Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Yosemite National Park Hiking, Part I

Pictures and words cannot touch the deep experience of being in a majestic place like Yosemite National Park.  Karen and I took hundreds of pictures and we made sure we were in some of them so future generations didn't toss out all the travel pictures!   I appreciated being with Karen and her encouragement of me as we hiked, most often just five miles/day.  She said to me on the trail, "Oh, I just love the warm feeling in my body when my heart rate goes up and warm blood fills my veins."  Well, I don't share her sentiments.  I've done very little exercise over my almost 70 years that got my blood pumping harder and faster.  I actually do not like the feeling.  I usually feel out of breath and a bit constricted by my back pack.  Karen often let me lead the way so the pace was comfortable for me.  She does admit to the joy of stopping for pictures or just to admire a tree, moss, a mountain, or listen to the water running in a small creek.

We entered the park at the Tioga Park Entrance, Highway 120, which was built in the 1960's over Tioga Pass.  The road is closed in the winter because of snow.   Cathedral Lakes became our destination for Day one.
 I love John Muir's quote on this sign, "This I may say is the first time I have been to church in California."  

 This lake is in the area of the park called Tuolumne Meadows.  We learned Californians loves to come to this area because it's not so crowded.  We met expert hikers who were experiencing this trail for the first time, just like we were.  The trail is actually part of the famous John Muir Trail and walking on it caused me to pause and think of all the other people who've tramped on it.  

Day two we drove further on Tioga Pass, toured Tenaya Lake. Olmsted Point, and hiked to May Lake.  Here we saw the remnants of a High Sierra Camp, where backpackers and hikers stay during the summer, in canvas tents.  
 The Olmsted's ensured that the park's landscape remained a place of beauty and his designs are apparent all over the park, especially at this turnout, named for them.  
 We enjoyed our views from Olmsted Point, quite certain that the peak in the background is Half Dome!  It didn't seem that far away "as the crow flies" but the drive over the pass and down into the valley took several hours.

View of Mt. Hoffman, 10850', one of the highest peaks in the Park, with May Lake in the foreground. 

And this view greeted us as we walked from the parking lot to our tent in Curry Village.  

All the wide world is beautiful, and it matters but little where we go....The spot where we chance to be always seems the best!  John Muir

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