Tunnel View My parents mixed things up a bit and came out for a spring visit. They were with us the last week of May, including Memorial Day Weekend. During their visit we really packed it in! They joined our Pack Meeting and Arrow of Light ceremony for our Webelos, they baked multiple amazing goods, we met the newest member of Joy and Collin's family AND we went to Yosemite for two days. Bridal Veil Falls with Mom and Dad
Going to Yosemite Valley this late in the spring meant we broke our cardinal rule of avoiding the valley and crowds between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but it was what worked and the heavy snowfall this last winter made for some pretty spectacular falls! We provided a little extra comfort for my parents and stayed at the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal for two nights. Upper Yosemite Falls After a decently early (~ 3:30pm) exit from the Bay Area, we had dinner at 1850 in Mariposa and were checked into the hotel by 9pm on Thursday. To guarantee valley parking and skip as many lines as we could, we were up and at 'em early on Friday morning. The approach worked really well - there were free parking spots at Tunnel View, Bridal Veil falls and in the Valley across from the Yosemite Falls stop (all before 9am). The falls were roaring at Bridal Veil and we got soaked in the process of walking up to the lookout. Lower Yosemite Falls wasn't much different. The mist coming off of the crashing water felt like rain. And the rivers... we haven't ever seen the Merced flow like that before. It was amazing.
Half Dome! From the Lower Yosemite loop we walked to the Yosemite Falls trail head and hiked up to the lookout. We had forgotten just have rocky that trail is and how many switch backs there are just to get to Columbia Rock and the lookout. And boy was the trail packed. My parents were trooper! The views from the lookout were gorgeous, as always. But it was especially impressive with being able to see Sentinel Falls and feel the thunder of Yosemite Falls. I had forgotten it is the 5th tallest waterfall in the world. And at it's peak, the quantity of water that flows each second is mind blowing. From the base of Upper Yosemite falls we enjoyed our lunch and then headed back down to the Valley. Before we left we walked to the Visitor Center and store and in the end clocked nearly 11 miles that day!
Mom and Dad and Falls We returned to Yosemite on Saturday but avoided the Valley Floor and the three hour delays just to drive the loop. We headed straight to Glacier Point and left early enough we had a place to park. We spent a couple of hours soaking in the vistas and admiring Snow Creek Falls and the other spontaneous falls that seemed to flow over every ledge. Once we had photographed every angle (for the umpteenth millionth time), we hiked down to Illouette Falls. Thankfully this trail was kinder to our feet and the views among my favorite in the park. I've hiked the Panorama Trail 3 - 4 times and the portion we walked with my parents that day had more water than I remember having seen before. Never have we had to cross a stream flowing across and down the trail before! We had a perfect day - two perfect days actually. It's no wonder my parents fell in love with Yosemite too! At Glacier Point we took yet a few more photos before packing up and heading back to Fremont.
Pictures from Yosemite are here.