Thursday April 2nd ~ Mirror Lake and Glacier Point
“None can escape its charms. Its natural beauty cleans and warms like a fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree.” ~ John Muir
Well, not quite as rested this morning, but I did stay warmer. It got cold the last two nights in the tent cabin. We had already pushed the beds to the middle, so we zipped the two sleeping bags together and piled several blankets on top. I have realized that YES, I can go all night without getting up to go to the bathroom with the incentive being not freezing to death or getting eaten by a bear 🙂
Our neighbors were chatting away until what seemed like the wee hours, but in reality was only 11:00 pm or so. Sound carries through canvas tents, and they were maybe three feet away from me if that. I wanted to ask them to please be quiet, but I bit my tongue and eventually we all drifted off to sleep.
Just FYI, they do offer free foam ear plugs at the check-in counter.
But today is another day, and I was thrilled to walk outside and once again be greeted by an astonishing display of grandeur. Did you know that El Capitan is the largest monolith of granite on the planet?
Even more of the trees are in bloom. Spring has come to Yosemite!
Today we are in a hiking mood and our destination is Mirror Lake. Having it recommended to us as a place to take photos, I was all over this idea. But in all honesty, is there anywhere in this park that is not a photo-op?
You are not allowed to drive private cars to that part of the valley, so we waited a few minutes and hopped on the free in-park shuttle service and headed for stop #17. This time of the year, the schedule shows that it runs ever 30 minutes, but we found that we only had to wait a few minutes. Perhaps more busses are in service during Spring Break.
The Mirror Lake Trail is rated as easy to moderate. Only two miles round trip will get you to the lake and back. The first part of the trail is paved, and we saw several people riding bikes. We opted for the longer version and walked 5 miles “around” the lake. I use the word “around” loosely, as we walked way past the end of the lake, followed the river and could not find anywhere to cross. There is supposed to be a bridge, but perhaps we did not go far enough to find it.
Walking part way back, we followed several others wading across the river at a shallow point. The water was VERY cold, but never even came as high as my knees. I normally would not recommend this, but since there is currently a drought in California, and low snow fall this year, water levels are much lower than normal.
The path is well-worn, easy to walk, with some small rocks to step on/over along the way. Huge moss-covered granite boulders line the trail. We also saw evidence that horses have passed this way. The stables are not far away, and you can rent horses there. I think I would like to try that next time we are here.
The water level in the lake was a disappointment, and it really only qualifies as a pond in my mind, but it was still a very enjoyable hike/walk and we breathed in fresh air while admiring the scenery.
There are quite a few different hikes throughout the park offering great variety. Click here for a list and rating of the other recommended hikes.
Our day was young and we had some miles to cover yet.
Returning to our car via the shuttle, it was time to say goodbye to the Village and head toward Glacier Point. We had to make one more quick stop at Tunnel View when I spotted a purple flowering tree.
There are numerous places to pull over and have an awesome view of the valley some 3,000 feet below you. One of my favorite overlooks is Washburn Point, located shortly before reaching Glacier Point. In my humble opinion, you get a better look at both Vernal and Nevada Falls from here.
But it is certainly hard to beat the thrill of seeing the valley floor from Glacier Point:
And of course one of the most famous photographers in the world, Ansel Adams, helped put Yosemite literally on the map. Click here to see more of his work and to browse his online store. Known for photographing throughout the western part of the USA, his black and white photos of Yosemite became his passion and legacy.
“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” ~ Ansel Adams
Please forgive me Mr. Adams, but here is my version of one of your better known shots:
Did you know??? Yosemite National Park has a sister park in Chile? Parque Nacional Torres del Paine is located among the breath-taking scenery of Patagonian Chile ~ nps.gov
Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful for the likes of John Muir and Ansel Adams who helped capture the beauty, introduce the grandeur to others, and protect the site for many generations who continue to admire, appreciate and enjoy.
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