Day 30 – Made it through the wilderness

The morning started off with a bang. Well, it started off with me yelling “we got a ticket!”

Let’s backtrack… The ticket I was referring to was a day pass into Yosemite, which right now is like getting a ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. After visiting so many national parks, we didn’t think it would be a problem. We even booked a night in Mammoth Lakes so we could drive through it and stay on the other side.

When I went to the Yosemite site a week or so ago they said they were trying to limit the number of people into the park to about 1200. Exactly one month in advance 900 tickets go on sale for each day and two days before the other 300 will be released. I figured the tickets would be popular so I logged in early so I could be one of the first to get one for two days later. At exactly 7 a.m. I pushed the button and I got an error message “the system is experiencing high volume” please try again. So, I did. And got the same message. Again. And, again. Then, after about 30 seconds of trying I refreshed the browser to find all 300+ tickets were gone.

It was fine though as I started a few days early so we could have plenty of time there. I tried again the next day thinking the first time was just a fluke. Nope. All 300+ tickets were gone within 5 seconds. And, I was left with the same error message.

On the third day I had a computer, iPad, iPhone and John had his as well. Again, every one of them had error messages and the tickets were all gone within seconds.

At this point we decided it was time to head home. We still had our hotel reserved in Mammoth Lakes, and it was a smoking deal on a Westin, so we said we would still go. Since we couldn’t drive on the main road that went through Yosimite, we would have to go the long way around part of Nevada and down the back side of the Sierra Nevada Mtns.

I got up early yesterday to get a head start on my work and start packing for our long drive to Mammoth Lakes. I happened to look at the clock and saw that it was 6:58. I said to myself. Why not give it one more try, it won’t work but you have nothing to lose. I pulled out my phone and signed on to the day pass website. 7 a.m. came around and I casually hit the button and saw the familiar spinning as the tickets tried to load. This is what it did every time and I was ready for the error message. That is when my screen read “how would you like to pay for the pass?” And, that is when I yelled “we got the ticket!”


The drive to Mammoth Lakes was quite amazing. We have been to Amador county a dozen times but we had no clue the high country was so beautiful.

An hour or so into the drive we realized we were only about 15 miles from Lake Tahoe, so we took a small detour. Tahoe was extremely busy. So much so that we decided to not get out of the car. We wanted to stay away from all crowds, especially considering the number of new cases showing up in California. While the entire city was a crowd, it was lovely to see it from the car. Next time, Tahoe. Next time.

The drive down the back side of the Sierra Nevadas was also beautiful. We were all just a little ecstatic by the time we got near Yosemite.

Mammoth Lakes is beautiful and busy. It seems that everyone is trying to get out and be outdoors.

Luckily, the check in clerk liked us and upgraded us to an awesome room.

We found a nice place with some space where we could relax and hang out for a bit. Then we had a lovely dinner in the room.


  • Daddy Brock check-in
    • Rose: beautiful mountains
    • Thorn: crowds
  • Daddy John check-in
    • Rose: beautiful scenery
    • Thorn: long, long drive.
  • Olivia check-in
    • Rose: Ice-Cream!
    • Thorn: long car ride
  • Toby check-in
    • Rose: comfy bed at the hotel
    • Thorn: dads have to lift me into the car, every time

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