Tuesday we relaxed at home. We watched “The Chase” on the game channel, played Wii Party U, played cards.
Wednesday was our designated “Yosemite” day…we would spend the day at the park. Initially Tim thought that we would leave somewhat early (7:30 AM) to beat the crowds and the heat. However we decided to push it back to 8:00 AM, then eventually to 9:00 AM.
So a little after 9 AM, we packed up our water bottles, lunches, and snacks and took off. Around 10 AM on our way to Yosemite Valley, we stopped at El Capitan for a photoshoot. It’s hard to believe that people will actually climb the face of El Capitan. Although we looked for climbers, we didn’t see any.
In the valley, Yosemite has free shuttle buses to take you around. So we checked out the map and figured out the stop for Vernal Falls and boarded the bus.
The hike to the top of Vernal Falls is 1.5 miles each way with an elevation gain of 1,000 feet. They rate the hike as “moderate.” So around 11 AM, we started the hike.
The hike started as a slow and steady climb. We were concerned on how well Josiah would hold out…but he did fine with energy to spare. Back when he was two years old, we gave him the nickname, the “Energizer Bubba.”
Finally we reached the foot bridge where we refilled our water bottles. Although Lizzie was feeling a little down, Tim encouraged her to keep going. She, along with everyone else, made it to the falls.
When we reached the base of the falls, we stopped to eat lunch. The squirrels (which we didn’t feed) were quite tame and would come up to us looking for food. Some of the squirrels were very fat.
Because our visit was in late summer, the falls didn’t have a lot of water. In spite of that, the falls were still noisy. People were swimming in the pool beneath the falls.
As we ate lunch, we noticed that the trail continued to the top of the falls where we could see some people looking over a railing. Because we had finished a long hike (as well as lunch) and were enjoying the view of the falls, we figured that we had experienced the falls and would be ready to head back down.
Tim stopped to talk with an experienced hiker and asked him if it was worth hiking to the top of the falls. He gave us definite “Yes.” So we took this group picture and then climbed to the top of the falls. This final climb was up 200 feet. Tim counted each step up; there were 360.
The view was definitely nice from the top.
Working to maintain our balance down the steep steps, the hike down from the top was, in some ways, more challenging than the hike up.
After the hike, we stopped at the Ansel Adams Gallery to view some amazing pictures. Then we found our vehicles and headed out. On our way out of Yosemite, we stopped at Tunnel View to take some pictures at this popular location.
We made it home around supper time. We popped some frozen pizzas in the oven and relaxed the rest of the evening.