So after our big day at Yosemite, we woke up the next morning ready to tackle a bigger trail. But we never actually made it there.
Our youngest suddenly got very, very sick and began throwing up. In our tiny camper. Part of me just wondered if she had eaten something that she shouldn't have, and it was making her sick. She is two after all!
Kirk and V left for a few hours to pick up some necessities in town and get out of the way. I took care of the little one, and we tried to make the best of our "sick day." In the picture below, she's watching video of Kirk playing. It was the ONLY video I had on my laptop. Seriously, you would think a parent with kids of a certain age would make sure to download some emergency entertainment before entering an area without wi-fi. Duh.
After about 6 hours, she was feeling much better, so we hoped we were out of the woods. Wishful thinking.
The next day (so our third day at Yosemite), we woke up ready to attempt a drive back into the park. I wasn't feeling so well, but I didn't want to miss our last day at the park. We decided to try a scenic drive and began winding our way up to Glacier Point. We had nearly reached the top when a park ranger said the lot was full, but could bus us in (after a 45 minute wait.) We declined and turned around.
Instead we drove over to Wawona and had lunch at the Wawona Inn. Or well, I guess it's called the Big Trees Lodge now that they've had all those trademark issues. The hotel is looking a little rough, and you can definitely tell the national parks are struggling for funding. Still, it was a beautiful and elegant space to have lunch.
So here's the deal. To get back to our campground, we had to drive from Wawona into the Valley (about 30-45 minutes on switchback roads) an then another hour to our campsite. And I started to feel incredibly, horribly ill. I truthfully wondered if we could make it back to the camper before we would ALL be sick. We did manage to stop at Tunnel Viewpoint for Kirk to get a selfie. Priorities! (Also, that looks like our 4Runner behind him, but obviously it isn't.)
I'll spare you the details, but we barely made it back to the Casita. Within a few hours of each other, the rest of us were all violently ill. It was actually kind of comedic, all of us crammed in that tiny space and sick together. But it was pretty terrible in reality. Here's the deal: getting sick like that in our camper was always one of my perceived "worst nightmare" scenarios. I always wondered how traveling families dealt with illness in a tiny space. And now I know the secret: you just do.
We're still not sure why we got sick or if it was food poisoning. We did eat some questionable stuff on our road trip out West, so who knows.
The next day I was just totally done. Tired of being in the camper, tired of the trip. We had a camper full of dirty linens and clothes, and the campsite we were at made a big stink about us washing our laundry there (because we had been sick.) So even though we all were exhausted, we hitched up and drove about 1.5 hours to Fresno to stay in a hotel.
It was glorious. We slept, did laundry, watched TV, and showered like it was going out of style. The next day we headed to Target to get groceries and then drove a few hours to Sequoia National Forest, where Kirk's family cabin was (yes, I said was....I'll get to that.) We had our first real meal in a few days at a local burger joint in the middle of nowhere California, and it was just what we needed to handle the drive ahead.
The directions we got from his mom and aunt were vague and hard to follow. Of the "turn right at the deserted hotel with an empty pool" and then "take the right fork after the meadow" variety. No cell reception, no accurate maps of the area, and we definitely never saw that meadow! The roads were dirt and rutted and wound through the mountains. The 4runner and Casita did beautifully and Kirk was a pro at navigating the roads while towing. I was white-knuckling it the whole time and praying we wouldn't get stuck on one of the narrow roads.
But we made it, just in time for the "neighborhood" 4th of July party.
After the previous few days, we were thrilled to rest, to spend time with family, and to eat good food. And we're so incredibly grateful that we chose to make the trip there this summer, because we would have massively regretted it otherwise.
Subscribe to the blog to catch Part Three where I'll explain what happened at the cabin and why it's the last time we'll ever go there again.