photos by the author
published in the Fall 2013 quattro quarterly
THIS PAST JUNE, Audi Club Golden Gate hosted its annual Yosemite Drive. Club member, Tom Langerquist, did an outstanding job of coordinating the event. Over twenty members met at the Manteca Starbucks about 90 miles from Yosemite National Park to fill up with coffee and pastries before heading out on the highway in one long line of Audis.
This was our first Yosemite drive with the club, and we met many repeat attendees that have enjoyed the drive for years. Everyone was very excited as the weather was perfect, and since it was early June, the crowds and tour buses were not bad. People from around the world book their vacations a year ahead of time just to come to the park!
We drove along highway 120 and went through many small picturesque towns, only stopping once for gas, snacks and a bathroom break! After leaving the foothills we entered the Stanislaus National Forest and our cars were dwarfed by the huge California redwoods. We entered the park at the North Entrance and stood in line with other cars and campers. As we started making our way to the valley floor, all of Yosemite’s mountains and peaks greeted us with spectacular views. First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.
We met at Bridalveil Falls, which is one of the smaller waterfalls in the park, at 620 feet. There is a paved trail so anyone can walk a short 10 minutes and reach the base of the Fall, where we took pictures. Once we had our fill of water, mist and pictures, we got back into our cars and drove 15 minutes to the other side of the valley, near the famous Ahwahnee Hotel to the picnic grounds that Tom selected. After more pictures were taken, we enjoyed the pot luck lunch—everyone brought their favorite dish to share, and of course, we had way too much food.
After lunch, we were free to wander about, do some hiking, visit the other waterfalls, and relax in the sun under the trees and mountains. We decided to walk over to the Ahwahnee Hotel, which has been open since 1927 and walk around its beautiful grounds. Then we headed over to Yosemite Falls, which is the highest water fall in the park reaching 2,425 feet at the top. The day seemed way too short, as participants went their separate ways. A great day spent with Audi peeps! Looking forward to the next event!