Yosemite National Park

Yosemite TripToday is the 17th Anniversary of my trip to Yosemite National Park.

I am a big admirer of Ansel Adams and had a few of his photo books on Yosemite National Park.  Because of that, in May 1997 I decided to use my free airline ticket to anywhere in the continental U.S. to fly to California and go to Yosemite for a long weekend.  I love hiking and camping so I have all the necessary equipment.  I reserved a camping site in Lower Pines campground.  I flew out from Charlotte, NC on Friday morning and came back on the Red eye on Sunday night/Monday Morning.  In my backpack was all the supplies that I would need except food including tent, sleeping bag, cooking tools, enough clothes for the trip. Although in typical female fashion, I took more clothes than I needed.   I arrived in San Francisco early afternoon and headed to Yosemite in my rental car.  I made it to the entrance a few hours later. Quite the drive up the mountains especially when you get behind an eighteen wheeler on the two lane road.

It took me three times as long to get from the entrance of the park to Yosemite Valley because I kept stopping at the scenic overlooks to take photos.  I finally made it into the valley and checked in.  I found my campsite and pitched my tent.  I then headed to the Valley store and picked up some groceries. When I got back to camp, I locked up the groceries in a bear proof container so the black bears would not get to my food.  My timing of my trip was perfect since due to the fact that Yosemite had almost record snow falls during the winter, the waterfalls were abundant.

Yosemite National ParkAfter making sure everything was done and secure, I grabbed my camera and an extra role of film as I had time before nightfall for a short hike. Since I had a poster of Ansel’s Adams Bridalveil Falls hanging my living room at home, I decided that would be my first destination as I had always wanted to see it in person.  It was even more breathtaking than I had imagined.  My only complaint was since, surprising I know, I was not the only one there I had to patiently wait to take my shot.  Patience is not normally one of my virtues but for once since I was in one of the most picturesque places in the world so I didn’t really care.

When I got back to the campsite I was starving which was not all that surprising since it was 6 pm local time which made it 9 pm EDT and I had yet to have dinner.   After dinner, I walked around the valley taking in the views and taking photos of El Capitan and Half Dome.

Once the sun went down I climbed into my tent and decided to make some Jiffy Pop Popcorn with my little camping stove.  Believing it couldn’t be that hard to make the popcorn, I didn’t read the directions…..Big Mistake.  By the time I realized that I had to continuously move the container while it was heating, a good portion of the popcorn had burned – thank heavens I was able to salvage some of it.  I learned an important lesson about following directions.

Even though it was only 9pm local time, my body was on east coast time, so I climbed into my tent and turned in for the night.

Coming up……encounter with black bears and my hike up to Nevada Falls.

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