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I Used a Scooter to Hike Yosemite—and Came Face to Face With a Bear

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  • I Used a Scooter to Hike Yosemite—and Came Face to Face With a Bear

    For once it wasn't me! -D

    Normally, you back slowly away from these beasts, especially if it’s a mama with cubs. On a scooter, I didn’t have that option.
    Francine Falk-Allen

    Updated Jul. 06, 2021 4:15PM ET / Published Jul. 05, 2021 1:25AM ET The majesty of Yosemite Valley in eastern central California has beckoned me nearly every summer for decades. My husband, Richard, and I have made the long, winding drive from Marin County, across the Central Valley, and up into the hills and down again, to hang out with friends by the lazy Tuolomne River, surrounded by trees, and gaze at the valley’s astounding glacier-cut granite. I have found that it’s a very accommodating National Park for a person with a wheelchair, scooter, or even walking difficulty.

    For 25 years, until I was about 65, I “car camped” annually at Housekeeping Camp in Yosemite Valley, right on the riverbank, with a large group of friends. Richard joined me when I was in my forties, while we were dating. We began staying at Yosemite Lodge in the Valley in 2012, because as a polio survivor with a mostly paralyzed leg, camping just became too difficult as I aged. The Lodge costs twice as much as camping, but it’s great to have a bathroom in your room, a lot of electrical outlets, and a better mattress. I don’t miss traipsing to the communal toilets in the dark or using my, ahem, makeshift arrangement in the tent, though I do miss waking up outside near our friends and sharing a quiet cuppa in the mornings.

    Dave Bexfield