Friday, October 28, 2011

Yosemite - Mariposa Grove, Glacier Point, and the Yosemite Valley

We visited the most visited parts of Yosemite as a day trip from the Escapees Park in Coarsegold.  Although only 20-something miles from the entrance, those are hard miles to drive, and it's another 30 miles to really be in the park, so it was another day with a lot of driving. Not only that, but we had originally planned to have a few down days before traipsing back.  Nonetheless, we hadn't planned on the Escapee Park being full with no guarantees of anything opening up, so we decided to go ahead and just do it, in case we needed to move on.

We started with Mariposa Grove. It was cold, but the giant sequoias were spectacular.  Despite an early start, we were still sharing the trails with a tour bus, but it was a great, educational little hike.  Someone asked us why our kids weren't in school; my response was that they ARE in school. :)  We would've liked to hike further, but we knew this was our final day in Yosemite, so we needed to be conscious of time.

The first time you see one, you think you are in Narnia 
This one fell in the 1700's
It was a chilly 38 degrees, but the rich oxygen felt great
This hole was cut around a hundred years ago; the tree is still alive.
Bachelor and three tree girlfriends
As big as they are, the Sequoias aren't the tallest trees.
We then drove up to Glacier Point. Wow...what a spectacular view!  We hung out here for a while taking in the view.

This could be the best view I ever see in my life
The view is better with her
The view from Washburn point along the Glacier Point road.

We finally ended up in the Valley, getting Junior Ranger materials and completing them before the visitor center closed.  One of the requirements was a visit to the cultural center; the Native American Ranger Ben that is there is a pretty cool guy!  He showed the kids lots of cool string tricks, and he answered the question about what the word "Yosemite" means with a rather fascinating story.  It turns out that the word means "Some among us are killers."  No wonder it's not widely advertised!

El Capitan from the valley floor
Yosemite Falls, still flowing but very small in late October
Half Dome from the valley floor a half hour before sundown
Tunnel view, El Capitan on the left, Glacier Point on the right.
By now, the sun was getting low in the sky, and we needed to make haste to see what we wanted to see before leaving.  We decided to do the short half mile hike to Bridal Veil Falls, our third Bridal Veil Falls so far this trip.  Although the falls were indeed pretty, the real highlight was the couple we met on the trail.  Ron, a 71 year-old gem, captivated our children in short order, and in the short time they were together, he imparted much life wisdom, regarding the importance of putting God first in your life, daily devotionals, and the like.  They clambered up on a rock, and he scampered up with them, and they were all eyes and ears.  When we left as it was nearly dark, Alyssa said it was the best part of her day and that she wished they could've stayed and listened to him much longer!  Genna was bummed about needing to hold hands to cross the parking lot, so he asked her to personally escort him and keep him safe; she was delighted to oblige! His parting to them was, "If I don't see you again on this earth, I'll see you in heaven!"  Our kids couldn't be more excited about meeting up with him again!
Bridal Veil Falls
I wish we had more time to spend with Ron

1 comment:

juliana juan said...

If you are in Yosemite you must go to Glacier Point. Day one was spent on the valley floor, fantastic. Day 2 we went up to Glacier Point some 3000 foot above the valley floor with what seemed almost vertical views down as well as the most spectacular views of Half Dome. After my canada guided tours niagara falls, I enjoyed here a lot.