Merced River in Spring

It’s early morning in chilly El Portal, and I have a stunning view of the mighty Merced River showing off its bountiful spring runoff. The thundering roar of the river is pleasantly deafening and comforting as I contemplate the day ahead. Our second title, Berto, Yosemite’s Rock-Lovin’ Bear was recently published, and I’m here to sell books.

The first sales call of the day is at our hotel, The Yosemite View Lodge. The hotel has an expansive, mountain-themed gift shop, which is enticingly staged for Yosemite souvenir seekers. Unfortunately, the manager wasn’t available, so we left a book sample with the assistant manager, and then headed for stop number two—The California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa.

California Mining and Mineral Museum

If our rock-lovin’ bear hadn’t come into the world, I never would have known about this gem of a museum. The mineral exhibits offer a dazzling display of fascinating and eye-popping earthly goodies! I indulged in exploring this treasure trove of sparkly specimens while the park ranger reviewed our book. I was as excited and mesmerized by the crystal displays as the local school kids, who were enjoying an end-of-the-year field trip.

Malachite Sample California Mining and Mineral Museum

If your kids are pocket rock hoarders, or if they’re studying earth science in school, bring them here! The park even has a mining tunnel, so kids can gain a better understanding of the excavation process. Kids will leave this park with a better understanding of what lurks inside California’s golden crust.

Mariposa History Museum

And what about our sales in Mariposa County? Well, at the end of the day, Berto was purchased by the California Mining & Mineral Museum, the Mariposa History Museum, and in downtown Mariposa at Yosemite Gifts—all rock-lovin’ homes.  Now we can go home, too.