My First Trip to Yosemite May 2014

After almost a year in planning I achieved my goal of driving to the Sierra Nevada and visiting Yosemite National Park. I hiked the eight hour day to the Vernal and Nevada Falls on the wet, Mist trail, using my new trekking pole to keep me from falling backward with my pack on! The view and sound of these waterfalls was spectacular! Roaring water pounded the rocks above my head, and below, past Liberty Cap into the Merced gorge. My 64 yr. old legs cramped in my Curry Village tent lodging that May 13 evening as I ate pizza. The next day I rode the bus tour up to Glacier Point (see painting below) and then walked the Four Mile trail back down to the valley while gazing at Half Dome, El Capitan and Cathedral Rocks. Other memories include the Ansel Adams Gallery, Indian village/ museum and the Ken Burns film in the Visitor Center. I really enjoyed Mariposa Grove sequoias alone before the crowds arrived. Other highlights of the region: Millerton Lake below Oakhurst, Lake Kaweah and Lake Success near Porterville, grassy chaparral foothills dotted with oak trees, the Trail of 100 Giants near Johnsondale, the Kern river, Lake Isabella, Walker Pass Joshua trees, Trona Pinnacles near Ridgecrest and Death Valley back into Nevada for Idaho. I visited 4 national parks in California in 11 days. Wildlife: Deer, white-headed woodpecker, Clark’s nutcracker, mountain chickadees, Cassin’s finch, ravens, turkey vultures and several species of warbler. The entire region stretched out before me with distant horizons of John Muir’s beloved California wilderness, for which I’m glad I found too.

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