“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir
My childhood summer vacations were spent exploring around Yosemite Valley, wondering through the Ahwahnee dreaming of what it would be like to stay there, basking in the sun and playing in the freezing cold river, laying in the meadow gazing up El Capitan & Half Dome, and taking deep, deep breaths of rejuvenating mountain air. As a kid we stayed in the cabins, which were flooded and ruined in 1997, so we moved to Yosemite Lodge. My brother and I would be packed up in my dad’s old, yellow Mercedes, and meet all his buddies and their kids. It was the greatest experience a kid could ask for. Yosemite is home for me.
If you’ve never been to Yosemite Valley, it’s hard to describe the feeling you get looking up at the massive granite walls surrounding you. It’s humbling and awe-inspiring; it’s unreal. I try to go at least once a year, either for a day trip or a weekend of camping. To get a weekend campsite is a bit of a challenge – as it fills up right when reservations open. I was fortunate enough to grab the last spot in North Pines Campground for this weekend.
The weather was overcast when we rolled in on Friday afternoon, so we unpacked and rode around (you must bring bikes!) the valley. It was my beau’s first time, so it was fun for me to take him around. We went to shops in the Yosemite Village, Ansel Adam’s store, walked around the Indian site and explored the museum, and wrapped up with some hot coco from the cafeteria at Yosemite Lodge. We came back to our site, lit a fire, made some dinner (steak fajitas!) and tucked in with a good book (the BFG – Roald Dahl) right as the rain rolled in.
On Saturday – we woke up to a b-e-a-utiful day! We woke up leisurley, enjoyed some breakfast and hoped on our bikes to lower Yosemite falls. We walked up the trail and enjoyed the views – and debated doing the much longer hike to the upper falls, and decided a drink at the Ahwahnee sounded a little better! Ha! We got a seat on the patio, ordered coffee, tea and cheesecake (of course) and enjoyed our afternoon. We then went back to the site for a little nap, and got back on our bikes to stroll around Mirror Pond and Curry Village. We wrapped up the evening with chili and cornbread by the fire.
Sunday morning we woke, enjoyed some delicious blueberry pancakes and packed up camp. As we were heading out, we realized we had a dead battery! Luckily, we had a very nice neighbor who jump started us, and we were on our way.
I truly can’t express how amazing Yosemite is. There’s places to stay (and eat) for any budget, tons of hikes, amazing scenery and neat things to do. It’s a must visit for anyone!
Oh ya, we saw this guy too:
God is good friends. God is good.