My happy moment of the day- Since yesterday I have been having a very bad headache and even though I slept early, I didn’t wake up in a good mood. For the last 1 month, Sam and I have been playing old hindi songs while he gets ready for school and we have both realized that it helps control our morning stress. Meaning lesser arguements. But today, I am feeling the difference. I knew I had a frown on my face but now after listening to some old favourites (wasn’t that luck that the radio played lovely romantic songs?) I am feeling much better. Music definitely is healing!
Days 5 & 6: Yosemite National Park
This was a dream of mine for the last 10 years. I always wanted to see this place. I wanted to see if this lives up to the American hype too. I really do not have words to describe the nature here! This country has abundant beautiful nature and they know how to make it accessible to the people too. No matter what adjectives I use, I am sure words fall short for this post.
By the time we drove from San Jose to Yosemite it was nearly 11 am. We first decided to see the far places by car like the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. We got really lucky that we even saw a black bear (which is actually brown) too! It crossed the road right in front of us and hid behind a rock when we stopped to see. It waited until we moved again and then it went on its way. I was too scared to open the car window and take a picture though!
We spent nearly an hour near Hetch Hetchy and then got back to the camp grounds where we had home packed good lunch. We then began our drive around the park on our way to the Majestic Hotel for our 1 night stay. While I did my research, I realized 2 things: We had to stay inside the park to maximize our limited time at the park and I did not want to stay at any camp sites – so we paid the price and told each other that this was our anniversary treat to ourselves. On the way, we saw the Bridal Veil falls which was in full flow. We took a small trek to the bottom of the falls just so we could get wet 🙂 We stopped at a couple of scenic spots and reached the hotel by 6pm. We had already booked breakfast but we were told that we had to also book for dinner otherwise it will not be available. We took the 8pm dinner time and checked in. The minute Sam saw that there was an outdoor pool he was all excited to go swim. That activity done and a shower later we went for dinner. Sadly, I have to say it was a disaster. I don’t remember what Sam and hubby ordered but I ordered veggie pasta with no mushrooms. Unfortunately it came with mushrooms, so I couldn’t eat it. The very apologetic waitress took it back saying she will get me fresh one which took forever. By that time, I filled my stomach with salad and bread and Sam was so tired that he just put his head on the table and slept. So my food was boxed to take back to the room. Thankfully I did not eat it then.
The next morning, our breakfast was supposed to be at 10am so I decided to heat the boxed pasta so we could all eat a bite before we went to see the Lower Yosemite falls which was very close to the hotel and we knew we could be back before breakfast. As soon as I opened it I saw it had bits of meat in it! What a total waste of food! Only thing is when we showed the bits of bacon, they did not charge for my food 😦 The breakfast was good though, hearty and full with coffee giving us enough energy to last the day until we drove back to San Jose. We had finished the Lower Yosemite falls before breakfast, so we drove to Glacier point. Unfortunately we were stopped as no private vehicles could go at that time because of the snow and ice still at the top. We did not realize we were so late as the parking lot was full to even take the park’s vehicle to the top. We decided to drop that and drove to Vernal Falls trek. On the way we saw the tunnel overlook and Half Dome (hard to miss!). We realized we were too late for any major hikes as there was absolutely no parking space anywhere! A good 2miles walk/hike later we reached the footbridge at the base of the Vernal fall. By this time it was nearly 1.30 pm and we knew we did not have much time. We got back to the base, stopped at the river and then decided to drive to Tuolumne Grove for the gaint Sequoia trees. Unfortunately for us the popular Mariposa grove was closed for restoration. The Tuolumne grove is a much steeper hike and lesser people visit the grove. By the time we reached the grove it was nearly 4pm and it looked like rain. But I did not want to go back without seeing the Sequoia trees. We decided to hike until we found atleast 1 of them. The grove is so thick with tall trees that it felt like it would get dark in no time. So we hurried to the grove from where we could hear some voices. Hubby picked up a thick stick as there was fear of bears too. Only once we saw the size of those trees did we realize why the trees are such a big deal! They are so thick and broad and we look like tiny ants next to their trunks. We trekked back (which was tougher as it was a 1 mile, 500ft elevation climb up) and were back at the car by 5:40pm. We then started the drive back to San Jose with the clouds giving way to beautiful, double rainbows – a fitting way to end this nature adventure. We reached home by 10pm happy and tired.
Am I satisfied with Yosemite – No! I really want to go again and spend more time at the park and visit the places we missed. But I am happy that we managed to see the key places and attractions of the place however.
One really good advantage for us was that it was spring and all the waterfalls were full from the ice melts. Every one of them was a beauty and worth every hike we did. Just getting wet under that cool mist felt wonderful.
I have tried hard to choose only 10 pictures 🙂
Hetchy Hetchy reservoir
Water from Bridal Veil
The Magestic Hotel
Upper and Lower Yosemite falls
View from Vernal Falls footbridge
One of the dead Sequoia tree trucks!