Monday, May 26, 2008

Yosemite National Park Part I

For our family vacation we decided to visit Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, 17 Mile Drive and the Pacific Coast Highway. We spent the first 2 days at Yosemite. Before coming to California our pastor, a CA native, told us we should visit Yosemite. He said it was one of the most beautiful places he had ever seen. We agree. Words, and even pictures, can not accurately portray Yosemite's beauty. It must be experienced to be fully appreciated, however I hope you can get an idea of how beautiful it was from our pictures.

Our first stop was Bridalveil Falls. We were able to walk a short distance to the base of the falls. May is peak waterfall season in the park. (By mid July the waterfalls are almost dry. ) We were not able to stand at the base very long. The water pounding onto the rocks created an incredible amount of spray.

This is the view of Bridalveil from the parking area. This was actually the best view. Standing at the base of the fall you lose perspective of how high it is.

This picture was taken the second day of our trip. You can see Emily is catching Bridalveil in the palm of her hand!

After leaving Bridalveil we passed El Capitan. It is the tallest granite monolith in the world and a popular rock climbing site. It takes several days for climbers to reach the top. I read that climbers sleep in sleeping bags suspended from the side of the rock. Unfortunately, we did not see any climbers while we were there.

Yosemite Falls is the second highest waterfall in the world. It consists of an upper and lower falls. While walking the path to Yosemite Falls, we could hear the roar of the water. As we approached the base, the temperature dropped twenty degrees and the wind almost blew Brian's hat off his head. This was one of our favorite places in Yosemite.

The upper falls

The lower falls

We were unable to take advantage of most of the hiking trails due to the ages of our children, however we did hike to mirror lake. The hike was a little over a mile, one way. Unfortunately it was cloudy when we arrived, therefore the lake did not reflect a "mirror" image. The trail followed a stream though, so we enjoyed the journey more than the destination. (Except for the fact that I was carrying Andrew. We later realized we could have used the stroller!)

Mirror Lake

I am a North Carolina native. North Carolina's state tree is the dogwood. I have missed seeing the dogwoods bloom this spring. I was surprised to see them in Yosemite. The blooms on the trees there seemed much larger to me than the ones back in NC. I've read dogwoods do best under tall evergreens in filtered sunlight. Perhaps that is why they seem to thrive in Yosemite.

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