Day 18 & 19 - Yosemite National ParkSeptember 28 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C
One of the most anticipated parks for me also happened to be the hardest to navigate in and around, although visually stunning. We arrived in Yosemite in the afternoon after a long drive from LA, feeling weary. Even after arriving at the entrance gates it was an hour further to the visitor centre, wending our way up and then back down the precipitous mountain sides. Tunnel View gave us the quintessential Yosemite Valley vista: El Capitan and Half Dome facing each other like duelling giants over a wide carpet of evergreens and the winding Merced River.
The two days were spent trying to navigate around the park, scenic lookouts, short hikes, a picnic and nap at the base of El Capitan. We drove uo to Glacier Point for a spactacular sunset lookout over the Valley. The sinking sun set the granite monolith that is Half Dome on fire, bathing its impossibly sheer surface in oranges and pinks amd finally blues.
Day two we hiked a 6 mile round trip through the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. Their names: Bachelor and 3 Graves, Grizzly Giant, Clothespin Tree, California Tunnel and many more imaginative (and less so) things. The ground and forest was so dry, filling our noses and mouths with a gritty plume every step. Evidence of previous fires were scattered throughout the grove - twisted, blackened stumps interspersed throughout the ponderosa pines and redwoods. Fire seems like the forest's enemy, but much like eucalyptus, giant sequoias rely on 'cool', regular fires to clear ground debris, provide soil nutrients and crack the cones for new growth. It's a beautiful parable of fire as a regenerative tool, much as our Master Crafter purifies and molds us.
Our hike was surprisingly exhausting, perhaps a combination of the elevation change, higher altitides and nearly 3 weeks of similar stuff. It was this afternoon we spread out our tarps and blankets, strung a hammock and rested in the shade of mighty 'El Cap'. I can't imagine David having rock slabs quite this impressive so how much more do his words of Ps 61 ring true here: "...lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy."
Cilla and Becky walked down to the river to capture some stunning images of the valley walls reflected in the river. Such mind blowing beauty will stay with us forever.
- NomesRead more