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Unread 29 Aug 16, 04:28 PM  
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miked1e
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A Suitcase and a Dream - Day 7 - Yosemite National Park

Friday 29th July - Day 7

This was our day to explore Yosemite National Park!

First on the list today was to walk The Mist Trail to the top of Vernon Falls. Apparently this is one of the more popular walks within Yosemite, so we had decided to get up early to walk it before the crowds start to build... This and the fact that it would be far too hot during the middle of the day!

So alarm goes off at 0700hrs, and we get ourselves ready for the walk. Backpack packed (with plenty of water), cameras charged and ready... and we make our way over to the Mountain foodcourt to get some breakfast!

We pick up a bagel with cream cheese each, coffee and green tea and we pick up a couple of snack bars for the walk! We see an American lady in the Q that we briefly spoke to yesterday, and have a little chat with her... she was leaving Yosemite this morning to head back down to LA!

Breakfast was basic but nice, and filled us up ready for the hike! So quick toilet break and then out to the bus-stop were a bus was waiting!

We got to stop # 16, Happy Isles at around 0815hrs. There were about 20 other people getting off at this stop and heading off on a walk!



The first bit was in the shade... steep at points... but we made it to the footbridge with beautiful views up the river!





The sun was just starting to pop up above the mountains!

We then made our way up alongside the river before you get closer to Vernon Falls and start to make your way up many steps!









I can only imagine what these falls are like during peak times... you would get soaked from the mist!

The last little bit is almost single file up the steps...

We had done it... made it to the top of Vernon Falls!



Stunning views from the top!

It was now getting on 0930hrs and it had taken us just over an hour to get to the top. We had already decided that this was enough for us and we wouldn't carry on to the top of Nevada Falls.

We saw a sign at the top offering an alternative route down, as it seems the route up gets quite busy so they try to re-direct everyone from the top!



So we decided to follow this instead... however, there was no-one on this part of the walk and we were starting to worry a little, and considered turning back round to head back down the way we came.

But just around the corner we met another young family who were taking a short break and were looking for the same route down. They had gone past another group who said continue on the path and you will soon come to a few signs... this re-assured us and we continued for another 5-10 mins uphill before we got to the main route down... The John Muir Trail.

Thankfully the route down was in the shade... the route up was tough, and the temperature was increasing... so this downhill walk in the shade was a pleasant change! This route down was a winding track as opposed to the steps down that we were going to take. Probably a lot easier on the knees!

We were back down to the footbridge around 1045hrs... The footbridge was very very busy at this time... we were so glad we started early. We navigated our way through the crowds and soon started making our way down to the bus stop!

Holly was trying to get a piggy back down as she had had enough at this point!



Back down to the bus stop around 1130hrs.

Great walk... tough at points, but well worth it for the views on the way up and at the top of the falls!

Back to the bus stop, and we wanted to explore a little more... so we jumped the bus one stop and headed for the Mirror Lake walk!

This is only a short 'flat' walk to Mirror Lake! Although at this point our legs were starting to feel very heavy and wondering whether we should continue!

The walk is along a flat track through a wooded area, and we kept our eyes out for any wildlife... note that there are plenty of warning signs for Mountain Lions!

We got to Mirror Lake without seeing any... thankfully!



We admired the views... but I think we were both done in and ready to get back and have some pool time!

We crossed over to the other side of the lake, and made our way back down the road... which was a much easier walk!

As we were making our way down, the road met the path that we had just walked up, but we decided to stay on the road... a couple of minutes later... the moment we had really wanted happened (well maybe not this close)... a black bear (big cub size) ran across the road about 100ft in front of us! We both froze... It was all over in a second or two, and no time for us to get a camera out!

I stupidly wanted to get closer to see if we could see the bear, but Holly rightly pointed out that were there is a cub, there is usually a mother!

So we made our way back to the path (which we had passed minutes earlier) and made our way back down there, were there were other people! We couldn't believe what we had just seen... this was a massive highlight of the trip so far!

The following picture is from the bus stop, and up that road to were it bends is where we had our encounter!



It was now around 1400hrs, and we made our way back to the lodge.

We were done, and ready for some pool time!

Stopped by the food court and got a sandwich each, which we ate outside on the tables. Can't remember exactly what we had... But it was well deserved after the hikes we had been on this morning.

Now back to the room...

I had seen a few things about the Swinging Bridge, and people going down there to swim in the river!

So instead of going the pool we made the short walk (10 mins) to the bridge.



This was a little beach area on the river, with plenty of people paddling / swimming, and people jumping in from the bridge!

Was a nice area, but we actually didn't stay for too long... I think the little fish in the river, and the kids skimming / throwing stones put us off slightly!

So we made our way back to the lodge to go into the pool. The pool was much warmer than yesterday, as once the sun goes behind the mountains (around 1700-1800hrs) the water temp just seems to drop!

The pool area is very nice, and all guests have to show their room key to get in. Great views from the pool, and you could make out the falls... which was basically a trickle!

We spent a couple of hours by the pool, and just spoke about how much we loved this place! Holly mentioned that this was the first time on the holiday her shoulders had dropped and she felt unbelievably relaxed! It was just perfect!

We made our way back to the room about 1800hrs, and the plan was to do nothing!

The walk back was via the Gift Shop were Holly picked up a few things she had her eye on, including a cuddly bear, fridge magnet and the usual Christmas decorations for our Holiday Tree!

I was sent out to the foodcourt around 1900hrs to get cheeseburger and chips x 2, and a bottle of diet coke for Holly!



Didn't take long as was a short walk to the main building, and I was back around 1930hrs...

We sat on the balcony and had our dinner... then finished it off with the remainder of the cheese and crackers from the night before.

I had a couple of beers and then we finished off the wine we had opened the night before!

It was just fast-food... but it was lovely... and so nice that we could just take it back to the room and enjoy it on our balcony!

We stayed on the balcony with Holly reading her book, and I was on my ipod touch keeping up to date with things back home, but also planning the route for tomorrow!

Again just so peaceful and quiet, and it wasn't long before it started to go dark... We stayed outside till about 2230-2245hrs, as I wanted Holly to see the stars that I had the night before!

She was amazed... again, we had never seen anything like this.

It was just a perfect evening to finish off a perfect couple of days in Yosemite!

We would be sad to leave tomorrow... However, we are certain that this will not be the last time we will be in Yosemite!

It's another long day tomorrow, so we call it a night, and I make sure that the cameras are all on charge ready the next part of our journey... Yosemite National Park to San Francisco!

End of Day 7!

Index

Day 8 - Yosemite National Park to San Francisco

Edited at 08:21 PM.
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Unread 29 Aug 16, 07:33 PM  
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Gorgeous day, fabulous photos. Pussycat
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Unread 29 Aug 16, 07:47 PM  
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Stunning photos, another great day
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Unread 29 Aug 16, 10:17 PM  
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Ooooh your report and photos are making me jealous I so want to go back. Looking forward to your next report.
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Unread 30 Aug 16, 04:09 PM  
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Fab day lovely photos

Yosemite is one of the places im most excited to see
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Unread 5 Sep 16, 12:20 PM  
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Great day. Our son and his mates also saw a bear - a big one - in Yosemite last year.

John Muir was an amazing man - a Scot who is father of the US national parks.
One day I will make it to Yosemite!
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Unread 17 Sep 16, 04:42 PM  
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It looks like you had a great day, and I love the thought of a low key dinner on the balcony with a bottle of wine. Sounds perfect.
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Unread 17 Oct 16, 09:19 PM  
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Stars in Yosemite. Can't wait. Thanks for sharing.
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