Sunday, July 17, 2011

Yosemite - Day 1

On our first full day at Yosemite, the plan was to get up early and head out.  Too tired!  When we finally drug ourselves up and out, our first stop was the visitor center.  Usually a park’s visitor center is near the entrance, but you had to drive a ways into the park to get to the closest of Yosemite’s three visitor centers.  Of course, we still had to do some stops along the way to take some pictures.  When we got there, Scott wanted to take advantage of the 30-minute movie about Yosemite hoping to get some info on different trails to hike, etc.  It was all I could do to keep my eyes open.  I was in a cool, dark room with a monotone voice narrating over soft music playing in the background.  Made me want to saw logs – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

We finished up at the visitor center and took off for one of the park’s shorter hikes.  Since we hadn’t gotten an early start, it was starting to get hot, so we decided to take it easy today.  We started at Bridalveil Falls – you’ll notice in the pictures of all the different waterfalls, this one falls off of the mountain at a place where the rocks are even across the top, so it looks like a veil.  It was an easy, short 0.5 mile round-trip walk to the falls.  Once we got close to the bottom of the waterfall, we could feel the mist spraying from it.

Bridalveil Falls

At the base of Bridalveil Falls
After taking in the view and cooling off in the light mist, we headed back to the car.  On our way, the girls had some fun posing on an odd-shaped tree.

Then we drove up one of the mountains to Tunnel View – named so because there’s a parking area where you can catch a spectacular view right before a tunnel.  On our way up, eagle-eye Ashlee spotted a deer in a small clearing off the road.  Whatever he was eating kept him there, even with us close enough to take his picture.  He did look up at us occasionally, but I guess he figured we weren’t going to bother him… either that or he figured he could take us if we did.

We finished up for the day by driving around the park a bit more before heading for the room for dinner.  After dinner, Scott and I headed to the hotel’s laundry room.  We spotted some people taking pictures of something and realized that there were a couple of raccoons checking out the “garbage” situation.  So I ran back to get the girls, and we watched the raccoons waddle around to see what was on the menu for the evening.  It was too dark to get a good picture.  When Scott and I got to the laundry room, one of the garbage cans in there had been turned over too.  We're assuming it was also hit by the raccoons. 

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