All the way back in February I made reservations to camp at Yosemite National Park for my visiting cousins birthday. In the cold rain of Winter I was picturing the flowers and campfires of May. I was not disappointed. I spent Monday through Thursday before Memorial Day camping in Hodgdon Meadows and loving the small crowds. I would recommend this site to anyone who wants to escape the masses in the Valley for a restful nights sleep. However, there are no showers there (they are located in Curry Village) and many sites are slanted. I rented site DBL 10, which was very private and had a nice flat spot for the tents. Our first day was spent driving from the 5 and a half hour drive from the California Coast and setting up camp. Dinner was the real highlight, we had fresh grilled salmon with asparagus, quinoa and a nice rose from Quivira. That night I fell asleep happy only half listening for the sound of bears in the woods.
The next morning our camp woke up early in preparation for a drive over the Tioga Pass to Olmstead Point. I love Olmstead point and can remember going there as a child, having a blast climbing over the giant granite boulders. There is a great view of Half Dome off in the distance, it is easy to just sit and look at Olmstead Point where there are less crowds. After Olmstead Point we drove to Tuolumne Meadows, which I was hoping would be full of flowers. Unfortunately, it was too early in the season and the meadow was still full of large puddles of snow melt and the grass was brown with over saturation. We still decided to eat lunch at a nearby picnic area and enjoyed the brisk, high-altitude air. On the way down we went hiking along Yosemite Creek a little ways. The creek was rushing and beautiful, full of snow melt from this years Winter season. After our short hike I returned back to camp for a bottle of red wine and a game of Yahtzee. My cousin however hiked from Tuolumne Grove to our campsite an easy trail of five miles one way. Although she was unimpressed with the grove she enjoyed the walk and even saw a bear, who thankfully ran in the other direction.