Tag Archives: Tenaya Lake

A Day of Rest and Relaxation in Yosemite

After a strenuous hike along the Panorama Trail, a day of rest and relaxation was exactly what the vacation ordered.

We said goodbye to our friends Jason and Robyn after breakfast on our second full day in Yosemite. We knew that we would be taking it easy, because our legs were in pain. We hobbled out to our car and decided to drive up towards Tenaya Lake. We just wanted to find a good spot to sit and do nothing. And there is no better place to do nothing than in one of my favorite spots in the whole park.


We claimed a great slab of granite and broke out our lunch snacks. And we just sat. It was perfect.




We hung out at Tenaya Lake for about an hour, and then we headed further up the Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows. Once again, we found a hunk of granite and just sat.


We enjoyed the peace of Tuolumne Meadows and watched a rainstorm slowly roll in. We were actually pretty pumped to experience a storm in Yosemite. In two previous trips, we had never had a rainy day.

The second we saw lightening, though, we headed for the car. We started the drive back to Yosemite Valley, and caught a few cool glimpses of the passing storm.



We also saw our second bear of the trip, and it was a big one! We managed to get some of our best bear pictures ever before the inevitable crowds arrived.


Even though we didn’t do much, it was one of the most perfect days I’ve spent in Yosemite.

* Patagonia might be my new favorite brand after this trip. I am in love with the “plaid” shirt I wore this day. I also picked up their MiniMass Messenger Bag for the trip, in hot pink of course. I love it, too! A gear review is in order soon.

The Best Trips…

If you read my vacation recap posts, you probably noticed some negativity as the trip progressed. Even though I try very hard to look on the bright side of things and I don’t want to come across as a Debbie Downer, I wanted to share an honest account of our experience in California this summer. I’m not perfect, my life isn’t perfect, and I never want to give the impression of perfection here. I want to keep it real.

I don’t view those negative experiences as a bad thing. It turns out that the trip, all the good and bad, taught me a valuable lesson about traveling…

When you visit new places, you see new and interesting things.

Mono Lake


You begin to look at the world around you in a different way.


Tiny Jason

You do things you never thought you could do or would do.

Getting Closer...

Lembert Dome

Experiences can spark you to act on your dreams


Or spark dreams you never even knew you had.

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

Sometimes, you never want to return from your travels.

We've Arrived!

But while traveling allows you to appreciate new places, some trips also help you appreciate the places you left behind…

Let Summer Begin!

It's Ours!

John Muir Trail - April 9, 2011

I think the best trips do both.

And that is exactly what this summer’s trip did. I saw new things, experienced new places, had dreams of new adventures sparked. I also appreciated home…finally. I missed my town, I missed my house, I missed Wisconsin. And I realized that this is where I want to live my life.

I’ll still get to see the world, but every traveler needs a home base. And this summer, it was nice to know that I really had one.

So with that, I’m closing the book on California 2011. Time to look ahead to next summer. I’m not absolutely sure where our next adventure will take us – we’re still mulling it over – but I’m excited for the journey.

Recap of Yosemite 2010, Day 5

It’s Sunday, so that means Jason and I will be exploring Kings Canyon National Park. We will be fully immersed in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which I’m sure I’m loving  🙂

As I prepared for this recap series, I realized that I never wrote a post for our final day in Yosemite last June 🙁  Bad Blogger! Bad! The funny thing is that Day 5 probably made the greatest impact on me personally. And it was our drive into the mountains on Day 5 that led to this current trip.

Here’s hoping I do that day justice…


Day 5 – June 9, 2010

After our big hike to Vernal and Nevada Falls, we decided that our final day would be best spent sitting as much as possible. So, we headed for the high country along the Tioga Road.
Let's Head for the High Country

Jason was super excited to see a marmot.
Close Up on the Marmot

We stopped at Olmstead Point with yet another different view of Half Dome.
Half Dome

Cloud's Rest

Our next stop along was Tenaya Lake. It was still a little iced over.

Tenaya Lake

We passed by the Tuolumne Meadows area that was still slightly snow-covered and shut-down (imagine that). Since we got into the park on a free weekend, we weren’t driving out of the park. This was as far as we went. Look at that snow!
Lots of Snow

High Country Clouds & Sky 1

Clearly, they weren’t kidding.
Looks Like They're Not Kidding

Because I was obsessed with it, we made another stop at Tenaya Lake.
Jason in His Element

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake

Smile for the Waterfall!

The sky was just SO blue.
High Country

Yosemite Creek
Yosemite Creek

Yosemite Creek

Yosemite Creek

For some reason, I found these signs to be really funny.
There Are Rocks Everywhere!

Other signs weren’t very funny. These signs indicated spots where bears had been hit. “Red Bear, Dead Bear.” Not funny.
Red Bear = Dead Bear

“Watch for Rocks” = Funny. Rocks falling on truck = Not so funny.
Remember: Watch for Rocks

Back in the Valley, we stopped at Fern Spring.
Fern Spring

Fern Spring

And at El Capitan.
El Capitan

We turned into the Valley Chapel parking lot for more than just church business…

We were scoping out the neighboring meadow for bears. We got lucky!
"Our" Bear

After dinner, we headed out to get some evening shots of Half Dome. As the sun sets, it’s like the face of Half Dome glows. We got there rather early, so we went bear “hunting” again.
Half Dome

Bear #3
Bear #3

And Bear #4
Bear #4!!

Bear #4

As we peeled ourselves away from bear watching, we realized we were missing our Half Dome photo op.
Half Dome as the Sun Sets

Half Dome at Sunset

Half Dome at Sunset

Half Dome at Sunset


I was so sad for that trip to be over. I teared up so many times as we left the park, took off from the airport, arrived back in Wisconsin. However, in those final moments with Yosemite Valley, I vowed to return. And I kept that promise to myself.

Goodbye Yosemite

I can’t wait to share the latest chapter of my travels with you!


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