Pam Aldrich invited me to go camping with her family at Tuolumne Meadows. Along with me her brother and sister each took a friend. Pam’s parents were very relaxed campers. I don’t remember going on any hikes we just stayed around camp but there was plenty to do. We fished, swam in the river, took walks to a nearby supply store, and played with one another.
I shouldn’t say we swam in the river because each night the river would swell with what snow melt happened the day before. It was really cold! When we would wade in it only took a short while for our legs to begin aching they were so cold.
When we came back to camp one afternoon after playing at the river we found Mrs. Aldrich making jello. She had mixed it and put it in a Tupperware bowl. She had gently but firmly put it between to big rocks in the little creek running next to our campsite. At first I thought she was crazy but by dinner time the jello had completely set. I’m not kidding when I say that water was cold!
Tuolumne Meadows is part of Yosemite. It is the top part! The view is nothing like in the valley. There are no huge mountains to look at as we were close to the top of any mountains around. It was certainly just a beautiful but totally different.
We all went fishing several times during the week. I remember one particular day I wasn’t catching any fish at all. I was tired of trying. I found a quiet little spot where the river was hardly moving. I found a comfortable rock to sit on and put my line down in a quiet little pool littered with leaves and little branches. I wanted to just sit and pass some time, I was ready to back to camp but didn’t want to say so. Just as I sat down I felt my pole give a tug. It seems some poor fish was hiding and resting in the same place I chose. He turned out to be my best catch of the whole week measuring about twelve inches.
I took my fish to Mr. Aldrich. He made a big deal about it. Maybe he knew I was tired and he wanted me to feel good. It worked! I felt proud. When we had dinner he pointed out to everyone my fish was sticking over both sides of my plate.
That night when Pam, her sister, her sister’s friend, and I were in our tent for the night the boys decided to scare us. At our campfire that night they kept saying they saw a bear in the shadows but we never saw it. Once we were in our sleeping bags and the tent was zipped shut they started breaking twigs, grunting, and trying to make scary shadows on the tent wall.
The trouble was they were probably about eleven years old and when they hugged one another to make a big bear shadow they would giggle! Their growling was hilarious. All of us in the tent were poking one another to keep from laughing out loud. When one of the boys saw a shadow in the trees he said, “Hey, you guys I think I really do see a bear!”
We couldn’t stand it any longer. Pam unzipped the tent and we all ran at the boys screaming there was a bear in the woods. Those little boys raced to their tent, didn’t make a noise the rest of the evening, and never mentioned what they’d done when daylight came the next morning. None of us mentioned it either realizing it was a great joke but the boys hadn’t been old enough, or brave enough, to carry it out. We didn’t want to make them feel silly but for the rest of the week when they weren’t around we were merciless in things we said about them!
It was another wonderful week of a wonderful summer!