Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yosemite Vacation

Day 1 - Traveling
It was a long day. It took about 12 hours from door step to door step, the last 4 were spent in the car. We did stop at Trader Joe’s in Sacramento and now we see what all the hype is about, and we want one here. Other than a creepy lady at the air port, the day was mostly un-eventful. It was good to get there though.

Day 2 – Into the park
The trailer was parked about an hour drive outside the park. It was the closest place with full hook-up’s. Luckily we got to sleep in because it was really cold in the morning, cold to us Texans anyways, it was in the low 40’s. It warmed up nicely though and the day warmed up to the low 70’s.

This is the first thing you drive through when you enter the park.

On this day we took a bus tour up to Glacier Point. The valley floor, where the main road is, is at about 4,000 ft, Glacier Point is around 7,600 ft.

We found out some interesting things about the park. Like that Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley were the first area of land in the US to be set aside and protected by the government in 1864. It wasn’t made a national part until 1890, after Yellow Stone.

Yosemite also contains California’s oldest ski resort, Badger Pass.

Also, the Sierra Nevada mountain range is one giant piece of granite that’s 400 miles long and about 80 miles wide. It makes Enchanted Rook look like a pebble. The valley was carved out by glaciers which are no longer there.

The view from the top is nice.

One of the features of the landscape is a place they call Half-Dome, the other half was taken off by a glacier. Tom and Maury took our picture in front of it and Jonathan put his hands on my belly. From then on, they called me Half-Dome.

We hiked around a bit and ate ice cream. At the gift shop, back of the valley floor, we discovered fire mango. It was dried mango that was spicy, everyone loved it, but I wouldn’t touch it. Later in the trip they wiped the store out. I also found this cute little hat that I got for the baby. The model here is Guinness.

Day 3 – Giant Sequoia Trees
The first thing we did when we got to the park was go down to the Wawona hotel and have lunch. The hotel was built in 1874 and the food was very good.

Then we headed down to see the giant trees at Mariposa Grove. This was my favorite part of the trip. We hiked through the forest and it was like being in something out of Lord of the Rings, I swore the trees were going to start walking around.

This is us by a tree in the parking lot. Tom took a pine branch from Yosemite (a $300 fine if caught) and hand carved these walking sticks for us. They used to be one long branch and they are super light weight. We couldn’t take them on the plane so we’ll get them in February when they get back.

The roots of these trees only go down 6 to 8 feet, but they grow out. This is the bottom of one that has fallen over. Apparently this tree fell 300 years ago.

This tree is the Grizzly Giant, it’s between 1,900 to 2,400 years old. Its trunk is 30 feet across and it’s 90 feet around. It’s the oldest tree in the park, and the thing is massive. The picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s just too big to get a picture that accurately shows its size. This is taken from a distance and you can see the people at the bottom.

In 1895 the California tunnel tree was cut through. It’s still living and doing fine. They used to pull buggies through it.

This is Jonathan… being Jonathan ☺

And this is just a random tree that I took a picture of as we were hiking back down the trail. If you look really close you can see Jonathan standing next to the tree on the right side of the picture.

In the car on the way back to the camper I saw a bear on the side of a hill. We saw very little wild life the whole time we were there. A few birds and lots of squirrels, but that was about it. Jonathan saw a bear crossing the road on day 3.

That evening we watched the Longhorns win a great game! It was very nice of all the Aggies to watch the Longhorns, and even not pick on me too much. Of course the Aggies are doing so bad this season that they couldn’t talk much.

Day 4 – Off the wall

On our last day we first had a pick-nick in the meadow across from El Capitan, commonly known as the most popular climbing spot in the US, and looked for climbers.

At a height of 3,000 feet it takes most people about 3 days to climb it. They have slings that they attach to the face of it to sleep in. We saw 3 different groups of climbers.

The rest of the day was spent driving around to different look-outs and taking a few pictures.

And we went to the most expensive hotel in the park. Rooms ranged from $450 - $1,000 a night.

That evening we went out to dinner and then played a game called Quarto, which was fun. Overall it was an awesome trip and it was so good to spend some time with Tom and Maury. We are definitely going back to Yosemite and hiking more and exploring more of the park. I think we’ll go back in the spring time when all the water falls are flowing and everything is blooming.

Day 5 – Traveling again
This was just another long day, again about 12 hours of traveling. We got back to the house at about 12:30 AM and Jonathan had locked us out. He locked the door from the garage into the kitchen and all the windows were locked up tight. He had to climb into the attic and drop into our closet where the other entrance is.

The pregnancy went fine the whole time, nothing really to report, which is what we wanted. My hips got really sore from sleeping on the air mattress and my feet were swelling the whole time but my feet usually swell when I travel.

1 comment:

Jennifer Harris said...

Hmm...perhaps Guiness would like a playmate?