Farewell Yosemite

IMG_2985Yesterday, we did one last hike up Yosemite Valley’s Mist Trail to Vernal Falls — a steep but truly breathtaking hike to the top of one of the waterfalls in the Park. It was spectacular, including a gorgeous rainbow at the bottom of the falls.

It continues to mystify me how people will walk by signs banning wading and swimming in order to wade and swim in a highly dangerous area. The result is that over 200 people kill or injure themselves every year on this trail. This includes the drowning of two children after they were allowed to wade into the water on slippery rocks.

Most people however are civil and compliant in hiking the trail. At the very top are the emerald pools and an overlook of the falls. We loved it.

We then drove to a rented house between Monterey and Santa Cruz — a lovely drive through two other parks. I cannot encourage readers more enthusiastically to visit Yosemite. As many of you know, I can a huge fan of our national parks and our extraordinary rangers. Indeed, we were accompanied this trip by our friend Jo Anne who just retired as a state ranger in California.

These parks are our greatest legacy and shared resource. I particularly enjoyed going to the camp spot where John Muir is believed to have sold Teddy Roosevelt on concept of a national park system in a lovely meadow surrounded the towering rock faces of Yosemite. Whether it is walking among the huge redwoods (as we did yesterday on the Mercer trail) or looking over the Vernal Falls, these sights rival the greatest cathedrals of Europe in terms of the inspiration and awe that you experience.

Today we are off to the Redwood forest and other sites around Monterey and Santa Cruz.

Here are a few pictures from the Vernal Falls.

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13 thoughts on “Farewell Yosemite

  1. Don’t miss Big Basin Redwoods State Park near Santa Cruz. Hike to the waterfall. Bring a lunch and a bottle of wine. Then drive up the coast and see the Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo. Sometimes there’s huge waves at Mavericks, south side of Pigeon Point lighthouse.

  2. If you haven’t already, I hope that one day you’ll take the opportunity to hike the trail from Happy Isles along the Merced and climb to the top of Half Dome. It’s a 360-degree view that allows one to see just how extensive and magnificent the Sierra Nevada really is. It’s well worth the energy spent, but bring work gloves!

  3. If you have the time you should go south to Big Sur and have lunch at Nepenthe. See one of the birthplaces of the Bohemian and later Hippie movements. Great lunch…..fabulous view.

    One of my favorite spots when visiting family in Pacific Grove.

    Better yet. Come back and take another trip! It is impossible to see all of the great places in California in one visit.

  4. Another fun trip I am enjoying right along with you JT and I don’t have to leave my darling husband or my pets. You take beautiful pictures and I use some as screen savers because they are so awesome. Thank you, honorable Mr. Turley. Keep these interesting trips coming. Mr Lincoln and I are living on a fixed income, now, and cannot travel so we will go vicariously with you and enjoy every minute.
    When are you going back to Europe? I especially loved London and Sicilly!!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

  5. Things have changed a little in my 40 years of visiting NP’s……..Whenever you visit a National Park (which are UN property BTW) you often think that you are in a 3rd world country. The guards (rangers) certainly do not want you there.

  6. When you get a chance, go to the intersection of the 405 and the 10, the L.A. basin – see what they’ve done to California, the once pristine, Golden State.

  7. I agree with the lady about not leaving her pets. We like road trips with our dog and she loves them. Have any of you checked out the prices for nice kennels! If you’re happy with a cage you can afford it. Some places to stay allow dogs with ludicrous add-on prices. Places are starting to allow well-behaved dogs inside, but we try to find outdoor eating. A trip like JT’s would be a dog’s playground who gets to the top faster and waits in the Emerald pool!

    PS, seems I’ve lost my auto fill below, can someone fix it?

  8. Hey DBQ…

    Totally 2nd your Nepenthe’s recommendation. Try to take a motorcycle ride there monthly. Bring binoculars, occasionally you can see whales in the ocean and eagles, and condors soaring the ridges of the near by hillside.
    Gotta visit the hippy dippy gift shop below the restaurant….lot’s of cool stuff.

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