After a reasonably comfortable night – it had been rather cold – up for breakfast. And with the mobile kitchen in the camper, it was no less substantial. And with the open air, it was even more delicious. We packed up our belongings and drove into the park proper. The first stop was at a river, where we washed the dishes – it looked very inviting, but we resisted temptation and drove south. We stopped off at a magnificent overlook, with a valley, or really more of a gully, stretched out before us. Unfortunately, the Park Service were doing some controlled burning down there, so some of the view was very smoky. The next stop was a place called the Pioneer History Center. It was a preserved pioneer village, with all sorts of buildings complete with furniture etc, and what’s more with people dressed up in period costume, and faithfully acting out various roles, without dropping out of character. The best were a homesteader baking biscuits, a soldier, and a weaver. It was rather disorienting, because at times it was difficult to know whether they were talking of 1890 or 1980.
We ate lunch, then drove down to the Mariposa Grove, a forest of giant redwoods in the south of the park. There were free open bus rides through the grove, but it took quite a while to get on one – they were rather disorganised. It was a good trip tho’, and the trees were very impressive – some were 3000 years old. Next stop was the kids’ stop, tho’ one that we enjoyed too – we went to a nearby river, and spent some time playing and generally messing about. It was very rocky, and quite shallow, warm, and great fun – I pretended to be a crocodile, and just slid along the bottom on my belly. Final stop of the evening was a viewpoint called Glacier Point – breathtaking. Took loads of pictures, and waited till sunset, then back to the campsite. We cooked and ate in the van – chicken, mmm. Then bed – I read some of The Magus first.