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Last weekend, we took our first trip out to Yosemite for the year. This time, we did a couple of hikes, some more strenuous than others. Either way, we got to see the beauty of the park.
First morning in Yosemite, we drove towards the South end of the park (the Wawona side). Neither of us had seen Mariposa Grove, so we thought it would be neat to check it out. Besides, there was an NPS cancellation stamp available at the Wawona visitor center, and we all know how I go out of my way to fill my NPS passport book, haha. We hiked a few miles around the area and checked out the giant sequoias. It’s incredibly how wide their trunks get.
While hiking around the grove, we crossed paths with a family of deer. We stayed a good distance from them at all times, but they kept veering towards us. Maybe they’re used to having human visitors in the grove?
Later that day, we drove towards Glacier Point to get the beautiful shot of Half Dome, Vernal Fall, and Nevada Fall. It’s such an incredible view up there. When I was at the top and looked down at the elevation of both waterfalls, I felt so proud of myself. I actually made it to the top of Vernal Fall last year (out of shape)! Next goal is to make it to the top of Nevada Fall one day. As far as Half Dome, I’m afraid of heights, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to take the steep uphill climb. I’m not crazy and fit like Gloria who has done it multiple times with ease, so I might just pass.
…and while we were enjoying the view from Glacier Point, we noticed a chipmunk not too far from us. They’re so cute! Can you spot the furry little critter in the picture below?
After enjoying the view up at Glacier Point, we decided it would be neat to hike the Sentinel Dome trail. It was a moderate hike, but with it being mid-day, the heat made it feel more strenuous. I am, however, very proud of myself for conquering this hike. Maybe next time, I’ll be able to take Lambert Dome in Tuolomne?! Just kidding! Anyway, the views you get at the end of the Sentinel Dome trail are phenomenal. Here are some of the pictures we took during our hike:
You bet that we slept well that night. I think we were snoozing in our tent at around 8 o’clock, at least I know I was, haha! On our second morning in Yosemite, we woke up super early and walked towards Mirror Lake. We wanted to tackle a simple trail considering my body was sore from hiking the previous day.
It’s such a pretty sight, but if you plan on heading out to the lake, make sure to pack insect repellent. The mosquitoes on this walk are relentless. I think I counted around 15 mosquito bites at the end of our short hour walk to and from the lake. Yeah, I was pretty much walking bait for those pests.
After this trip, I’m even more excited for the future trips we have planned to come back to the park! Besides, I’ll be able to get more NPS cancellation stamps! It definitely pays to have an annual NPS card, hehe.
Last summer, we decided that we were going to get rid of the grass because of its horrible effects on the environment. Besides, the snails used the grass soil as a nesting haven. Back in the fall, we were in dire need of more color and texture in the garden, so we planned out our next move. Succulents are cheap, easy to grow, and super low maintenance, so we have been working on creating our very own desert/succulent botanical garden.
The garden is definitely in the works, and we still have lots of plans for some fun modern displays. Plus, the garden won’t be entirely complete without the cute chair hammock that I ordered. *I can’t wait to read/work in it.* Thus far, it’s looking so pretty! Here’s a handful of some random photos from the garden:
At first, we dished out some big bucks for some of the more unique succulents. Now, every time we hit up a local nursery, we pick up one or two we don’t already have. Plus, we’ve been reusing our snippets to foster more succulents plants. *I love succulents for that reason; they’re so cheap!* Truly, I can’t wait for the garden project to be complete!
Since our Yosemite trip a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been itching to go on a short, quick hike. In the meantime, looking at more photos from that trip will cure my outdoor bug.
As far as updates on Hilo, he’s doing slightly better. I’ll try to keep everyone posted.
PS: I think I have another travel bug. Where should we go next?!
HERE: A few weeks ago, we took a trip down to So Cal. It was definitely worth the rest and relaxation time. As a matter of fact, I believe that Maui and Hilo definitely had more of a vacation than me. Spoiled much?! Maybe just a little.
THERE: A couple of our good friends have been together for what seems to be an eternity. With a handful of their family members and close friends as their witnesses, they officially tied the knot. I was so honored to be able to share that special day with them at San Francisco City Hall.
YOSEMITE: We also decided that camping needed to be on the agenda. Oh, this trip was one unforgettable outing.
Bright and early on the first morning in the park, we planned for an “easy” hike to the top of Vernal Falls. We made sure to take pictures along the way.
About 1.6 miles with a 400 feet elevation gain to the footbridge, it was time to take a long breather. Phew! You would think that for less than two miles, it would be fairly easy. Nope! I’m not going to lie — that elevation change is pretty rough. Talk about a “moderate to strenuous” workout.
After a 15 minute breather and a refill in the CamelBak, it was up the cliff we go. Literally, it’s a steep climb to the top of the falls.
After the rough (and scary) incline on the granite steps built into the cliff, Gloria and I made it to the top. The feeling of accomplishment that morning was one amazing rush.
As for Gloria, I swear she didn’t even break a sweat. But then again, this is coming from someone who’s done the Half Dome trail a couple of times.
Day two in the Park started at the crack of dawn. On the way to Tuolumne Meadows, we stopped to enjoy the views at Olmstead Point. The alternate view of Half Dome from this angle looks incredible. Just looking at it, I still can’t even imagine hiking that 4,900 feet elevation climb.
Tuolumne Meadows, thus far, is my favorite part of Yosemite. The spans of meadows are so beautiful, so green. We, of course, had to hike through it. Along the way, we couldn’t resist taking photos.
After some downtime at lunch, we headed back towards Yosemite Valley, but we had to make one stop along the way. Gloria wanted to tackle the boulder that broke her foot over five years ago. The fact that she went back to face that fear, in my mind, shows who won that battle.
Playing in Yosemite Village was entertaining. Here’s a couple of photos of me and my brothers goofing around:
Now that we have the annual pass, I’m super stoked for our next camping/hiking adventure. As for now, I’ll settle for some of the trails nearby. Some of the Bay Area coastal trails look like they could be pretty comparable.