We were really fortunate to receive really good rainfall this winter in California. It occurred to us recently that this fact probably meant that the waterfalls were running at Yosemite. We are truly fortunate because Yosemite is about 3 1/2 hours from us. Yosemite is one of the most spectacular places on earth. It was as if the mountains truly were calling to us, and given that the tourist season is about to engage at Yosemite, leading to huge crowds, we decided to beat the rush and had a somewhat short notice quick trip up this past weekend.
The National Park Service is celebrating their centennial, so it was free when we went, although I would have been happy to pay the minimal fee to help support the park. (I think it is $30 a carload.) There are really no words adequate to describe Yosemite. The word "majestic" comes to mind, but it seems like to small of a word. John Muir's poetic description in "The Yosemite" is beautiful and captures the spirit of this special place. It is a beautiful book and if you love Yosemite like I do, it will truly resonate.
Our first stop on the valley floor was Bridal Veil Falls. We hiked up and stood in that cloud at the bottom of the photo. We were drenched, but it was breathtaking. The roar of it was so loud. I think this was my favorite part of the day.
|Bridal Veil Falls|
It was pretty cool to watch a cloud drift over the top of Half Dome. As you can see the meadow is all green and lush from all of our rain this year.
View of the Valley from the overlook. There was a storm moving in and the clouds blocked the view of the Half Dome and is covering the top of El Capitan. You can see Bridal Veil Falls on the right side.
We hiked a total of about six miles that day. Liesl kept up with every step. We said that she made the same hike several times because she had to do it on six inch tall legs. Liesl LOVES Yosemite. It takes about an hour to reach the Valley floor in the car. She remembered Yosemite, so on the drive down she stood on my lap with her head out the window, stamping her little puppy feet in excitement. (I have bruises to prove it.) She hiked and sniffed all day. We assumed she would be exhausted and ready to go home after six miles of hiking.
As a side note, mini schnauzers are extremely super duper smart, highly emotional and can be very melodramatic. They are also very opinionated and are master communicators. Liesl lets us know exactly what she thinks. So when we hobbled back to the car, barely able to walk any more ourselves, we assumed she would want to get in the car and rest. Instead, she refused to look at us to let us know she was not ready to leave the park. We asked her again if she wanted to go home, and she looked in the opposite direction of where the car was and would not walk to the side of the car. Bill said, "Oh, no, she does not want to leave."
After trying to cajole her for a couple of minutes, Bill finally just picked her up and put her in the back seat. She was pretty mad and stamped across her bed and plopped herself down on the car seat in protest. This is her, fast asleep, five minutes later on the seat, still part of her protest. She is resting her head on pillow of her Labrador sized, Sealy Comfort-pedic, gel-cooled, memory foam deluxe dog bed. Her protest included not laying on it, opting instead to be sqooshed into the remaining seat, so we would know she was mad. She made sure we were put on notice about her discontent while she slept for the next hour.
If you get the chance, please check out our National Parks, particularly Yosemite. Yosemite was originally a state park and was actually created with the pen stroke of Abraham Lincoln. Many people have worked diligently to keep these lands public for the enjoyment of all. If you are over age 62, you are eligible for an America the Beautiful lifetime pass to all National Parks for only $20. It allows you and your passengers into the parks for free for your lifetime. A great bargain.
One of my favorite things about being in Yosemite is that you very rarely see someone looking at their phone unless they are taking a photo. Parents are interacting with their kids, and the kids are being shown the miracles of nature. And the National Parks are dog friendly!