Tag Archives: Yosemite National Park

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.

DSC04634

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

DSC04644

DSC04646

IMG_2404

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.

DSC04651

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.

DSC04663

DSC04686

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.

IMG_2451

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.

Panorama Trail in Yosemite National Park

Every time we visit Yosemite, we tackle a big hike. This year, we had a couple of awesome hiking buddies! One of Jason’s best friends from high school, Jason, and his wife, Robyn, moved from Wisconsin to the Los Angeles area a few years ago. We were so happy when our friends were able to spend our first day in Yosemite with us!

Since Robyn and Jason had never visited Yosemite before, they left the plans for the day up to us. We suggested a hike, and we set out to find a new-to-us trail that would also give them a good glimpse of the magnificence of Yosemite. After a little research, we chose the 8-mile Panorama Trail from Glacier Point to the Valley floor.

DSC04528

DSC04535

DSC04533

The first highlight of the hike was coming upon a grouse. We assumed he was courting a lady (who we never saw), because he paid no attention to us. The Jasons were in awe of how close we could get to the bird, because they’re normally very flighty.

DSC04540

The first two miles of the hike were absolutely incredible! There were great views all around us – I guess they don’t call it the Panorama Trail for nothing. I soaked it all in. It was one of those instances of being completely in the moment and appreciating being right were I was, being with great people, and doing something that I love to do.

DSC04542

DSC04545

DSC04557

DSC04559

Eventually, we hit our first major landmark: Illilouette Fall. We didn’t get much of a look at the waterfall, but we enjoyed a short snack break along the banks of Illilouette Creek.

DSC04579

Little did we know that the “easy” part of the hike was over. The hike had been all downhill up to this point, but you have to hike up out of the creek valley. A series of steep switchbacks take you up 800 feet again. They are no joke! I definitely struggled, and I felt like a total wuss when another hiker ran – yes, ran – past us to catch back up with his group. Of course, the group was full of super fit, built men.

The climb seemed to go on forever, but we finally made it to the top and started going downhill again. But now, the downhill was the problem. It wasn’t the smooth, easy downhill of the first part of the hike. Our legs took a beating on the final stretch.

Since it was our friends’ first time to the park, we added the short trip to the top of Nevada Fall. For as difficult as the hike is whether hiking up along the Mist Trail, like we did the first year, or hiking down from Glacier Point, I never thought I would find myself at the top of Nevada Fall again. I savored the whole thing.

DSC04607

DSC04621

We hiked the John Muir Trail down to the Valley. I totally didn’t remember that stretch being so rough. Either I was way more fit three years ago (which isn’t out of the question) or it was so bad, I blocked it. That last couple of hours were excruciating.

Despite how bad my legs hurt, I loved every minute of it. I felt like I really accomplished something. And when you are surrounded by the beauty of Yosemite and you’re with people you love, it’s just the best thing ever.

DSC04624

A Look Back at 2011

Is it just me, or did 2011 fly by? It certainly was a busy year, thanks to some great opportunities to travel. Here’s a little look back at some of my year’s highlights.

We completed our biggest renovation project in three years…

Before & After: Bonus Room Renovation

bathroom before after

Which was promptly ruined…

This Old House

We explored our land in the winter and snapped some pictures of our wild tenants…

Special Winter Photography & Peek-A-Boo Deer

Jason and I visited the Milwaukee County Zoo for the first time in ages…

Warmth Draws Me Outside

I entered photos into a photo competition, a first for me. I didn’t win, but it was a start…

Photo Contest!!

Fern Spring

After making it into the Yosemite High Sierra Camps for the 2011 season, Jason and I made preparations for our trip…

Working with My Strenghts

Which were promptly decimated…

Back to the Vacation Drawing Board

🙁

We kicked off summer by camping in the backyard with our niece, Reagan…

Great American Backyard Campout 2011

Happy Campers

July brought our revamped trip to California, where we visited three national parks – Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon – instead of the originally planned one.

Complete California Vacation 2011 Series

Lembert Dome

And thanks to a family wedding in Washington, DC, we were able to add a fourth national park to our itinerary this year, bringing our total to 4 of 58 national parks visited…

DC Road Trip and Shenandoah National Park Series

Shenandoah National Park

2011 was a pretty good year. Can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...