Ahhh. The joys of Tuolumne Meadows
A couple weeks ago, my mom and I took our annual trip to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. We arrived the same day that most of the park was closed due to smoke from a blazing forest fire. Tuolumne is at the Northeast side of the park, and much higher elevation than Yosemite Valley, and so it is far from the fire and has stayed open throughout. We did have some smokey skies in the afternoon, but as you can see, we had some pretty clear and beautiful skies too. This trip is something we look forward to every year, and we were both so glad that we got to go!
Baked Tofu Sandwiches In The Wild!
(Lyell Fork, Tuolumne River, Dana Fork)
We have a whole routine when it comes to lunches at Yosemite… we make baked tofu sandwiches for our hikes everyday with baked tofuz, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, mustard, mayo (for mom only!) and we even had some grilled zucchini that I brought from home as well. It’s a good hearty meal, and after a hike it feels like the best thing in the whole world. We also always bring along some sort of little bar, some fruits and veggies to snack on, trail mix… I made a loaf of zucchini bread so we brought little pieces of zucchini bread along too.
Truth be told, we took one pretty long hike (+/- 10 miles), but mostly we just take little day hikes… so, we had plenty of food! ha ha.
hiking and dreaming!
My friend and her daughter were supposed to come with us this year, but because of the fires they decided not to come. Since we were expecting to have a kiddo with us, I was sure to pack supplies for vegan smores! But there we were, kidless, with a box of graham crackers, dark chocolate, and a huge bag of Dandies. So we just headed over the to huge communal campfire and offered to share our supplies with all the other campers. It was so lovely! We met so many wonderful people and had a great time eating smores and making friends.
It’s our family tradition to have some post-hike, pre-dinner evening snacks and drinks … The traditional drink of choice is Gin and Tonic. I’m not much of an alcohol fan, so I stuck with fruity fizz water. We both had some good books that we brought along, and we also spent lots of time working away at our big book of NYT Monday crossword puzzles – such fun!
Dinner at Lembert Dome
This year I bought a propane stove of my own so that I could cook dinner for us! There is a “Lodge” at Tuolumne (it’s a giant canvas tent turned into a restaurant) and we ate there one night. Happily they had a pretty great vegan option this year – curried veggies with tofu and rice, plus a ginormous bowl of all you can eat salad. But, no one wants to eat the same thing 4 nights in a row! So we took our propane stove over to the base of Lembert Dome, where you are allowed to prepare food. It’s such a beautiful spot! We made veggie burgers and fresh corn and had extra veggies and hummus to snack on while we prepared our dinner. It was so fun to use my brand new propane stove for the first time!
Can you see that cute little frog??? He was tiny and perfect.
other animals we saw this year
A stop in Groveland on the way home!
Because of the fires, our most beloved route was closed…. and so we took a route to Yosemite that we almost never take. On our way there, we passed through a cute little town on Groveland… and decided we would stop there on our way home. We had prepared our usual tofu sandwiches, but we were on the search for some nice cold drinks. We found a very cute and freshly-remodeled spot called “Provisions” – they have a menu, but they also have a little shop full of deli goodies and snacks. Y’all, they had SO many vegan options! They even had vegan chickpea pesto sandwiches! And even though all we needed was cold drinks, they let us sit in their beautiful garden to enjoy our lunch. They were so friendly and welcoming. So if you’re ever in Groveland, you know where to go!
We had such a great trip – we saw so many wonderful beautiful High Sierra critters, I even saw a black bear one morning when I was practicing yoga! Wowsers! It’s just such a special place to be, and I’m so glad Yosemite exists for us and for the animals and for all the people who want to be there.