Yesterday, 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.