Anyone who is thinking of traveling the United States likely has Yosemite National Park on the must do lists. We were no exception. Through our travels in the west we have seen some spectacular sights, but Yosemite has to be one of the absolute best. The views from that valley are really something special. And we had a unique additional component, snow! Apparently that is a fairly rare occurrence for the late fall. First up, the video of our Yosemite adventure.
We knew we were right on the edge of winter operations in the northern half of the west and were pushing our luck a little. But it all worked out. We missed the snows by a day in Lake Tahoe and then were able to get settled in Groveland, our Yosemite home before the snows hit there. Getting to Groveland turned out to be a bit of a challenge. Had we realized just how adventurous Hwy. 120 going to Groveland actually was, we may have made other plans. The interesting thing is, we went on the NEW road that replaced the old stage line road. And this one was supposed to be a lot better. With 75' worth of Circus to get up that winding road, little shoulder and steep drops, it got our attention. It likely got the attention of other vehicles going the opposite way as well.
But it was all worth it to get close to the National Park. We had one day in the air and the next on the ground. Both were jaw dropping. As we took off from Groveland there was a concern the Yosemite Valley would be covered by a cloud layer. But as if on cue, the clouds opened up just as we came over the valley giving us a million dollar view of the entire snow covered Yosemite area.
El Capitan, Half Dome and the entire valley came in to view. While looking straight down El Capitan we were thinking of a climber who recently free climbed the entire face in about 4 hours. No ropes, no harnesses. Apparently the weekend we were there the first woman free climbed it in about 24 hours. Most climbers take much longer and spend multiple nights hanging from shelters on the side of the cliff face.
The ground views were just as spectacular as we drove into the park.
One of my favorite shots captured the mist above the snow in a meadow at the center of the valley.
We could see where Yosemite Falls was supposed to flow, but apparently not this time of year.
We ran across a couple of guys that had set up an entire outdoor dining experience for an Executive group staying in the park hotel. It was a really interesting idea, but was likely a little chilly on that particular day.