Taft Point, Yosemite National Park, CA
A short power nap after work, caffeine readily available, the car is packed. This was the setting of our first night, driving into Yosemite before the sun had even begun to consider rising the next day.
Our plan was to get a walk in spot at Camp 4, the coveted $6 a night per person walk-in camp ground. We arrived at 5:30 am, to find over thirty people waiting in line for just thirteen spots. Lynn was crushed. All the planning, the long drive, all of it for nothing if we couldn't find a place to stay.
We moved on from there to the campground reservation office. We had no idea what to expect but we waited patiently. When the office finally opened they had a few campsites available, but only for 1 night stays, meaning we would have to go back every morning at 6 am. Except for one campsite. When they took us inside, they said they had one spot available for multiple days. The magic of it all? The site was open for the exact days we were staying in Yosemite. Pretty awesome right?
We set up our camp and hiked the valley, planning out the exact hikes and trails we would travel on that weekend. The first day was mostly warm up hikes. Short trips around the valley to get acquainted with our surroundings.
The first real day is where our adventure began. Above is a photo of Taft Point, the first stop on our trip to the Glacier Point area. The cliff side was a 40 minute hike from the parking lot. In order to chase the sunrise, we arrived before 6 am to begin our ascent. Our pain paid off. The sun rose to meet us, as we caught amazing views of El Capitan.
We continued on to Glacier Point, in hopes of warming up from the cold morning at Taft. The sun was out in full now and was warming the look out at Glacier Point. With beautiful and easily accessible views of Half-Dome, tourists were already flooding into the area. What you don't see below Lynn, are the swarms of tourists, fighting for shots.
In need of a change of scenery and gas for the car, we drove to Wawona County. The lodge here looks like it was taken out of another era. Reminiscent of the mansions I saw reconstructed from pre-Civil War Tennessee, the lodge makes any traveler feel welcome. Behind the lodge is a path to the swinging bridge and a lovely creek area.
After patiently waiting for screaming children to leave, we took our turn to play in the waters and enjoy cooling off a bit.
To finish off the night, we attempted to recreate a photo we had seen on Instagram. Tunnel view offers an amazing vantage point of the stars over the valley. But for a really cool effect, we slowed down the shutter speed and caught the light emanating from the tunnel. Truly, one of the greatest sights we saw this trip.
I am lucky to have seen it at all, seeing as Lynn hit me in the eyes with camera flash... twice.... but, as we always say, anything for the shot!
We will be back in part 2!
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