What a National Park. For all those who love nature, well, that’s their (our) place. Forest, rocks, waterfalls, wildlife, it’s got everything. It’s also got heaps of rain which can ruin pretty much any visit too… but if lucky enough to spend 24h with sunshine then… well then anybody can have the time of their life.
Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, many more pictures of our visit to the Park, here!
As we were leaving the Sequoia National Park we had a look at the weather forecast in the Yosemite National Park. We planned to spend a couple nights in the park so we had to have a bit of sun to actually make the trip worth. Google let us know the forecast for our three days: Rain, Sun, Rain. Not ideal, but that bit of Sun in between a sandwich of rain seemed enough to us.
Got up at 7am in the unknown town of Oakhurst and drove directly to the park. Got there, took a shot from Tunnel View (one of Yosemite’s “must place” to take a picture from) and drove down to the valley where we had to find the office to “check in”. If there is something we have realised that Americans do not know how to do, well, that’s giving directions or setting up enough signs so that tourists (and locals) don’t get lost. It took us over 30 minutes to find the Tourist Information Office and another half an hour to find the Campground Reservation Office. But well, better late than never, we found them both, paid $54 for two nights in the park and headed to our parcel.
For our “day 1” rain was scheduled, and rain was there, specially in the afternoon. We had a bit of a walk just to get the feel of the park. The feeling was amazing, but the weather did not help us to enjoy a thirty minute stroll. “Whatevs” we thought, our hopes were on day 2. So went back home, cooked some 49 cent beef noodles for dinner and went to sleep. Sleep, also known as “freeze to death“. I don’t wanna bore you with details, but bottom line, the heater system in our home with wheels, sucks.
Our afternoon hike under a thin yet persistent rain
Got up, opened the window and looked up in the sky, sun was there. Thanks Google for your reliability. Quick breakfast and walking by 9am. We chose a hike considered to be “strenuous“. We thought it was an 11km hike and it turned out to be an 18km hike because of winter conditions making us do an extra 7km plus doing an extra valley. Yes, our hike was strenuous. Fun fact: My phone told me that yesterday was the day that I walked the most since I share my life with it. According to it, 29,000 steps. Quite a few when you think about it. On a normal working day I do about 500 steps in a whole day. Lazy ass.
The hike. Well, amazing. Truth being said, when you are walking inside the forest, suffering to climb up rocks and avoid slipping down the mountain you do wonder if the suffering is worth, but then you get to the top and say to yourself “hell yes!”.
Top of Nevada Fall, astonishing
We manage to get to the top of Nevada Falls at 5,791 feet (1,765m). We started at 4,000 feet (1,219m) which is like “oh come on, that’s an elevation gain of not even 2,000 feet!“. That’s what we though too when we first planned the hike, but it turns out that half way through the trail (and when you are at like 5,200 feet), the path takes you back down like 500 feet which you need to climb back up again on the other side of the mountain. If I am not explaining myself clear enough… well, go ahead and do the Nevada Fall Trail and then we can discuss it.
The sun was with us all day and we must be very grateful for it. We have had to suffer rain in other occasions and trekking when raining is awful. Not to talk about how it is to take pictures when it rains. So our happiness yesterday, despite the over-strenuous hike and the low temperatures, was absolute. Couldn’t have been better!
Collection of pictures. More of them, better quality and with comments, here.
Back to the camp, cooked some more soup and tried to get some sleep after our 19km walk in Yosemite. A walk that we will keep in our memories for a long long time.
This morning and with rain as Google had forecast, we still had energy to do a short walk to a place called Mirror Lake, a lake where you are supposed to see one of Yosemite’s landmarks, the Half Dome, reflected on the water. Well, when it rains, that effect does not take place. We still enjoyed the green landscape and the forest walk. We missed seeing a bit more of wildlife in the park, but well, we can’t have it all can we?
Now, in a Coffee Shop called Coffee Bandit in the lovely town of Merced (name of the river that runs across the Yosemite), time for some relax time. Holidays is also about finding some time to let time go together with a nice huge cup of strenuous flavoured chocolate mint latte.
If you want to have a look at more pictures (nearly a hundred), feel free to click on top of click.