Monday, 28 November 2016

Road Trip Part 9; Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park, California
 Unpopular opinion time: I didn't like Yosemite.

I WANTED to like Yosemite. I'm frequently led to believe that it's one of the best national parks that North America has to offer. It's enormous, and offers beautiful masses of land along with the potential of seeing bears... and yet, I didn't quite like Yosemite.



Yosemite National Park, California


Trees in Yosemite National Park, California
 For our first day in Yosemite, we headed to the Tioga Road area to visit Tuolumne Meadows in order to hike the Cathedral Lakes. This hike takes you upwards through the forests, leading you up to the lakes themselves.

Fallen trees in Yosemite National Park, California
Unfortunately though - this hike wasn't all that fun. It's nice to see all the trees and to feel so far away from everything, but ultimately there isn't much change in the scenery at all.

It's also a very uphill hike, and I would honestly say it was actually one of the more difficult ones we did. It's funny because the hikes we did in Zion were actually far steeper, however because the scenery was constantly changing around us it didn't feel anywhere near as bad because you were constantly being rewarded with new sights. Here, it just felt kind of meh.

Forest in Yosemite National Park, California

Trees in Yosemite National Park, California


Trees in Yosemite National Park, California

Forest in Yosemite National Park, California

Trees in Yosemite National Park, California

Mountain and forest in Yosemite National Park, California
 Although there was this surprise when this mountain suddenly appeared in front of us, and that was very much appreciated!

Mountain in Yosemite National Park, California

Lake in Yosemite National Park, California
 My return to Yosemite the next day was extremely reluctant. I hadn't liked it the first day and so I wanted to go onwards to San Francisco instead. However, the next day we went to the Yosemite Valley area and gave it another try. It started off with this pretty area, which was already an improvement on the walk we'd done the day before.

Mountain in Yosemite National Park, California

Rocks in Yosemite National Park, California
 This waterfall area was the location for an unexpected and amusing problem. There was a sign stating that it was the last place you'd be able to find fresh water for the rest of the hike. I was adamant that it meant there would be water facilities nearby but we looked ahead and there was no obvious sign of these. I pointed out that the opposite side of the sign said don't climb into running water. However, after much discussion, Max was absolutely adamant that the sign implied that we should be getting water from the falls and Chris wasn't sure but was siding more with him.

Next thing I know, Max has climbed down, clambered across the rocks, and is getting water from the bottom of the waterfall. He returns with it, I give it a try, and it's actually really delicious water. Maybe this is what the sign meant after all. So down goes Chris to fill up mine and his. This soon influences a couple of other hikers who also drop down into it.

All prepared with our water, we leave the area, walk forward about one minute, and boom, there's a bunch of taps. So, definitely not supposed to go into the waterfall afterall. Oh well.
Yosemite National Park, California

Waterfall in Yosemite National Park, California


Yosemite National Park, California
 This was a much better day in Yosemite. Afterwards Max concluded that he'd really liked Yosemite and would like to return one day. Chris didn't neccessarily want to return, but he did enjoy it. And for me, unfortunately, I had still found it to be probably my least favourite national park. But hey, you can't please everybody.

Fire in Yosemite National Park, California
 As we were leaving, I suddenly started to see a load of smoke. We drove round a corner to see a very low flying plane out of nowhere, and around the corner from that we suddenly saw a huge fire within Yosemite. With very convenient timing, our radio then put out a fire update and we discovered that the fire was very close to the area that we had been yesterday. We pulled over on the side of the road and watched for a while from a distance. It was particularly interesting for us to watch the helicopters that were dumping water on top of it, especially as a few minutes later we ended up driving past the lake that the helicopters were using to fill up from. Such a shame though, but very interesting to see.

Fire in Yosemite National Park, California
From here, it was onwards to San Francisco!
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