Thursday, August 14, 2008

from Yosemite

Happy Birthday Mom! Today we are celebrating my mom's birthday in Yosemite. I love coming up here every year. Its so interesting to see how things vary. Here is my Mom and Dad on their way up the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls.

Dan & I left Monday morning for Yosemite. I drove all the way to Oakdale and then had Dan take over so I could take a nap. My parents & Jenna were waiting for us at the cabin when we arrived. After the long drive and altitude, we were exhausted. We had dinner at the Yosemite Lodge. Everything tastes absolutely wonderful up here.

Tuesday we went for a 5 mile bike ride around Yosemite Valley. We stopped at Curry Village for an ice cream break before lunch. That's how we roll. ;) Jenna, Mom & I went swimming at the Lodge pool. It felt great since the weather has been pushing triple digits.
Had pizza at Degnan's loft for dinner and then rode around on the free shuttle for a while. Why the heck do we do that? The drivers are such great entertainment, when you get that fun story-telling personality. Our driver was telling us to look to the right to see some bucks and to the right to see a bear.

It was standing up on its rear legs when we saw it! Of course we jumped off the bus to run get a closer look of the bear. Park Rangers were on either side of the meadow to make sure people didn't get too close. The ranger told us that there was a mother and her two cubs at an apple tree. We saw a male bear coming over to get apples from the tree. The mother bear got really protective and started rushing the male bear while the cubs ran up the apple tree. It was such an exciting night! I had my camera, but even at 1600ISO, the photos were so incredibly blurry that the bear looked more like a furry blurry bunny. Maybe better luck next time.

Wednesday was hike day, so we all woke up extra early and headed to Happy Isles on the shuttle. We took the Mist Trail up to Vernal Falls bridge and then continued on to the top of Vernal Falls. There was very little water this year in comparison to years past.
The last 1/3 of the mile up to the top of the falls are incredibly steep stairs.
It's called the mist trail because you walk right into the mist from the falling water. This is one spot that you'll be guaranteed to see a rainbow or even a double rainbow as long as there is water!
Looking down at the path that we just came up to reach the top. 3 miles round trip. I've never drank so much water in my life! Jenna & Dan had already reached the top and were waiting for us. Poor Jenna pulled some muscle and she had to use a walking stick (found in nature) on the way back down.
The oasis at the end of the hike is Emerald Pool. It is snow melt run off that feels great. 50 degree water in 100 degree weather.
The water runs down granite rock that is super slippery. A lot of people like to go down the waterslide part of it. My mom went down the smaller one on the left side of the rock. Not many go down the bigger one because its too powerful and there are lots of jagged rocks at the end of it.
Even though I went swimming in the cold water, I was completely dry by the time I finished the hike. I went with my Dad to the Lodge pool to cool off, again. On the bus ride back, we saw the same male bear out in the meadow. My mom got off to try getting better photos while it was still light. By the time she got there, the rangers had scared him back into the apple tree.

This morning I got up early and went on a photo walk. It was so serene and peaceful. I've taken this shot several times but never in the early morning. I was surprised that I didn't see any wildlife. I ended my photo shoot a little early because a photo tour of people came through.

Animals I've seen on this trip as of Thursday morning:
  1. Bears
  2. Deer (dawn, doe, and buck)
  3. Mole
  4. Squirrels
  5. Stellars Jay
  6. Robin
  7. Butterflies


danilouwho said...

Looks like such a cool time! :)

Anonymous said...

How nice to enjoy a visit again to Yosemite through your eyes. My favorite National Park.

aunt virginia

Misty said...

lovin the pictures! glad to see you are having such a great time.

Holly said...

Gorgeous photos! My parents took me there when I was in junior high. But, being an ungrateful teenager that would have rather been back home with friends, I totally didn't appreciate the trip. Looking back on it, of course, I regret it. Glad you had such a lovely time, though. :0)

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