Next on the list of things to see was Yosemite National Park. It’s a big park at 1900 miles2 but we decided to see only a fraction of it. Yosemite Valley is the main tourist zone and features mostly everything you would want to see. Although our campsite was the closest to the park, we still had about a 30-mile drive through the park to get to the valley. However, all along the way we were presented with amazing views that went on for miles. The journey took twice as long as we kept stopping for pictures! The elevation of the journey was the highest we’d ever driven. At points it reached 7500ft above see level – when we jumped out of a plane in New Zealand it was only 9000ft! Some of the roads ran parallel with sheer drops. I could see Stef hold on to her seat as we did when fear set in. Yeah, because you’ll be fine holding on to the chair if the car goes off a drop 500+ foot high!

We made it to the Valley and first up was Mirror Lake. It was a small mile walk to the lake but as you walked to it, the tallest valley sides surrounded you. They were mainly rock and were massive. It was quite a view. You could imagine dinosaurs running around in the valley, as it looked so untouched by mankind. We got to the lake and true to it’s name, It gave you a really good reflection of the surroundings above it. It was quite small though but we found out that as sediment from the valley falls into the lake, it makes it smaller and smaller. Soon, it won’t even be there! It was time for lunch and I had made sandwiches. We have a cool box and somehow, the ice had seeped through its bag and filled up the box. The sandwiches had fallen into the icy water and were now extremely soggy. We still ate them as it also provided us with extra water! Waste not want not. For dessert, we had the freeze-dried ice cream. It was surprisingly tasty. It tasted like ice cream but was the texture of meringue. It was really peaceful sitting there having lunch and some of the amazing sites you could have while eating. On the way back we had to cross a small dam. It was made from twigs and branches but the river was quite fast flowing through the gaps. We watched a few people attempt it before we thought about crossing. One young girl had to get on her hands and knees! Stef was bang on it though and crossed it with ease. As I was taking her photo, an old couple (probably about 70 years old) approached me and asked if there was a crossing further up from where the lake was. I said no and they said they would cross at the dam. I asked them if they were sure but they were adamant. The bloke was off across the dam straight away but left the dear old lady behind. I told her I would help her if she needed. They were both very agile and didn’t need my help, which was lucky, as I did not want to be responsible for her falling in the water. It would have been so hilarious though.

We drove to the next tourist hotspot, Yosemite Falls. There were two of them. Lower and higher but they ran into the other. The walk to the lower one was about 40 minutes. The higher was an 8 hour walk and was 1600m high! We chose the lower, for obvious reasons. It was getting hot and as we were half way there, my battery died on the camera. I knew it was low but I just couldn’t be bothered to change it. Serves me right, as I had to walk all the way back to the car on my own to get a charged one.

After a tiring walk, we made it to the lower falls. It was rammed with tourists. They were not the biggest waterfalls we had seen but the fact there were two massive falls right by each other was a sight to be seen. Seeing as the top one was so high and the flow was so intense – where did the water come from? We had a few photos taken but the highlight was a young man (looked like your typical American Jock) mucking about on the rocks in the river. As he was showing off he slipped and belly bashed the rock. He then fell into the river and the water soaked him. He wasn’t laughing anymore but I sure was. You could see it had hurt him but it made it all the more funny. Stef had been filming the view and had just missed him slip. Such a shame.

On the way back we detoured to Glacier Point. It was a great vantage point that towered over everything we had experience during the day. You could see for miles. In the background, there were snow-topped mountains as far as the eye could see. It was really breath-taking and we had not seen anything like this since the Blue Mountains in Australia. I climbed on a rock that extended over the canyon. No cables or safety net.

 

The things I do for a photo.