Everything was stunning. The sights and smells still so familiar. It was like being transported back in time—and the six-year-old inside of me was happy.
|I forgot how striking these huge granite monuments are right when you drive into the park. El Capitan on the left, the Three Brothers on the right, and Half Dome hovering in the distance.|
|We spied on a baby buck!|
|Lunch in Yosemite Village. Camping without sushi?!?! It isn't camping!|
One of the things that was on my "must-do" list was the Nature Center. This was literally my favorite place in the WORLD when I was little. It's basically like the Bean Museum at BYU—lots of dead stuffed animals—except exclusively creatures that live in Yosemite. My grandma used to follow me around the center with a big, analog video camera and film me giving a tour of all the animals on display. It was precious—and about an hour long.
|They seriously had all the same ol' stuffed critters that they did years and years ago, and I remembered all of them! I had them all memorized.|
Since we were only staying in Yosemite for a short time, no big hikes for us.
Still, we took an afternoon hike up the mist trail to Vernal Falls.
|On the bridge with Vernal Falls in the background.|
|these guys were all over the place!|
Jacob broke the rules and went swimming in the Emerald Pool. It's right above the waterfall!! Really though, he was completely safe. The water was so low that he would've hit several large boulders before ever making it over the falls. Still scary to think about.
Jacob sliding down the Silver Apron.
He was brave. The water was much too cold for me.
|We visited the beautiful Awahnee Hotel. It's seriously our dream to someday hike Half Dome and then stay HERE afterwards. That would be neat. Being rich doesn't seem so bad...|
So the big bummer of our day was that we didn't get into a campsite in the valley. After waiting in line, we were literally the cut-off after they filled up. We were the first people they sent away. Instead, we found a campsite right outside of the park along the Merced River. In hindsight, I honestly think this worked out a lot better for us. We didn't have to share a small campsite with a bunch of hippie rock climbers. Instead we had some quiet and privacy, and even took a moonlight dip in the river. Plus, there was a HUGE bundle of firewood waiting for us! It kinda made up for our bad luck earlier.
|Jacob used his eagle scout powers to build us a roaring fire.|
|Our friendly neighbors let us have one of their tiki torches! AWESOME.|
The next day we basically just took it easy and played.
We started at the Indian Village, another childhood fav of mine.
Just like when I was a kid, we played in the Merced River.
Except this time I didn't stuff rocks in my swimsuit.
I decided that water can be scary sometimes. Shark week didn't help, but for some reason
I kept having this irrational fear that there was an octopus in the river. Sounds dumb. I know.
|Jacob taught me how to skip stones, but I still suck at it.|
|The majestic Half Dome—someone cue the Jurassic Park theme.|
So when we first drove into the park, I was getting so buzzed out over all the trees and rocks and river, etc. I was just getting super stoked. And then I saw this big boulder in the river, and I was like "I WANNA CLIMB THAT BOULDER!" Jacob took this very seriously, and on our way out, we found the very same boulder and made it our mission to climb it. It was a little harder than it looked, but we did it. No pic of me on top because Jacob had to climb with me so he could pull me to the top!
|Me and my boulder.|
Yosemite was beautiful and we were happy to make it out alive. Jacob's dad texted us the next day and told us that he saw in the news that 3 people had died in Yosemite while we were there. 2 boys drowned in the river and one lady died of a virus she got in Curry Village—another woman was in critical condition because of the same virus. Luckily, we ate all our food in Yosemite Village. whew!
After this trip, Jacob kept talking about how he wants a nice backpack and camping gear for his birthday. "I really wanna go backpacking out there," he kept saying. I have a feeling we'll be back.