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Yosemite Nat’l Park

Yosemite Nat'l Park

Return to Yosemite

It was a bittersweet realization that our time in Fresno, CA was coming to an end. Don’t get me wrong, we are excited to get to a new location with a little more character, but the location and adventures that we took advantage of during our time in Fresno is something that might not ever happen again.

One of the biggest advantages of living in Fresno was the proximity to one of the most hallowed places in America: Yosemite National Park.

You might remember that we took a little trip here earlier in the assignment, but the draw of the granite cliffs, solitude of the enormous redwoods and the glow of the night sky is something that begs to be returned to many times over. So we packed up the Jeep and headed toward our respite and last piece of relaxation and adventure in the Southwest.

It was still a bit early in the year for backwoods camping, and the weather wasn’t looking to be in our favor, so we opted to stay in the historic “Curry Village”, where we were put up in a canvas tent for the night.

In the early years of Yosemite, the Curry family established a tented campground in order to provide the camping experience to all who wanted it. Their motto was “a good bed and clean napkin with every meal”. This is still very much the spirit of Curry Village today. For anyone wanting an affordable and memorable camping experience in Yosemite, this is about as perfect as it gets, without using your own gear.

While we were in the park, we took part in a couple hikes, climbed to some waterfalls and slept through hail/thunderstorms. It is always such a freeing feeling as you drive down and around the Yosemite Valley. The fresh air, smell of pine needles in the sun, sounds of distant waterfalls all seem to be alive and in perfect symphony.

This place… There is simply no other place like this in the world.

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Yosemite Nat'l Park

Yosemite

Experiencing Yosemite National Park is something that doesn’t translate well into words, but we figured we’d give it a shot…

Ever since watching 180° South, I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to visit this place and to see, first hand, the amazing and truly mystical walls and valleys that so many people have photographed and written about for years.

“It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.” – John Muir, conservationist

Our trip to Yosemite was quick… From our place in Fresno, CA it was only an hour and a half drive to the entrance and another hour until we were on the valley floor looking up at El Capitan. We were lucky enough to have Keith and Dede along for the trip which made it a fun experience for all of us.

The first stop in the park was the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia trees. Walking amongst these giants is truly a humbling experience. It’s hard not to reflect on our own time on this earth and how truly minuscule that is in comparison to what these trees have seen. Some of the trees in the grove have been there over 2000 years and are still growing each year.

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From the Mariposa Grove, we drove another hour to the Yosemite Valley Floor where we were surrounded by some new giants that go by the names of El Capitan, Half Dome, Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite Falls and The Sentinels.

The road to the valley winds you through the park in a way that was designed by artists and after guiding you through a mile-long tunnel, spits you out to the most majestic view of nature that I have ever seen.

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From the tunnel, we got down to the valley floor and had a picnic in the meadows below Yosemite Falls. Even a PB&J somehow tastes more amazing when you supplement it with views of the towering peaks… From there we visited the Yosemite village and stopped below El Capitan to reflect once more.

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Even though we spent the day touring the park, it seems that our desire for more may never be filled. We’ll be back soon and next time we’ll bring a tent and our hiking legs.

This place is truly amazing and inspiring. Everywhere you look in the park brings a new peak to imagine climbing or a new trail to ponder. The experience resonates with you in a way that gives you a sort of calmness simply knowing places like this exist.

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“Yosemite Park is a place of rest, a refuge from the roar and dust and weary, nervous, wasting work of the lowlands, in which one gains the advantages of both solitude and society. Nowhere will you find more company of a soothing peace-be-still kind. Your animal fellow beings, so seldom regarded in civilization, and every rock-brow and mountain, stream, and lake, and every plant soon come to be regarded as brothers; even one learns to like the storms and clouds and tireless winds. This one noble park is big enough and rich enough for a whole life of study and aesthetic enjoyment. It is good for everybody, no matter how benumbed with care, encrusted with a mail of business habits like a tree with bark. None can escape its charms. Its natural beauty cleans and warms like a fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree.” – John Muir