What do you when you realize you’ve spent most of your life just a short drive away from paradise…but you’ve never been before? You grab your buddies and go for a camping trip of course! That’s exactly what I did last week, and I’ve got to say, it was worth waiting for.
Jonathan, TJ and I packed up our gear into our sweet road trip vehicle – the Toyota Prius – and made for the mountains. The weather forecast for our trip was not so hot, but fortunately the weatherman blew it. We arrived in Yosemite and pitched our tent under a beautiful blue sky.
I’m here to tell you that “the call of the wild” is a real thing. While the other guys slept in the next morning, I couldn’t resist the chance to wake up early and catch the morning light with my camera. I hopped in my getaway Prius and went for one incredible morning drive. The first thing that struck me about Yosemite is how massive the cliff faces are on either side of the valley. Seriously, I felt like an ant.
Can you spot the Prius amongst the mammoth trees and mountains?
In sheer glee, I rattled off a string of “postcard pictures” in a mere matter of minutes. Everywhere you turn in Yosemite, there’s a postcard picture waiting to be taken.
Apparently, we chose the perfect time to visit Yosemite. There’s been heavier-than-normal snowfall in the past couple of months. Couple that with rising summer temperatures and warm sunshine, and BAM, you get a spectacular display of waterfalls(and some great little ponds for reflections, a photographer’s delight!).
On my morning photo drive, I happened onto what is probably the most compelling reflection scene in the whole park. Unfortunately, another photographer had staked his claim, and he wasn’t budging. I tried to wait him out for 20 minutes, but he was intent on guarding his territory. My solution? If you can’t beat’em, take a picture of’em! I think this picture captures the essence of Yosemite from a photographer’s perspective quite nicely .
Back at the campsite, J and T had finally awakened from hibernation, so it was time to hit the trails. We caught the free shuttle bus to the Half Dome trail and had a little fun with my camera on the ride over.
Does this remind anyone else of the “agents” from “The Matrix”?
Our original plan was to hike all the way to the top of Half Dome, Yosemite’s most famous landmark. In fact, I blogged about our ambitious goal several months ago when I was still in New Zealand. Sadly, due to the aforementioned snowfall, they haven’t yet opened the last part of the hike. We had to settle for climbing half way to Half Dome, but we sure made the most of it.
Teej has the X-Men skill of wall running. He’s insane.
On top of the world…I’ve said that before haven’t I?
Obligatory BAMF picture.
We solved J’s hydration issue from his last trip to Half Dome
We were able to spend the better part of two gorgeous days hiking around the park. Both days provided amazing views of the daunting valley below and the menacing mountain peaks above. I’m seriously bummed out about not making it to the top of Half Dome. But, that does give me a reason to come back soon. Hopefully very soon.
During the whole trip, I kept kicking myself that I grew up only 3 and half hours away and never visited this special place! In fact, I found myself questioning why I traveled to the other side of the planet to go to New Zealand, when all along Yosemite was here(and then I remembered how amazingly awesome New Zealand was, and that was pretty much the end of that).
Anyways, the Yosemite trip was a winner. It was so great to have some bro-time with my good mates, soak in the fresh valley air, and try to comprehend the beauty-beyond-belief. The only thing that could have made it better was…a bear encounter. (Instead, our food got eaten by the local squirrel population. Yep, you read that right. If my food’s going to get ripped off, there might as well be a little adventure involved!)
Question: What is one place you’ve been wanting to go and visit but just haven’t gotten around to it?