I will always remember Yosemite as the place we experienced the most comedy of errors. One day we meant to hike a 4-mile trail, but we took a wrong turn, which ended up being 12-miles. We ran out of water because we had only planned for a short jaunt. Hours later when we arrived back at Camp Curry with dinner I was a bit delirious and accidentally tossed my entire meal on the wall of my tent. (This is bad news because it has the potential to bring all the critters and bears to the yard.)
Later that night we locked ourselves out of our bear box where we stored our food and toiletries. After a ranger cut our lock off, a group of jerky raccoons decided to throw a raging party inside our bear box and take all of our best hiking snacks. We were away from the box for less than a minute. Despite our day of doom, as I refer to it, the rest of our time at Yosemite was awesome. We swam in a stream with the clearest water I’ve ever seen. It was so cold at first, but after playing around for a few minutes we got acclimated.
One night we drove for an hour up windy roads to Glacier Point so I could photograph the night sky above Half Dome. There we met photographers from all over the world and exchanged tips on astral photography. We watched the day’s light slip into the night like we were watching a movie.
When we go to National Parks I usually participate in the Junior Ranger program so I can earn a park badge. Part of that entails attending a Ranger-led educational talk. There I learned about two interesting Yosemite facts. Yosemite was named after the Native Americans that lived there. It is taken from the word Yohhe’meti which literally means “there are killers among us.”
At the Ranger talk, I also learned about an event called Firefall, which started back in 1872 and occurred for about 100 years. The innkeeper of the Glacier Point Hotel (which no longer exists) would burn wood all day then throw the smoldering embers down the cliff’s side while a band played at the bottom. Eventually, the tourist attraction came to an end because masses of people damaged the surrounding meadows.
Yosemite offers endless photography and hiking opportunities. We stayed inside the park for three nights, but I feel like we should have spent at least a whole week there. There are so many trails, falls, and lakes to explore. I am already dreaming of my next trip out there.
See you out there on the trails,