Elizabeth Cook Photography

Travel

Yosemite- The Land of Butterflies and Unicorns

Yosemite... Yosemittteeee... YOSE... Yo Yo Yo take me back. I can't emphasize enough how much you need to visit this place. We spent a sad 3 days there and easily could have spent a week or more. If you didn't have to pre-book things 6 months in advance we surely would have extended our trip here. We stayed our first night at the Lower Pines campground in the Valley where we mostly relaxed, explored the valley and hiked up to Glacier Point...

(Incorrectly pronounced both names in audio mem--- lol)

The next day we woke up bright and early to start our prep for the next 2 days of hiking. We spent a few hours just shopping around for groceries and checking out the outfitters, including picking up a Half Dome T-Shirt (my one gift to myself). Finally we got on the road towards Tuolumne Meadows, an hour and half drive to the hillside. 

Our hike would be a strenuous 30-miles starting at T- Meadows down to Merced Lake, up to Half Dome, and back into the Valley. Click here for an image of the route. 

Walking from T- Meadows to Merced Lake was a dream come true. Words can't justify how beautiful it is. It's one of those places where you find yourself getting emotional just seeing the amazing graces that God has gifted us with and how important it is to love and respect this world. To put it in perspective, as you walk the trail through tall luscious pine and cedar trees you can start to hear water running. You turn into a valley where there are several creeks running and snow-capped mountains lining the landscape. As you continue, the creeks turn into rivers and all of a sudden you have a clear blue lake to eat lunch at. 

After camping at Lake Merced, we hit the trail at 6am to head 7 miles to Half Dome trailhead. I greatly underestimated how difficult Half Dome would be. I guess I hadn't done much research on it, I just knew everyone wanted to do it and thought it wouldn't be too bad. I wasn't expecting the strenuous steep hike up to the cables of Half Dome. By the time you get to the main show you are out of breath! Listen to my audio memory below for a better idea.  It was worth it though! Half Dome was a magical experience climbing up the cables and sitting on top of the Yosemite Valley. 

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