Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Daytripping: Yosemite in the Fall

Since the boys were out of school on Monday, we decided to take a spur of the moment drive to Yosemite. I've never been to Yosemite in the fall. I've heard that the best time to visit the park is in the spring because all of the waterfalls are gushing. In the fall, the waterfalls weren't even trickling. Still, it was beautiful. Plus, as an added bonus in honor of Veterans Day, the entrance fee was free. Of course, our family has the Access Pass, so it was free anyway.

Yosemite is about a 3 hour drive away from us. We left early Monday morning and decided to take Hwy 120. In the past, we've always entered the park via Hwy 140 as we camped at the KOA located just beyond the town of Mariposa. This time, we decided to try something different.

We meandered along Hwy 120 through quaint little towns like Oakdale and Groveland. We stopped at the vista point "Rim of the World" in order to check out some of the damage from the Rim Fire, which was named after this vista point. My crappy phone camera can't possibly do any justice, but here are some snapshots of the fire damage:


We finally got to the entrance of the park. We headed toward Yosemite Valley, but then decided to head on up to Glacier Point. Patches of snow were located here and there along the road and discreetly tucked away between trees. The seemingly long drive up to Glacier Point felt like we were driving away from the park. The drive is simply a testimony as to how big Yosemite is. Once we got to Glacier Point, we postponed trips to the bathroom in order to catch the views of Yosemite Valley and Half Dome. Breathtaking can't even describe the views that we saw from Glacier Point. I'm forever apologizing for my phone's camera, but I have no intention of getting a new phone any time soon, so:
Half Dome
View of Half Dome from Glacier Point
There were patches of snow surrounding the parking lot of Glacier Point. My oldest son decided it was time for a snowball fight and nailed his dad pretty good. Of course, he can dish it out but he can't take it. We made our way back down to the valley and took a final tour. The trip took longer than we thought, but there were no regrets. On our way home, we decided to take Hwy 140. The afternoon long shadows were catching up to us and it wouldn't be long before it was dark. Hwy 120 was beautiful, but Hwy 140 is an easier drive, especially in the dark.

Leaving Yosemite

Would I visit Yosemite again in the fall? Absolutely. The website states that, "Yosemite is not known for having spectacular fall colors because most of the trees are evergreen." But that doesn't mean that there isn't some fall color. There were some beautiful trees (Oak, I think. Maybe aspen. Sorry, I don't know trees.) that were turning a fabulous shade of yellow, which made a nice contrast with the evergreen. I'm already looking forward to seeing Yosemite in the spring.

"You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you." Nehemiah 9:6


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