Rick was privileged to use his senior pass for the first time last week—to enter Yosemite National Park! Our Sacramento kids have fallen in love with Yosemite over the past several years and invited us to enjoy a hiking/camping weekend with them this summer. We have never traveled to Yosemite—well, Rick had been there as a little kid but didn’t really have much memory of it—so we were really excited about seeing this place we had only viewed in photographs.
Well, pictures are lovely, but even the largest is too small to capture the grandeur of Yosemite. I ran out of superlative adjectives in about 30 seconds and finally, all I could exclaim was “Wow! Wow! Wow!” From now on, when attempting to describe something magnificently huge, I may have to employ the term “Yosemite-sized”.
In the photo above, the gentleman at the lower left and his wife were sitting in lawn chairs watching two climbers who were very near the top of El Cap. These two generously shared the view through their large binoculars (on tripod). Couldn’t see the climbers with the naked eye, but it was heart-stopping to look through the glasses and watch them working their way up the last pitch! They had probably been on the face of that granite monolith for 3 days, the man told us, and were, no doubt, eager to reach the top at this point.
We journeyed on to Lower Yosemite Falls, one of several breathtaking waterfalls we would see in the next 24 hours. Here, we hiked over some boulders to get a closer look than the footbridge affords.
The next morning we set out on the Panorama Trail, a day hike from high up on Glacier Point to Happy Isles on the valley floor. Here is our crew, all eager to get on the trail—with Half Dome in the background.
At the end of the day, the My Tracks app on my phone recorded 10.71 miles, but I forgot to turn it off until we were already in the car and moving, so I think it was about 10.5 miles, with a drop in elevation from just over 7000′ to about 3000′. We enjoyed panoramic vistas of many of Yosemite’s landmarks: Half Dome, Liberty Cap and Glacier Point, as well as Ilillouette Falls, Nevada Fall and our descent along Vernal Fall via the Mist Trail.
So much diverse beauty along the way, but toward the end I stopped taking pictures to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. We were all tired and happy when we reached our campsite, and I was glad I wasn’t the only one with a few sore muscles the next day! Wonderful weekend! Thank you, kids!