Archive for July 19th, 2008

Click to play Day 6 - Yosemite
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We were awakened by the alarm clock at 6:00 AM. This was going to be a day of much driving as we were headed to the southern end of Yosemite National Park in a town called Wawona. Twenty-nine years ago Mike and I were married. We had spent our honeymoon in Yosemite, so it was only right for us to be there on this special day.

We made one last drive up to the Minaret Summit view before leaving Mammoth. The temperature was about 55 degrees, but with no wind blowing, it was quite mild. We took more pictures as this time of day provides better lighting. We spied some mountain flowers in blue and orange hues. This trip we have noticed more flowers than previous times being in the mountains. Perhaps it is because we have had a cooler spring than normal, causing the flowers to bloom later. After a quick stop at Vons to pick up groceries and gas up the car, we headed to Yosemite.

We reached the Tioga Pass entrance about 9:00 AM. The elevation there is 9,945 feet. Spring was just beginning in the high country, and many places still had patches of snow. Mike and I walked around a small meadow with a pond, reveling in the beauty of God’s creation. The Tuolumne River was full and flowing through parts of the meadow. Deer were nearby feeding, and the day was glorious! Cathedral Peak lifted her head towards Heaven in praise to her Creator.

We stopped at Olmstead Point to take pictures of Tenaya Lake and Half Dome. We were greeted by a family of yellow-bellied marmots, hiding amidst the boulders and rocks. . Everyone was hurrying to take snapshots of these cute critters. Mike then brought out his “Big Guns”, which are a huge pair of binoculars that weigh about 35 pounds. After linking them on his tripod, we were able to see several hikers up on Half Dome from off in the distance. Before long, he had a line of tourists waiting to look through his “Big Guns”. If he charged them for a look every time he’s done this on our trips, we would be rich by now!! Ha!

We landed in Yosemite Valley around 2:00 PM. Many road improvements were being made. We stopped at a favorite view point of Yosemite Falls and ate our lunch, thankful to God for bringing us here. We felt like we were home. The wonder of Yosemite is still new, even after twenty-nine years.

We parked in Curry Village and went riding on the many bike trails in the valley. Initially, we rode to Mirror Lake. The skies were such a deep blue as we coasted down the trail towards the lake. As my bike picked up speed, I could feel the wind blowing past me. This always feels so exhilarating to me. I almost feel like a kid again. It was a warm day, so quite a few people were wading in the water. On the way up to the lake, Mike and I stopped beside the river and soaked our feet in the cold, refreshing water. How invigorating and enjoyable! Straight up from where we stood at the Lake’s edge, Half Dome towered above us so lofty and high. Further back towards the southeast end of the lake was a little peninsula that provided an excellent photo opportunity. A medium-sized rock was on the peninsula where many would sit and have their photo taken, myself included. This was a very delightful and tranquil part of the valley.

About 6:00 PM, we drove down to Wawona, where we would be staying for the rest of the week. We checked into our cabin in the forest around 7:00 PM. We were very happy with our temporary home. Cabin #77 had a large front deck that was elevated about 10 feet. The house sits on a rise with pine trees all around. There are a few other homes nearby, but for the most part, it felt like it was just the two of us in this peaceful location of homes called Redwoods in Yosemite. We could hear Chilnualna Falls off in the distance. After unloading our luggage, we drove to the Wawona Hotel for dinner. This hotel is over 100 years old and is a historic landmark. It often evokes visions in my mind of women in long, flowing white dresses and men in white suits promenading on the beautiful grounds. Mike and I both ordered the 8 ounce flat iron steak, which came with garlic red-skinned, mashed potatoes and a vegetable medley of zucchini, carrots and broccoli. There was a small candle in the middle of our table, and Mike asked our waiter if he could light the candle since it was our wedding anniversary. He was happy to oblige. After a tasty and filling meal, our waiter told us he would give us the dessert of our choice on the house for our anniversary. We selected the Crème Brûlée, a custard-like dessert. Our waiter delivered this tasty treat to our table with a small, lit candle in the middle of it. What a sweet way to end our special day.

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