Judy Shares Her Yosemite

In From the Mailbag

I got an email this morning from Judy asking about flying into Merced on Great Lakes Aviation. Honestly, I’ve never heard of Great Lakes nor was I aware Merced had commuter flights coming in. But it wasn’t that that spurred me to post, it was the second email I received from Judy that has a great backstory to it.

I thought I might try them in May when an old friend from Stockton is meeting me so we can spend my 70th birthday in Yosemite. I first visited in 1965, – my 25th birthday- soon after I came to the US and I was bowled over by the view at Gates of the Valley when we drove in from Sacramento. Little did I know it would become the magnet to draw my husband and me back year after year, mostly to the High Country. We were even married by Judge Pitts on the bridge early on the summer solstice. Pierrre passed away last month and so I am making pilgrimages there as often as possible this year to scatter his ashes and remember the wonderful times.

The finale will be Christmas Day at the Bracebridge with three wonderful women who gave us so much support especially this past year, as I was a caregiver for ten years, though only intensely this past year. He would have been 93 next week. He loved us all! A true Frenchman. Rona is coming from Seattle – also widowed and turning 65 a week or so earlier, Jane, my cousin, from London who is up for adventures(She did the Trans Siberian Railway to China when she retired) and Dyanne, an old neighbor, who survived raising two difficult teens when she was my neighbor but never moaned! We had people donate to the Yosemite Fund in his memory.

I was just a bit dubious of Amtrak at Christmas because of weather and the possibility of a storm closing the Grapevine so we would not get over in the bus. Have never ridden the rails but I have read the forum onTrip Advisor a while back of people from Irvine taking the train. I could drive, but it is a long way, and I was remembering tule fogs, too, and thinking do I need that!

I have ridden in tiny planes in the old days when flying into Anguilla BWI from San Juan PR and thinking they were held together with band aids and paperclips, figuratively speaking!

Let me know if you hear anything or if you ever have a chance to mention this in your blog. It seems so ridiculous the flights from here to Yosemite are not better. Years ago we flew direct to Fresno , rented a car and spent 36 hours seeing the sights with cousins who had a two day layover in LA en route to New Zealand in the days of Laker Airways.

Thank you Judy for the great emails. I love your stories.

Hopefully someone has flown on Great Lakes Aviation and can help us out.

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