After a great breakfast at Sugar Pine again, we went to the State Park Mining and Mineral Museum and sure enough, Ernie Lazlo Jnr was there to give us a guided tour! They’ve had to remove the gold nugget from display because of all the break-ins in California Museums since the price of gold has shot up. They have a tunnel exhibition in the side of the mountain since it was once an old mine so Ernie explained all the ways of extracting gold.
Arrived at the Ahwanhee at 2pm and were able to check in early. Nice cottage in the grounds and from there we went for a quick walk to Mirror Lake.
Had a quick cuppa and a few biscuits in the Great Hall (free to guests) before leaving for the full moon snow shoe hike at 6.30 at Badger Pass. It was a lovely sunset at Tunnel View and further up the mountain we could see both half dome and the full moon.
After the hike (which we’d done 2 years ago), we hurried back to the hotel and ordered room service since the restaurant closed at 8.30. A great idea as in half an hour we were having onion soup and shared a burger and fries with our own bottle of wine. More reasonable than going to the super expensive restaurant. We then walked over to the hotel bar and had ‘Firefall’ Tequila hot chocolate cocktails and took them to drink by the big fireplace. There was no one around (it was 11pm) and it was great to have the place to ourselves.
On Monday we walked from the hotel to the Lower Yosemite Falls, then across to the chapel and back to the Village.
This weekend the park was full of photographers hoping to catch the yearly ‘Firefall’ effect on Horsetail Falls. At the full moon in February, the sun hits the top of the falls and, if there’s enough water, the effect is like a lava flow down the mountain. Unfortunately there’s not been enough water since Christmas, but we were glad we stopped for half an hour on our way out of the park on Monday to see a reduced effect.