Thursday, August 11, 2016

Yosemite National Park

Unfortunately, our stay in Yosemite National Park was only a tip of the iceberg introduction.  The park is vast and rich in places to explore.  Also, the popularity of this park makes it difficult to get a lot of places as there are often traffic jams and waits for shuttles.  

We got up early the first morning so that we could fit in as much as we could.  The visitors center was our first stop.  There we read about the history of Yosemite and Grace found John Muir, who she has admired and read his essays about the wilderness.

Our first hike was to Yosemite Falls.  The hike is rather short but we scrambled over the rocks to get closer to the Lower Falls.  Once we got up there, we discovered that there was a pool at the bottom and, of course, the children couldn’t resist getting in!  It was so cold!

Harris and Grace are the ones standing on the rock

After we left the Falls, we headed on a hike around the valley.  Unfortunately, this hike turned out to be sort of a dud (a long dud too!).  One of the things we loved discovering however, was the “air conditioned” rock.  As soon as we would pass a grouping of boulders, it was like walking into an air conditioned room!  

We also spent some time exploring the Ansel Adams gallery and the historic Majestic Hotel, formerly the Awanahe.  

Even though it wasn't an amazing hike, we did get a really good view of Half Dome.

We took a side trip to see Bridalveil Falls.  These falls can travel 20 feet in either direction due to the wind!

That evening, we headed to see the iconic view of Yosemite Valley with El Capitan, Half Dome and the Falls.  Again, pictures don’t do it justice as it was truly a sight to behold.  It makes one feel rather small and inconsequential!

The next day, we made the drive to Tuolumne Meadows.  Here are the alpine meadows in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  The drive was long but pleasant and once there we were able to have a lovely picnic by the Tuolumne River.  We also spent time hiking through the meadows.

Once back in the Valley, we went to dinner in the Majestic Lodge.  They have a dress code here of collared shirts for men and no jeans.  After a day of hiking, we had to change our clothes in the car and hope that we looked presentable!

While in Yosemite, the new Harry Potter book was released.  Full props go to Bryce who drove us to a midnight release so that we could get our hands on the newest installment (not a novel but a play) even though it wasn’t quick or easy.

Next stop... Redwoods National and State Park

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