Last weekend Kathy and I spent a day hiking (and biking) around Yosemite Valley. It was a great time to visit the park. The heavy traffic of the summer months was gone, and although there were still many visitors, it wasn't crowded. I don't normally go out of my way to visit national parks because it isn't possible to collect insects without a permit (and permits are usually not worth the trouble getting). But Yosemite Valley can't be avoided indefinitely - especially if you live only a couple of hours away.