Volume 10, Number 3, Sept 1988, pp.1-2

President's Letter

by Rosamond Westmoreland

The 1988 annual meeting will be held November 5-8 in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in eastern California. The park covers an enormous tract of land set aside by Congress in 1890 and encompasses three kinds of terrain: alpine wilderness, where the elevation ranges from 7,000 to 13,000 feet; Giant Sequoia forests which have endured for thousands of years; and Yosemite Valley, which is possibly the best-known example of a canyon created by a glacier and is characterized by sheer walls of granite and a flat floor. Around the perimeter of the Valley are the waterfalls and the famous peaks: Half Dome, El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks. The 200 miles of road within the park give access to all of these areas, but the real experience of Yosemite must be on foot. John Muir best describes the grandeur of this majestic treasure: "Never before have I seen so glorious a landscape, so boundless an affluence of sublime mountain beauty...The noble walls sculptured into endless variety of domes and gables, spires and battlements and plain mural precipices--all a-tremble with the thunder tones of the falling water." It is my hope that we will all find refreshing this unique opportunity to share our mutual interests and good company in a spectacular and inspiring setting.

I suggest trying to arrive as early as possible on Saturday even though you may not have access to your room or cabin until around 3 p.m. Among other things to see, we plan to have walking tours led by the staff of Yosemite Institute; they are trained to help you explore the various natural phenomena in the park. Other activities include ice skating (the only outdoor rink in California, and it rents skates), horseback riding, and hiking or bicycling (there are eight miles of bikeway in the Valley). A little time spent in the Valley Visitor Center with its orientation slide show, full set of trail maps, and up-to-the- minute weather conditions will give you lots of ideas for a memorable day. It is open daily from 9:00 to 5:00. Two telephone numbers which might be useful are:
WEATHER AND ROAD INFO. (209) 372-4605
GENERAL PARK INFO. (209) 372-0264

Our accommodations will be in Yosemite Valley, in both Curry Village and Yosemite Lodge. Meals are available in the Yosemite Lodge in several choices of restaurants. The Banquet on Monday evening will be in the Solarium of the Ahwahnee Hotel. A National Historic Landmark, the hotel opened in 1927 and immediately received acclaim as a masterful design. Dress code in the dining room requires men to wear a jacket, although this won't be necessary in the Solarium. All of these areas are served by the complimentary Yosemite Valley Shuttle Bus, which circles the valley approximately every 15 minutes. Bring a flashlight, and some good walking shoes.

There are several ways of reaching the Park. It is located approximately 194 miles southeast of San Francisco via Manteca and Oakdale; it is 312 miles northeast of Los Angeles via Fresno. Other travel facts which may be helpful: Airlines serving Fresno (many with direct connections to San Francisco and Los Angeles): AMERICAN EAGLE; PSA; DELTA; UNITED; CONTINENTAL; and SKYWEST.

It is probably the case that flying into Fresno would be an expensive way to get there; renting a car in San Francisco would be a much better alternative. However, if you have a limited amount of time in which to travel here are some car rental agencies in Fresno:
AVIS (800) 331-1212 or (209) 251-5001 NATIONAL (800) 328-4567 or (209) 251-5577
HERTZ (800) 654-3131 or (209) 251-5055
BUDGET (209) 252-5515

I would also like to mention that Tuesday, November 8 the meeting is over at noon; if you are unsure about reaching your home before the election polls close, call now for an absentee ballot to be sent to you.

I hope to see all of you in November.

Rosamond Westmoreland
President, WAAC

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