#OptOutside was the battle cry of many adventurers this Black Friday, as the California State Park system made most parks free if you pre-registered. Never one to pass up a good deal, Lynn and I picked a few places, registered, and decided to go to Big Basin State Park!
On our way back form the Lantern Fest in Reno, we made a quick stop in Lake Tahoe to visit Bonsai Rock. We parked on the side of the freeway and made our way down to the beach. The sun was just starting to rise and the waves were gently washing up against the rocks. We jumped from boulder to boulder, staying just out of the reach of the water below. Our own little playground by the water's edge.
We played there for a while before deciding to leave. But that would not be the end of our adventures in Tahoe. As we drove back to Davis to meet with friends, we saw directions to a place called Vikingsholm, which we went to because, ya know, it was named freaking Vikingsholm. We enjoyed views of a castle in the middle of the lake from high up on the mountain top.
Tahoe has always been a trip I took with my family in the summer, but after seeing the sights that weekend, next on our list is to dive in to an adventure in the snow!
"I want to go to a Lantern Festival, you know where we can light lanterns like in Tangled?" Lynn said.
"But we missed the one in LA, are they hosting more soon?" I asked.
"The closest one is in Reno."
"Isn't Reno kinda far away?"
"It's actually just outside of Reno..."
"Let's go, who knows when we will get this chance again." I say, after much thought.
" Good because I already bought the tickets." Lynn responds, unwavering in her pursuit of the Lantern Fest.
Pullout near Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, CA
As another day dawned, we drove quickly out of the valley. This time however, we were stopped in our tracks by a fire raging the side of the mountain. Crews were driving up and down the road at breakneck speeds to assist in the containment. So what do we do? Like the good hipsters we are, we hopped out of the car and snapped some photos.
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.
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