We took a little break this weekend. A break from storytelling, blogging, tweeting and we updated Facebook just once. It was intentional and the fact that the cell phones had poor service just helped the cause. We are so glad we were able to do that, unplug ourselves and surrender to nature. A last minute trip is always more exciting. The ladies here did just that. We packed our bags on little notice and off we went to MammothMountains and Tioga Pass near the North entrance of Yosemite National Park
Tioga Pass – The road in the picture is snow covered and closed in the winters.
A road trip in the hot summer, that too in the desert or the Sierra Nevada’s is not pleasant.  But once up there, the breathtaking views, the clear lakes, the quietness, the wilderness and the serenity of it all took over all the exhaustion from being on road. The kids who have fun together no matter where we are, enjoyed doing what they do best. Finding little things to keep themselves happy. They hiked in the woods, dipped in the lakes, had a pebble throw match in the lake, ran after a squirrel, got wet in the sprinklers, ate Veggie chips and water for lunch one day and made Maggi (the infamous Indian noodle) for us another day. 
The pebble throwing match – Look who’s got further !
We did not have any planned activities or things to do for them, which is the case always. And because we are like that by nature and they know it too well, they explore and figure things to do. That is how most of our childhood was. We explored and found things to do and as a result we were never “bored”.  So the children made daisy chains of flowers instead of rainbow looms, discussed why butterflies had so many colors, what to do if lions or bears were to attack them in the woods and many other things that were either “cool” or “awesome”. 
Our guides, trail finders for the hikes
Soumi spent a considerable amount of time behind the camera and that is the reason why you see beautiful pictures in today’s post. As for me, I did nothing but soaked it all up. It is not every day that you are on a clear lake at 9945 ft surrounded by the Sierras and the pine trees, the clouds kissing the mountain peaks and the white of the mountain peaks glistening in the sun.  I missed having a book though. Of the several lakes that are recommended, we spent time at none of them. We stopped at a lake out of nowhere because we simply wanted to get out of the car. We walked through a campground and reached this view. Priceless ! 
 This trip reminds me of a childhood trip that I made to Mirik, a town with a lake, nestled in the hills of Darjeeling in India. It was not a popular tourist destination then. We had driven there with our close family friends in adverse weather, amidst rain and thunderstorm. The view from the driver’s seat was limited to the front of the car. As a child, that adventure, driving with no visibility on winding roads, the picturesque small town and having nothing to do but enjoy nature has stayed on with me even two decades later. I hope our trip to Mammoth and Tioga Pass remains etched in our children’s memory in a similar way.
Make a trip to a national park or go on a camping trip with your kids this summer. You will be surprised that they will enjoy it as much as Disney land. 
The woods are lovely dark and deep. But I have promises to keep. 
And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. 
~Robert Frost. 

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