Sunday, September 18, 2011

Yosemite National Park

September 7-11, 2011.  All we can say is "Wow" what a beautiful national park to visit.  We stayed at the KOA in Mariposa, 36 winding miles east of Yosemite.  Each day we went to the park to be awed again.  We took a nine hour bus and tram tour on the second day.  It took us up to the trail to Glacier Point and we hiked to the top.  What a view.  We also went to the Mariposa Grove, where many of the largest Sequoia trees on earth grace the mountains. Although the Sequoias have been through many forest fires, they still stand, even if they are burned 3/4 of the way through. Many on the large trees have bark that is a foot thick.  Some of the limbs were 6' in diameter and the base of the tree was 36' across. On our visit we also saw El Capitan, Half Dome, the Merced River, Bridal Veil Fall, the upper and lower Yosemite Falls, a sandy beach at Swinging Bridge and the Cathedral Spires.  We got to see deer, chickoree (what we call squirrels) chipmunks, various birds, and even a weasel. This was a bear area, but we did not get to see any.  We took a side trip on our last day to O'Shaunessy Dam at Hetch Hetchy, we walked across the dam and gazed at beautiful Hetch Hetchy reservoir. We visited the Yosemite Lodge ($219. per night and the Awanhee Lodge($500. a night).  We couldn't even afford to eat there.  Finally, we visited the Yosemite Chapel where 300 weddings a year are held.

Bridal Veil Fall
El Capitan
Beautiful Yosemite Valley
Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point

Deb at the back of our tour bus, day 2 of 5

Deb at Glacier Point with Half Dome

Clothes Pin Tree (Sequoia(
Deb found an 18" cone

230' high, 36' in diameter
So burned we could walk through this Sequoia

Deb at Yosemite Lodge
After lunch at Wowona Hotel
Tree Hugger with twin Jeffery pines
Wowona Hotel

The water was too cold to swim
a Stellar's Jay
Narrow road

Awhanee Lodge
Inside Yosemite Chapel
Hetch Hetchy Lake at O'Shaunessy Dam
A Chickoree

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