Friday, November 6, 2015
October 2, 2015 Escaping Modern Life in Yosemite National Park
I spend a lot of time inside my own head...contemplating why I do the things I do, both good and bad. I know I plan trips to amazing places to escape my everyday life. It's not that I don't enjoy my life...I just need to get away from that reality...apparently more often now that my younger days are a distant memory and my health is somewhere between crawling and starting to walk away from me. So spending time anywhere that cell phones don't work is like heaven to me. Hiking along a trail with beautiful scenery and solitude gives me a personal high that no other drug can provide. I hope that days like today...driving out of Yosemite Valley to Tioga Pass...stay with me long after Alzheimer's makes me forget my own name.
We headed out just as the sun began lighting up the valley. The low fog was due to last night being the coldest night in Yosemite so far this fall. I liked my picture better in black & white and Chrissy's in color.
We stopped at the Visitor Center but it wasn't open yet. So we picked up sandwiches at Degnan's Deli...
...and said hello to these two artsy fellows hanging out in Yosemite Village.
No matter where you walk in the valley, the scenery is amazing.
Heading out on Northside Drive we stopped at El Capitan Meadow as the sun began lighting up...
...the Cathedral Spires...
...and Cathedral Rocks.
The sun moving across the meadow created new photo opportunities every few minutes.
Eventually we headed out of the valley up Big Oak Flat Road to Tioga Road.
We stopped at Olmsted Point and hiked out on the rocks looking down Tenaya Canyon towards Half Dome.
I am always amazed at how nature perseveres under harsh conditions. This tree is growing through solid rock and obviously strong winds blowing up the canyon have taken their toll but it still looks so beautiful.
Another perfect day in paradise.
I could have spent the whole day here spinning around because the view was incredible in all 360 degrees.
The dark blue waters of Tenaya Lake below the snow capped peaks...
...of the mountains at the end of a glacier carved valley.
It's always a good day for hiking.
Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River with Mount Dana (left), Mount Gibbs (middle) and Mono Pass (right) in the background.
Dana Meadows at nearly 10,000 feet.
We drove out of Yosemite at Tioga Pass and entered the Inyo NF.
Then back into Yosemite...
...where the ranger was very friendly.
I'm not sure but this looks like the tree I photographed on the rocks at Olmsted Point.
The view from the Dog Lake trail head parking lot.
But we decided to hike in the opposite direction of Dog Lake. We hiked along the John Muir Trail.
We found a nice spot on the Tuolomne River to relax on the sun warmed rocks...
...and eat our lunch while listening to the water flowing by us.
Chrissy wanted to stay here while I hiked further upstream.
Nothing better than solitude in the wilderness.
I hiked to the Lyell Fork then headed back...
...to play Pooh Sticks with Christy. She won.
We are big proponents of LNT...Leave No Trace of our time spent here.
We stopped at the beach side of Tenaya Lake on the way back.
We drove up the unpaved single lane road to the May Lake Trail Head.
We hiked up the trail for about a mile or so...
...but turned back because we were running out of energy and daylight.
I am pretty sure I took this along Big Oak Flat Road.
The sun setting on El Capitan...
...and Bridalveil Fall.
After dinner we had grabbed some drinks and relaxed outside on the benches at the Guest Lounge.
It was much warmer tonight in our unheated tent cabin tonight.
Packing up because tomorrow we are heading to San Francisco.
So our week in the Sierra Nevada Mountains comes to an end. Another place checked off my very deep bucket list but more importantly a wonderful week spent outdoors.