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Published: August 12th 2006
Do you see a face?
Viewing the Half Dome at just before sunset
Day 3 - August 7, 2006
We were all set to go to Yosemite National Park. Scott, who started planning for this trip months ago, had the foresight to order a National Parks Pass in advance. The California countryside on the way to the park was always interesting, even if you were merely passing the imposing windmills that help generate much-needed electricity. (They don't want to build new power plants, so you can find lots of alternative power sources here). Of course, there are many "alternative options" here, especially for cuisine. On the drive we saw quite a few cows grazing in the fields - which makes one wonder, just how do Californians tolerate veal anyway?
As I was saying, the scenery has been very interesting, certainly different from Michigan, though perhaps not that different from the flora and fauna of Texas. We passed several orchards of what appeared to be peach trees. We have taken a special interest in the trees of CA because of Krysten's tree leaf collecting. She has managed to snag several different varieties, even though she could only take pictures of some of them while in the national parks.
The only scenery Robert really
noticed on the way to Yosemite was "Jack in the Box", which we don't see very often. This is one of the few places where one can buy breakfast all day long. The boys are enamored with the Supreme Croissants (minus ham and mayo).
After finally arriving at Yosemite (an almost 4-hour drive), we made a quick stop at the bathrooms. This park has been around for a while, so there is no
equity for women. There were only three stalls in the women's bathroom. But, there were 9 rolls of toilet paper in each stall. I guess that somehow that's supposed to even it up.
Saying Yosemite is a beautiful place is an understatement, but I have to say it anyway. Words are not enough to adequately describe the absolute grandeur, and pictures cannot convey the awesomeness of standing next to a sheer wall of granite which towers above you, seemingly endlessly. We'll try it anyway...
One of the coolest things was the wildlife. They are definitely used to outside company and are very tame. Squirrels came up very close, even on top of Robert's shoe. We also had a deer come within 5 feet of
An example of a disappearing waterfall
us. Robert followed it into the forest, within a couple of feet of the deer, and it never ran off. That was cool, but our pictures are terrible (it was dusk). Come see for yourself.
Unfortunately, we discovered that there really is such a thing as elevation sickness (or maybe it was simply Scott's "race car driving" up the windy roads of the mountains. Scott's rebuttal: perhaps it was the Jack in the Box lunch). But a couple of us were very nauseous and light-headed when we stopped at Mariposa Grove. And we weren't the only ones having problems. Someone blacked-out and fell down near where we were parked. The ambulance in the park is just as quick as the Fremont police, so the tourist was in good hands. The giant sequoias and redwoods in Mariposa Grove were incredible. Even Robert was amazed.
You'll be glad to know that there are very few problems with bears in Yosemite. In fact, the park ranger was fairly sure that no one has ever
died from a bear attack in Yosemite. Here is the proper procedure when one sights a bear in the park (as told to me by the park
Giant Sequoia - Part 1
Austin and Robert at Mariposa Grove
- First, take a picture
- Walk away
If the bear happens to come toward you, then throw some rocks (I guess to make noise to scare the bear off, I'm sure that one should never throw rocks directly at a bear). The ranger assured me that attacking a bear with sharp sticks was probably not
a good idea.
The question for the day is: How many pictures can one take of the same view before tiring of it? Answer: About as many as the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop!
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