Friday, June 17, 2011

Anniversary Trip to Yosemite ~ Day Two {April 20}

Anniversary Trip to Yosemite ~ Day One {April 19}

The second day of our trip started with the alarm going off at 5am!  I hopped out of bed, excited for our day of hiking, and got busy getting ready and preparing our breakfast and snacks for the day.  Since this was our only full day at Yosemite we decided to hike to the top of Yosemite Falls.  This is a 7.2 mile round trip hike that can take quite a long time so we decided to get an early start. 

Once we got back into Yosemite Valley we parked and started on the trail.  The weather was cold and cloudy and the rain was misty off and on.  We dressed in layers and carried water backpacks and snacks/lunches.  Armed with our camera{s} we got started. 

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This map shows the trail{s} to the base of the lower Yosemite Falls

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This view of the Yosemite Falls was from the road near where we parked to start the hike

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This map shows the trails to the lower Yosemite Falls and the upper Yosemite Falls

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The trail starts flat for a while then starts to climb on a switch back trail with lots and lots and lots of steps built into the trail with rocks. 

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We stopped often and took lots of photos!

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A deer we encountered on the trail

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View of Half Dome from the Upper Yosemite Falls trail

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We crossed little creeks many times on the trails, often times having to get our feet wet.  The rain continued to mist/drizzle off and on as we continued to climb.

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Not far past Columbia Rock {a viewpoint along the trail} the switchbacks stopped and we enjoyed some straightway on the trial as we continued to climb.  The temperature also started to drop.  We eventually stopped for a snack and to put on our rain jackets when we had climbed high enough to see the upper falls and entered into the mist from the spray off of the falls. 

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View of the falls from the trail

Not far after entering the mist we started to discover some snow on the trail.  It was misting & raining on us and the temps continued to drop.  Eventually we had to stop and turn around because (1) the snow/ice covered the trail and we couldn’t continue AND (2) it started to snow on us! 

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The trail covered in snow. 
This is when it started to snow on us!  This spot was not too bad, and this photo was taken on our way back down.  Back up the trail was were the snow covered the trail and where the ice made it too difficult for us to continue. 

We were disappointed that we didn’t make it to the top of the upper falls but we were soaking wet and freezing cold.  Turning around was our only option because we were not dressed for cold temps/falling snow and didn’t have the right equipment {snow shoes} to continue on the trail that was covered in snow and ice.

Once we made it back down to the valley floor we walked up the short trail to the base of the lower falls and took a few photos.  But since we were both freezing we were in a hurry to get to our car to change out of our wet clothes and shoes and eat some lunch. 

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The lower Yosemite Falls

The rain was starting to come down heavier at this point so once we got to the car we drove over to a parking lot, found a parking spot, ate some lunch, and took a nap in the car while we waited to see if the rain was going to let up.

Eventually there was a break in the weather so we drove back over to the parking area for the trails to the upper & lower Yosemite falls and walked back up the short trail to the lower falls for some photos.

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A welcomed break in the weather!

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The umbrella is pointing to the spot on the trail we were estimated we turned around due to ice covering the trail and snow falling on us!

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After taking lots of photos, we drove back over to the parking lot area, found a parking spot and then walked to catch the bus.  We rode the bus to the Ahwahnee Hotel to have drinks/snacks for dinner to celebrate our anniversary.

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The Ahwahnee Hotel

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Appetizers and drinks in the bar of the Ahwahnee Hotel – we were undressed for the dining room. 
Besides, I don’t think we could have afforded it anyways!

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Back on the bus, headed to our car.  Ready to call it a day!

After we left the hotel, we got back on the bus and headed back to our car then drove back to our hotel.  We were both exhausted and went to bed pretty early.  The next day was going to be a half day in the park before we headed home. 

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Stopped for a photo op on our way back to the hotel at “Valley View” – of course the weather was not beautiful since it was the end of the day!

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