around, nothing but trees. Esme and Rachel wandered into the trees, out of sight. Until the tour guide turned up! He stood so the entire group were facing the tree Rachel was now squatting behind. Flinging his torch still round everyone got split second glimpses of Rachel and Esme. Once again we were in stitches!
After the tour guide made a speech and explained there were no bathrooms, but he sees some of the group have already made use of the facilities, we headed to a clearing in the trees
We were all laying on the ground looking up. As our eyes adjusted the sky became more filled with stars. It was unvelieveable, I have never seen stars like it. Out surrounding were pitch black; there was no light pollution what so ever! The guide talked us through some of the stars and pointed out some constellations. I know you need some imagination, but I swear dad they look nothing like what he was describing! We ended up laying on the grass and laughing at how we could not see what he was describing.
After an hour the tour ended, and we had to defend on the journey home. Jamie had managed to find parking by the bus stop, so we all decided to hitch a lift back to the mustang. With people on laps and in the boot we set off. The car stank! Between Tracey’s shoes, and the smell Jon had left in the car from the night before, we could barely breathe! I have never jumped out of a car so fast!
Anyway we eventually started what would become one of the most tricky drives I have ever done. 2 hours of hills with no barriers, no lights, no cat eyes, nothing to protect you from falling off a cliff, and wild life on the road. Even with full beams on, the road was so bendy you didn’t know which way the road was turning until you were on the bend! By the time we got off the hill and onto a long straight flat road, I had been gripping the steering wheel so tight my knuckles were white.
Dad today was hilarious!
Night dad x