Chit Chat

Weekend Adventures: Yosemite by Train

WARNING: Be prepared for a photo dump!  I dug out my digital camera and brought it along for our Labor Day travels… although now that it’s a few years old I think my iPhone takes better pics!

not one but TWO cameras!

I wanted to get out of dodge for Labor Day, and Yosemite has been on our list of sights to see, so it seemed like the perfect destination.

As always, we had a few limitations when it comes to travel–no cars, a budget, and we didn’t want to leave the cats overnight if we could help it.  So I did some searching online and found a package deal that included train tickets, transportation to and from the park, and a tour of the valley.

Of course, a couple days before we left my Mom called to tell me that she heard an NPR news story about the Hanta virus that has caused two deaths in the park since June–yikes!  I called the hotline and learned that the CDC is still encouraging visitors to come to the park, especially if it’s only a day trip.  So we went along our merry way and (knock on wood) haven’t contracted any fatal illnesses.

We didn’t touch any squirrels, even though they were everywhere!

The package deal was convenient for a one-day excursion, even though it made for a long day.  We met our group at 7 AM at the Ferry Building, and returned home around 10 PM.

If I could do it again, it would be nice to have a few more hours in the park–the timeline was a bit rushed and most of the day was spent travelling to and from the park.

The Amtrak train was fun and quick–although the trip back had a few more sketchy passengers and we learned the hard way that the food is pretty terrible.

Breakfast for me, nap for Sam

But it was a new way to travel, and the views along the way were beautiful too.

After we arrived at the Modesta stop, the tour included transportation to the park–another two hours in a bus with lots of pretty scenery along the way.

winding roads!

Even the devastation from last year’s wildfire was pretty (and we heard several times about the importance of fire to control the undergrowth).

wildfire aftermath

Once we arrived at Yosemite, we only had an hour to eat lunch and walk around before the guided tour.

We were disappointed that we didn’t have enough time to see the redwood trees… and it was the wrong season for waterfalls, but the scenery that we did get to see was absolutely gorgeous.

The tour was a lot of fun–open air, with stops along the way for photo opportunities, and we covered a lot of ground without having to drive or hike our way to the major sights.

It was a beautiful day all around.  It’s cool to see a part of the country that we’ve never been close to before moving out to the West coast.

And now, the photo dump:

A little chapel, where there was a couple getting married!

Yosemite was breathtaking and we had a great day together!

And even better… was having Monday off to laze around and enjoy the holiday!

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7 thoughts on “Weekend Adventures: Yosemite by Train

  1. What a fun trip! I always enjoy excursions that involve interesting modes of transportation. And Yosemite is such a beautiful destination! Hopefully you’ll get to go back someday and visit more in-depth. I’m glad you didn’t catch Hanta virus. 🙂

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