Photos by: Brian Sturkie, Christine Boughton, Nancy Perata and Don Chaisson.
It seems that our “annual” Drive/Stay in Yosemite is getting better and better each year. This year we “stayed” at the Tenaya Lodge at the West Entrance to Yosemite NP. The 2021 event was a three day, two night affair with 16 couples attending.
We rallyed at Smokey’s Grill in Modesto at “noon”. Several members got there a bit early to have a quick lunch before the “drive” to Tenaya Lodge. This year’s “tourmeister” promised some “new” roads over the 126 mile transit to the Lodge. Leaving Modesto was an exercise in patience through the series of traffic lights on Claribel Road until we got into “the country”. Driving through orchards we ended on La Grange Road (aka J59) to Snell. Things got interesting with a left turn onto Merced Falls Road, then Hornitos Road and then Bear Valley Road. The roads were entertaining and generally well paved. The rest stop in Maraposa provided time to stretch one’s legs and visit the “services” before heading back out on CA140/49 and a jog onto Triangle Road before the final stretch on CA41 and up the mountain to Tenaya Lodge.
Tanaya Lodge had a “reserved” parking area for all our cars, just adjacent to the lodge itself. Folks tended to respect the club’s space but over the next couple days, a few “non members” got in our line.. So one of our members returned the favor and parked in “their” Tesla charging station for a couple hours!!
After checking into our rooms and relaxing for a bit, we assembled in “our” dining room for the evening’s meal. Members used the no-host bar provided though the corkage fee was very “reasonable” — $0 but healthy “tip”! There were two options for the main entree, my wife and I enjoyed the New York Steak — very generous portions. A bit of after dinner “fun” was scoring the “Navigator’s Challenge” for the drive where the Navigators were looking for various “land marks” along the route. The Challenge was too easy, it seemed, since 6 navigators got all landmarks correct. We had a tie breaker prepared though, ” I’m thinking of a number between 0 and 1000″. One answer was “7” for Zone 7, wrong, another the too easy “911”, wrong, another “718” — close but wrong. I mean they were watching the tourmeister’s Racing Yellow 981 all day, but no one picked this correct answer! Level two tie-breaker was who got closest to the “right” answer, 911…of course. The prize, a nice bottle of Calaveras wine from Four Winds Winery.
So, Day 1 was a great start to the event!
After a generous, platted breakfast, we assembled for the usual and required safety and directions briefing. For the first time in a Yosemite event, we offered “two” different drives for the day — similar to the national Treffen events!
The first drive option was a moderatly short drive, but an epic destination: Glacier Point. The road to Glacier had just opened two weeks earlier — and will be closed all 2022 for road re-construction. So, this drive was well attended. Our region sort of took over the ranger entrance, queing up on BOTH entrance lanes. The road really was in good shape though the last part was “narrow” and “shoulder-less”. The views, on the other hand, were nothing short of spectacular.
The second drive option was named “The Bass Lake Loop” but was much more than that. We took a long and brisk drive though the backroads of Fresno county. Starting off going “down the hill” we turned off toward Bass Lake before entering Oakhurst. After going through North Fork, we turned off onto Auberry Road — where things got interesting. We continued on Powerhouse Road past Kerchhoff lake and continued to the lower elevation rolling foothills, ending at Eagle Springs Golf Course for lunch. The “tourmeister” knows were all the golf courses are it seems. Then back on the road, gaining elevation to the west side of Bass Lake before the return leg on CA41 back to Tanaya Lodge.
The meal service for Day 2 was as good as our first dinner at the Lodge.
Master of ceremonies, President Sturkie, addressed the gathering, thanking everyone for attending, etc. Then he presented a number of “Secret Awards”. The first “secret award” was for the best “Air Cooled/Classic car”. The award went to Bud Travaille for his early model Targa. And by the way, Bud did not hold anyone up on the drives — lets just say “quick”. Brian presented Bud with a lovely glass beer stein, etched with the Yosemite Logo and “2021 Yosemite Overnight.
The second award was for the “First Time Participant for a Yosemite Overnight Event“. That award went to Gary and Nancy Perata and was presented with the glass beer stein award.
The third award was for the “First and Last Time Participant for a Yosemite Overnight Event”. This unique award went to Anthony and Mercedes Vierra, our Membership Chair. As it turned out, this was their first time at an overnight event, but, since they are moving to Idaho, it was his last Yosemite event, period! Brian thanked Anthony for his contributions over the years, wished him well and gave him his glass beer stein, etched with the Yosemite Logo, etc. The board will miss Anthony’s good humor, his on target insight to issues and his passion for Porsche. Brian then introduced Gary Loudermilk as the region’s Membership Chair. Please welcome Gary to his new position at the next event you cross trails at!
A final “Secret Award” was a surprise. Brian awarded Don Chaisson (your tourmeister and author of his report) a glass beer stein for being “his” Right Hand Man. It was a surprise since I worked with Brian on the “award” program!
Day 3 started with a light breakfast in a bag — it was check-out day.
I can’t report on how everyone got home, but, for “Don and Diane”, the stories of Glacier Point were too enticing. After missing that drive (I was leader of the Bass Lake Loop Drive), we decieded to go home back through the park and detoured to Glacier Point. The views were as stunning as everyone else had reported.-So, that was the Yosemite Drive and Stay Event for 2021. Thanks to everyone who attended and the board for their organization and vision for a memorable event. If you missed this event, just maybe there will be “another” Yosemite Drive and Stay in coming year/years. Don’t miss it when it comes around again!