Last year, for my 34th birthday, all I wanted to do was visit Yosemite. It was calling for me. I’d never been, and frankly, nor did I know much about it. It was just one of those places I knew I had to see with my own two eyes.
Upon entering the park, I nearly wept in awe of the views from highway 120 leading to the loop road that takes you around the valley, past all the famous landmarks like El Capitan, Yosemite Falls and Half Dome. I will never comprehend how this valley and the whole of Yosemite National Park came to be. Water, magma, faults, glaciers, and all that scientific stuff still doesn’t make much sense to me while gasping at the beauty of the valley from Tunnel Viewpoint. It is my most favorite spot in all of California.
These days, our National Parks seem to be some of the few places where you can truly unplug and reconnect with nature as well as the people with whom you are adventuring. Yes, I realize I sound somewhat ancient when I say that. But the truth is the truth. Every time the stresses of life and politics got too heavy in 2016, I’d have to plan another visit to Yosemite. It became my happy place, where I felt so small yet alive, content, reflective.
The National Parks are truly a massive treasure to all of us, and Yosemite is the leader of the pack.
I’ve actually been considering this blog post for over a year. Mostly attempting to arrange the words in my head, but also for a couple of weeks electronically. Yosemite is plain and simply breathtaking. I didn’t ever come up with much. How can I possibly put into words what this place does to my soul? The answer is to show it through photographs, and by telling you that you must see it for yourself. The incredible rock monoliths, giant sequoias, air so fresh you want to gather it into a bottle for safe keeping. Yosemite is an experience like no other.
I would go on to visit YNP a total of six times in 2016, seeing the park through Summer, Fall and Winter; each season bringing a different look to the waterfalls and foliage. Summer is lively, with people swimming and floating the Merced River. Winter is peaceful with a blanket of snow covering the meadows, the top of Half Dome and high Sierras. Being there recently in the Spring after a snowy Winter and years of drought was magical. The waterfalls were so full and raging. I cannot possibly pick a favorite season at Yosemite. Husband & I even rung in 2017 from a heated tent in Half Dome Village, fast asleep long before midnight on January 1. Each time out there, I start to plan my next visit and plot what I want to see and which hike to do next.
It has been by far the greatest part of living in Northern California.
Yosemite Through The Seasons.