I parked the Little House on the Highway in the parking lot at Camp Curry. That's just about the only place one can park a car and leave it without having a campsite, tent cabin or hotel room. I didn't take any pictures of Camp Curry...too touristy, and hoards of people. Imagine finding an ant hill and poking a stick down the hole a few times then wait thirty seconds. This gives you an idea of all the people milling around Camp Curry. Come summer vacation time and the entire Valley will be that way.
I rode my bicycle across the meadow (on a boardwalk) over to Stoneman Bridge where all us kids hung out back in the early 1960's. I forgot to take a ground view of the bridge as I was so excited to revisit all the old places I enjoyed as a kid. This is the Ahwahnee Bridge upstream and Stoneman Bridge looks exactly the same.
I remember we'd hold the biggest rock we could and try to walk all the way across the river, underwater, without having to let go of the rock and come up for air. A real challenge for me as that water was cold. We'd start here on the beach...
and come out over here. That deep hole was the fun part. It was fun to watch from up here on the bridge.
But it was more fun just to hang out on the bridge itself and jump or dive off into the water.
Hmm...looks like the Park Service has but a stop to that simple pleasure.
I continued on to the other side of the bridge to visit our old campground...
and it was gone! Completely vanished as if it had never existed! I couldn't believe my eyes. Then it came back to me, the Great Flood and the campgrounds that washed away. But I didn't know it was my campground!
Right there, somewhere there just past those trees is where we camped year after year...all gone.
A lump formed in my throat and I wondered if there would be tears.
I turned and looked across the bridge (now on Ahwahnee Bridge I showed above) to view the sandy beach we as kids hung out on when not at Stoneman Bridge. Gone, completely overgrown with trees and grass. My heart sank.
Here was where I kissed my first girl. She was a couple years older than I. She was experienced in making out. I was not. A boy never forgets the first girl he kisses. I came away from that vacation knowing a lot more than I did going in. Thank you Sharon wherever you are.
A young Japanese couple were here when I was taking these pictures. They spoke no English but he made it clear his offer to take a picture of me with my camera. I told him no thank you. I was too gutted. Instead I took a couple pictures of them with their camera and I am sure those photos will mean a lot more to them, remembrances of a happy time in a happy place. I am content with the happy images in my mind, images of another time in a place not like this. Images slowly fading, 50 years on.