With the huge success we had finding awesome campsites only a couple weeks earlier in the Carolinas, we thought we'd try our "make no plans" method again. Yosemite, turns out, is not the best place to use this method. We landed in San Jose, got our rental car, and commenced to driving another three hours to Yosemite.
Since there are about a million Mexican restaurants in California, we didn't look for one with the Garmie and found the first one once we got hungry. The food was decent, but my friends said the margaritas were really good (I'm not a tequila fan).
We knew all the campsites inside the park were full. You have to make those reservations about six months in advance. Because there was nothing in the park we tried a couple campgrounds in the nearest town. All booked. Ok, maybe the lack of planning was not going to work out for us this time. Next option: fork out the money and stay in a hotel. We pulled into the Best Western to see if there was any rooms. The lady at the desk said they had no vacancies, but she did have lunch the other day with the lady who owns the Mountain Trail Lodge (559-760-3864) and she might have a room. She called her up and the lady said she had one room left. Awesome!
We got back into the car and checked out a couple other hotels before calling the lodge. Finding no other vacancies, we gave the lodge a call. Apparently while she was saying they had a room, her husband was renting out the last one. Dang it! My friend explained that our original intent was to go camping, but all the campsites were full. The lady called around to a couple RV parks and sure enough, no space at those either. Finally she asked, "So you all are prepared to camp?" "Yes, we have a tent and everything." "Well, you just come on over and we'll let you pitch the tent behind our lodge."
When we pulled up she was waiting for us. The owners showed us the "utility closet" where we could shower and brush our teeth. And then they walked us up to this ridge behind the lodge where we could camp. It was an awesome view of the sunrise.
One of my friends brought her hammock and decided to sleep in it that night. Only problem was that we could only find one tree. Problem? No. We'll just use the car! So we pulled the car up close to the tree and tied one end of the hammock onto our friend's luggage inside. Hey, it was a fifty pound bag, it worked great. And the campsite was free.