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Our bro Jaunted is pulling back the curtain on Yosemite's 150th Anniversary this week, diving into the park's history and showing off some of its natural wonders, such as a waterfall that becomes a "firefall" for two weeks during February.
The winter months have their charm in Yosemite, but that said, spring, summer, and fall are without question the times of year when you can fully enjoy the outdoors. In celebration of its birthday, Yosemite has put together a package that will run at four park hotels from April 1st to September 30th.
A few winters ago, we got to go wine and dine during The Ahwahnee’s Chefs’ Holidays. We’d lived in California for nearly a decade and had never made it to Yosemite National Park. Although food and wine is a major motivator to get us to any destination, the prospect of experiencing one of the country’s greatest parks sans the thongs of summer tourists sounded way appealing. It was and now, we’re convinced that Yosemite National Park may be one of the best all-season, outdoor destinations in California.
So, we’re pretty psyched that The Ahwahnee just announced its 2009 season lineup for its Vintners’ Holiday (the wine-centric version of the Chefs’ Holiday) and we’re scheming ways to get in on the grape-fueled action.
The historic Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park may be unsafe in an earthquake, park officials have concluded. According to the Associated Press, a study revealed the hotel "does not meet modern seismic safety standards and risks partial collapse in a major earthquake." Yikes.
Built in 1927, the structure with reinforced-concrete walls may not be strong enough to keep guests safe during a large tremor.
Per the AP:
"Because of the localized structural failures, there is the potential for the loss of human lives," said the study by URS Corp., an engineering and construction company. "The extensive damage that is expected will likely cause the building to be evacuated after such an earthquake."
The retrofit options the consultants proposed would cost between $17.9 and $22.3 million, and would require the hotel to be left empty for two years. Park officials did not say Thursday whether they planned to follow those recommendations, but said the latest cost estimate for the project was in the $20 million range.
Guess what? There are more fires in California today. Ugh, just when we were getting over the devastating Big Sur Fire, another one has flared up.
If you're headed to Yosemite National Park shortly, you may want to rethink your trip. Or at least bring along a smoke mask. SF Chronicle reports that the Telegraph Fire has already destroyed 26,000 acres in rugged canyons 12 miles west of Yosemite, along with 12 homes and is set to get worse as the dry weather continues this week.
Thinking of camping in Yosemite this summer but just can't give up the idea of a comfortable bed to sleep in? The LA Times just had a feature on accommodation in and near the park, and the Wawona Hotel was one of the places they mentioned. It's the oldest hotel in Yosemite and looks pretty grand--it's even classified as a National Historic Landmark.