Well, it’s been 3 weeks since coming out to California and my, oh my, has it been a whirlwind! So much has happened since coming out here and I’m going to try to touch on it all without making this post so incredibly long. It may take 2-3 posts to get it all but oh, the memories are something never to be forgotten.
I knew when I came out to California that there was so many things I wanted to do, see, explore and accomplish – I just didn’t know where I wanted to start. So the first weekend I was here, I decided to just go for it and I booked a tour for Yosemite National Park. I chose Yosemite first because it’s getting close to the time of the year where a lot of the roads to higher elevations are about to be closed because of snowfall. I really wanted to be able to get the full view so I knew I had to act fast before I lost my chance for this season. I was already missing out on seeing a lot of the Giant Sequoias at Maraposa because that part of the park was closed for restoration.
So, I woke up bright and early at 5 am and set out on a new adventure. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not typically excited for the mountains and all they have to offer – I’m much more of a sands and water gal but I was truly excited to experience Yosemite.
The tour guide I had was great and provided a lot of good insight to the area – he has been a guide for over 26-27 years. He even let me ride up front with him when a sneaky headache started (and I didn’t want it to turn into something much worse, out in the middle of nowhere).
First stop our group made was at the Big Trees Lodge and Wawona Hotel. It was an absolute gorgeous start to the day that would only get better from there.
After seeing the lodge and hotel, we got to the really good stuff. First stop, Tunnel View. For those who haven’t been to Yosemite, Tunnel View gives you basically an overlook of Yosemite Valley and a glimpse of the famous landmarks the park is known for. El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridal Veil Falls to name a few.
Our next stop was at Bridal Veil Falls. When I booked the tour, I wasn’t expecting to see any of the waterfalls because it was already late October and they hadn’t had a lot of snowfall yet. A few of my patients said that I probably wouldn’t see anything but that I should still go and maybe I could come back in the spring when the water was really flowing. But, to my surprise, I got to see 5 of the different waterfalls that day. Granted, it wasn’t as big and flowing as it would be in the Spring, but for October, it was still something pretty special.
After Bridal Veil, we went to see one of the most famous parts of the park – El Capitan and Yosemite Falls. Again, surprisingly, all three levels of Yosemite Falls – upper, middle and lower – were flowing that day.
Before this tour, I never really had the desire to make a specific trip to Yosemite but I had always heard of El Capitan and how magnificent it was in person. I was excited to be able to see it and experience that for myself!
We were able to watch some climbers scale the face of El Capitan. There are people that climb this massive formation with little to no equipment – crazy!!
After spending some time at the Falls and El Capitan while in the Valley, we had some lunch at the Majestic – formerly called the Ahwahnee.
Next came a look at Half Dome after we finished lunch at the Majestic. It’s amazing what nature can form and evolve.
Last but definitely not least, we made it to the top – Glacier Point. This elevation was definitely not for the faint of heart but it offered some of the best views including two more waterfalls – Nevada Falls and Vernal Falls.
The Sierra Nevada mountain range is something special. I’ve quickly grown accustomed to see this mountain range in the distance as I drive to work in the morning and head home at night. There’s a certain comfort in having that view everyday.
All in all, my day at Yosemite was more than I ever could’ve imagined. I’m always looking for things to mark off of my list to do or see and this is one that EVERYONE should experience! It’s amazing to see how things have grown and evolved over the past thousands and millions of years because of nature and that continue to help shape the landscape around us even today.
I will hopefully be able to go back one day during the Spring to see the Falls in all of their glory after a snowy winter. If you ever get the chance to go, even if you’re not a nature person, take it. Experience it and make memories that you won’t be able to make anywhere else in this country or the world.