California Stories and Tips

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park Photo, California, United States

After sweltering in the heat of Death Valley, we found ourselves shivering 9000 ft above sea level as we descended down Tioga Pass on our way to Yosemite Valley. Everywhere there are beautiful views of the valley, mountains and lakes. I can understand why Ansell Adams found it so fascinating.

After checking in Camp Curry (motel rooms) which was to be our home for two nights, we went for a meal, then a short walk around the camp then a beer and bed. That night, my husband spent the whole night watching a mouse foraging for the food we had to bring out of our car and keep in our room. At 2.45am, the wolves were howling and cars were leaving -- possibly to look for the wolves.

The next morning, before breakfast, we took a walk round the camp hoping to see some wildlife. As we walked on the edge of the camp past the tents and at the foot of Half Dome (where Camp Curry is situated) I looked back and saw a Lynx walking on the path between the tents. I was so excited I forgot to take a photograph although I had my camera round my neck. After breakfast of coffee and bagel with cream cheese from the Coffee Shop, we walked to Mirror Lake, which took about 20 minutes. This is amazing, although there is not much water left now, the it is so still the mountains are reflected like a mirror -- hence the name Mirror Lake.

We then took to the car to see sights further afield. We visited Mariposa Grove and saw the giant sequoia trees -- one has been hollowed out for a footpath to go through. Next was the Wawona Lodge area where we had a sandwich from the small supermarket/gift shop. Then we visited Bridal Veil Falls, which I was surprised to see flowing as I expected it to be dry at this time of year (September). Unfortunately, we did not get to see Yosemite Falls as our time was running out and we had seen so much.

Before our evening meal, we gathered with other people to watch the sunset on Half Dome. This was beautiful as the dome turns pink then red as the sun sets. The whole valley is really beautiful with superb scenery and views wherever you go and lots of squirrels, chickadees and deer just wandering freely among people. My only disappointment was we didn't see a bear!

The catering also left a lot to be desired. The only choice was a buffet at $11.95 per person or a pizza take-away.

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