Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yosemite: Day One

So the family packed up, got on a plane, and headed West. It was a beautiful trip and I am lucky to have shared the time with my parents and brothers. A few highlights of each day will be chronicled, beginning with day one. 

Not knowing much about Yosemite, as we drove in on the first night, I wasn't sure what to expect. We got in very late (after flying in to San Jose and driving over to Yosemite, about 4 hrs) and so we didn't really see where we were as we drove through the park. We stayed in an area called "Yosemite West" in a 4 br cabin in the park. It was great to have our own cabin and we ended up cooking every meal but one on this leg of the trip.

The next morning (our first full day), we woke up early to get to our first destination. There would be a few themes emerge (one being "Speeding Kills Bears") and this first day highlighted the overriding theme - crowds. Hence the getting up early. 

Driving in, we stopped and got our first look at Yosemite:

Everything was on such a grand scale. Huge rocks, huge waterfalls. The sky was so blue, trees so green. 

Our first adventure was the one I selected - rafting on the Merced River. The relatively calm river was a perfect introduction to the "valley". Great sights, cool breezes, very relaxing.
From there, the guys went on to their first big hike, to the top of Yosemite Falls. The parental units and I went to Lower Yosemite Falls. The walk over to the lower falls was beautiful - such large trees:
We got to the bottom of the lower falls and were able to see both the Lower and Upper falls from where we were. Kids were swimming in the pools at the bottom of the falls and there were people from all over the world there. 
We then went back to meet up with the guys, who had been hiking for 4 hours at this point. While waiting I stared at this:
Finally, they came down from their hike, hot and tired. They made it to the top and took fabulous pictures. On the way down, Jacob got a bit overheated, hence his expression in the "we made it" picture:
We ended the first night by stopping at an overlook on the way out of the valley:
And then we all went back to the cabin and slept quite well. Next, day two. 

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