I was tired, sore and hungry when I pulled into Yosemite Bug a few hours after finishing the Shadow of the Giants 50K. The drive to Middlepine – “The pride of Mariposa,” population 900 – was absolutely beautiful. The state highways and country roads wound west through small mountain towns and occasionally offered views of the pine-covered valley to the south.
Yosemite Bug’s “rustic mountain resort” is a collection of cabins surrounding a café and spa community area. I wasn’t expecting much when I pulled up in front of the small office, just a real bed to sleep in after a long race and a bunk bed the night before.
I had reserved a private room with a private bath for $105 (rates range from $75 to $35), though there are also more basic accommodations for less: private rooms with shared bathrooms for $65 to $85, tent cabins for $35 to $55, and hostel-style dorms for $23 ($20 for Hostelling International members) with shared bathrooms and access to a hostel kitchen. There’s also guesthouse that can sleep up to 8 people for $205 to $255 per night ($10 for each extra guest).
The staff was friendly and efficient, and every flat office surface was covered with guides to the area and local products for sale. As I walked to my room (Liberty A), more resort staff were carefully sweeping the decks of the cabins. (Each room has deck access with table and chairs.) The room turned out to be much nicer than I anticipated. It was painted in a soothing dark green with quirky and charming décor touches -- an antique typewriter on a desk, an armoire with a full set of the Encyclopedia Britannica, furniture that looked like it was chosen by an estate-sale connoisseur with a good eye.
Yosemite Bug owners also have a penchant for the pedagogical poster. The room had several ecological reminders not only asking guests to conserve water but explaining why. (They have their own water source 200 feet down; they want to keep it healthy. Plus, their septic and water systems use much of the resort’s electricity – conserving water saves energy as well.) I appreciate the deeper approach and the thoughtful eco-accoutrements, such as the soaps and shampoos in permanent dispensers in the shower.
The real draw of the destination is the extensive outdoor activities in their backyard, but what makes Yosemite Bug extra special are the bonuses not usually available at budget-level resorts: a café with a great menu and a fully functioning spa with treatments and fitness classes.
Come back tomorrow, so I can tell you about my experience at Yosemite Bug’s spa.