Surprisingly, I remembered the way. Many MANY moon ago when I was 18, I took a drive up to Yosemite to the horse stables where I tried to get a job, being the cowgirl that I am. The head wrangler sent me to the main office. "Tell them I said to give you a job" ... so I did ... and THEY did. Having just come from Junior College computer programming classes, I fit right in with their desire to switch over from paper reservations to paper reservations. No really ... the only difference was the second set of papers were key punched cards.
My typing skills were pretty valuable ... type the info in (a series of holes were punched in the card), type it in again as it was verified and type it in a third time before it was sent off to the hotels to await tourist arrival. That was before the days of computers. I was pretty proud to be a part of that at the time. Almost as proud as being the one who recorded all the information on what to do in the park. If you called the information number, that was me on the recording.
Initially, I lived in a tent cabin. Clothes and accessories were stuffed under the old twin bed with a most uncomfortable mattress. Lights consisted of a bare bulb hanging from a long cord with a string to turn it on. Not exactly the Ahwahnee hotel. Especially when you had to get up in the middle of the night and walk 200 yards to the porta-potty. No, I'm not kidding. All for $1.81 an hour. I was rich. Talk about inflation!!
The valley soon became my home ... and when I was away, I missed it terribly. What I didn't miss was the parties at Sentinel Beach. I wasn't one of the "in" crowd that smoked, tobacco OR marijuana, nor did I drink. I went that direction once, and that was enough for me.
Eventually I moved into the Women's Dorm, a lovely corner room about 20 feet square. At least the bathroom was closer and NOT outside. Usually there were more MEN in the dorm than women. The Men's dorm was next door and in spite of them trying to keep everyone apart, you know it didn't work. Sorry I don't have more time for stories and pictures today, but I'm off to Morgan Hill again and have to get my act together.
So here's a little teaser before I race off. This is the front of the Ahwahnee Hotel, now called the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. It seems the concessionaire who has had control all these years, decided they owned the names. When the National Park Service went with another vendor who offered more, the first concessionaire got mad and took the names with them. The NPS couldn't argue because there was nothing in the contract that said otherwise. When they finally went with a NEW concessionaire, the old ones sued to take the names with them, and won. Everything in the park has now been renamed. For those of us who have worked there, the names will NEVER change. This is the Ahwahnee Hotel and always will be.
Although I carved out 2-3/4 hours for the 2 hour trip, we just barely made it in time for our reservations, which were another story. At any rate, we made it, the food was delicious, only surpassed by the hundreds of dogwood trees in full bloom. Despite the traffic and construction, it was still worth the trip.
My favorite meadow where you can cast an eye on Half Dome. If you're real adventurous, you can climb the cables to the top. Wear your big girl panties ... it's almost straight up the back side, not to mention the 9 mile hike to get there. More on all that later.
I got home at about 7:45, where the puppies were happy to see me. It was a very long day and we still didn't get near the pictures we wanted to. Going really early in the morning is definitely a must if you want to find a place to park. I'll have more pictures tomorrow after I return from Morgan Hill.