Monday, February 22, 1999

From Dewey Point on South edge of Yosemite Valley opposite of El Capitan.

Can you find Half Dome?

Dear Steven, Grandy, Pappy, Grandmother, and Granddaddy,

I'm sorry that I didn't get a letter in the mail before we left for Yosemite, but I will get one written today. Steve has taken our film into work to get processed, so maybe we can include a couple of pictures before we get this in the mail.

We still are battling this feverish cold, but I think we may finally be on the road to recovery. Steven, I am sorry to hear that you have a cold, too. I'm glad that you were able to get a lot of rest during the weekend. I hope that it won't slow you down too much this week since I know that you have a lot of tests and papers due.

David and I are well now. Michael missed two days of school the week before we left for Yosemite, but he went back before he probably should have so that he wouldn't miss too much school. He also wanted to be eligible to wrestle in the league finals on that Friday. He was so weak, though, that he didn't last long. He lost his first match on points in overtime, and he was pinned in his second match. I took five boys home after the meet, and I was scared to breathe because they were all sick and coughing and wheezing. None of the team did very well because this cold and the flu had swept the team during that week. I don't think the varsity team did very well the next week for the same reason. Michael has a residual cough, but is essentially well now.

Steve, however, is a different story. He came home from LA sick and discouraged. He fought a good battle but lost the final vote in the connector war. He wasn't expecting to win when he went, but he came so close that he was really disappointed when the final count was taken. It turned out that at least two companies voted against his position by mistake, but it is too late now. They could have made the difference, though. In the meantime, he came down with a fever and "the cold." We waited until Saturday afternoon to leave for Yosemite to see if Steve's fever was gone. We thought it was, but he continued to run a low-grade fever off and on during the week, and he felt worse each day. He stayed in the room two days and only went skiing for half a day on the other three days. He went to the doctor Saturday after we returned home and found that he had a bronchial infection. He is on antibiotics now and is slowly getting better. He went in to work today, but he may come home early if he gets a coughing fit because he thinks the people around him will rebel against the germs if he stays (and rightfully so!).

We had a great time in Yosemite--at least all of us did but Steve. The weather was beautiful most days, and the temperature was relatively mild. There was no snow in the valley this year, but of course, Yosemite is beautiful regardless of the conditions. Five families were there during the first of the week: our family, Cathy and Michael Kalisvaart (Maarten was in Holland), the Allens, the Evanses (friends of the Allens), and the Olivers (friends from scouts). The Olivers left Monday evening, the Evans family left Tuesday, and the Allens left Wednesday. The Kalisvaarts and we stayed until Friday.

The children all did downhill skiing all week and had a great time. They tended to group and regroup and always seemed to have someone to ski with if they wanted to. Most of the women like to go cross-country, so we had a wonderful time doing our own thing. We tried to ski on Sunday and found the snow to be too icy, so Monday and Tuesday, we did snowshoe hiking. We went out to Dewey Point on Monday and were rewarded with a beautiful view of the valley and the surrounding landmarks (El Capitan, Half Dome, Cathedral Rock, etc.). We took our lunch with us each day so that we could go farther, and that worked very well. We ended up hiking or skiing six to eight miles each day, so needless to say, we were exhausted every night. Even the children didn't complain when we said that it was bedtime at 8:00. We had a big snowfall Tuesday night, so we went out on skis on Wednesday and had a wonderful time. We thought we were such good skiers that we tried some harder trails on Thursday, but the snow was icy again, so we ended up taking our skis off and hiking down a couple of "big" hills.

I'm afraid that we set a bad precedent this year. We ate at the Mountain Room all but two nights. We really miss the Four Seasons restaurant, which offered sit-down service at a reasonable cost. The Mountain Room is a very nice restaurant, but it does cost a lot more. For Valentine's Day, the adults ate at the Mountain Room for a special meal while the children took the shuttle to Curry Village for pizza. We may try that again next year at least once.

We were able to get another room reservation for Grandmother and Granddaddy quite easily. If anyone else is interested, let me know, and I will be happy to take care of it. Steven, I wish you could come again. We really missed you!

Steven, I have been forgetting to tell you several things. First, we received congratulatory letters from Dianne Feinstein and Al Gore for your attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. The governor's acknowledgement is the only one we requested that we haven't received yet. Not bad! Also, I wondered if Nina called you. She called us after she got back to Yale and said that she had just received her invitation and was very sorry that she missed the ceremony. We gave her your number and were wondering if she talked to you. Finally, I meant to ask you how many cookies you have left. Is it time to send more?

Mother, I am mailing you birthday present today. I hope you get it on time and that you have a good day on your birthday. We will be thinking of you.


Margaret Ann's Snowshoe Partners