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Yosemite National Park - August 3, 2010 

I’ve always dreamed of going to Yosemite and this summer saw the dream come true.  It really was a lifetime experience!  This is a photo of Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point.  To see other photos, click here.

I never really cared about visiting the Grand Canyon because I didn’t think anything could match the beautiful photography of National Geographic.  One year I was simply too close not visit the Canyon and was I blown away by the views!  On the other hand, I’ve always wanted to visit Yosemite - must be the waterfall idea.  This year, I got the chance on a trip to San Francisco for opera.  It seemed only logical to extend the stay and visit Yosemite.  It was well worth the effort. 

I made reservations at the Ahwahnee Hotel, one of the oldest in the park and built to be fire proof.  It’s all steel and concrete (even the siding which was poured to look like wood).  It was amazing.  I have a thing for old hotels built in the 20s and 30s.  They exhibit a kind of class you can’t find today.  I took much advantage of the bar’s El Capitini special, named after El Capitan. 

The views of Yosemite Valley lived up to their reputation.  Most of my trip was by tour bus and very little walking.  I did walk up to lower Yosemite Falls one morning.  Air temperature was in the low 80s during the day and down in the 50s at night.  Great weather and low humidity.  Apparently, I hit the park at the peak of the waterfalls.  The guide said there was 1 and 1/2 times the snow pack this year and the falls were really discharging water.  Apparently Yosemite pretty much dries up later in the summer.  Several of the others dry up also. 

At Glacier Point, you could hear Yosemite Falls in the distance.  Probably the most spectacular (and most famous) view of the park is at Tunnel View.  That’s where you get to see Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, and Half Dome all at once.  That’s also the view some of the first settlers saw upon entering the valley.  Mule deer were abundant.  About the only thing I didn’t get to do but wanted to was the mule trip.  Next time!

© Fred Searcy 2017