Into the mountains...

July 27, 2016  •  4 Comments

Week two started out in an incredible way, not only did we make it out of the desert heat (driving through death valley is as brutal as it sounds), but we made it to the mountains outside of Yosemite and a spectacular little campsite.  We had a view of the Sierras on one side and Mono lake on the other, incredibly peaceful spot. 

Mono lake, Lee Vining, CaliforniaMono lake, Lee Vining, California

We went to sleep under the stars and a hugely bright (almost full) moon, excited for the next couple days in Yosemite.   YosemiteYosemite

First hike in the park, up Mist trail to the top of this waterfall was breathtaking (due to both incredible steepness and beauty).  You feel like you're in a Bob Ross painting over and over again at this park.  The rocks and trees and nature are so big around you it almost feels fake.  As if spending the day in Yosemite isnt amazing enough, that night on our way out of the park and back to camp we experienced a full moon rising like I have never seen before. As if the mountains weren't cool enough already, just add the moon, wow.    

Outside YosemiteOutside Yosemite

After lots of hiking (and massive crowds) in the most popular spots in the park on day one, we decided to spend the next day in Yosemite off the beaten path.  We made our way out to Tenaya Lake and had ourselves a lazy beach day.  We found a totally quiet spot and read books and soaked in the sun and the clear water and the mountain air (which is literally fresher and cooler than regular air).  Not a bad way to spend a day. 

Tenaya Lake, YosemiteTenaya Lake, Yosemite

Tenaya Lake, YosemiteTenaya Lake, Yosemite

Well rested and ready to continue exploring, we headed to Lake Tahoe.  There are several facts about driving your home around that Ive learned and will share;  you cant park where ever the hell you want like everyone else and driving up and down and around mountains on narrow roads is crazy! (My station wagon is going to feel like a comfy cruiser after this, and I will never take for granted the thrill that is parallel parking again.)  After finally finding a spot atop the mountain surrounding Lake Tahoe, the only choice was down.  So we hiked down, the lake is massive and the views were amazing!

Lake Tahoe, CaliforniaLake Tahoe, California

Here is where things really got interesting.  As if climbing back up this mountain wasnt a challenge enough, we were suddenly faced with an even bigger, hairier obstacle.  There is something that happens when you see a bear.  Or something that happens to me when I see a bear, rather.  Your brain sort of goes, "Woah, whats that? Is that a bear? No way, its right in front of me. Oh it just looked at me, I think thats a friggin bear."  As I turned to get confirmation from another human of this bizarre thing my brain wasnt quite computing, Leynas eyes said it all.  She had already started moving back in the direction we had come and she was mouthing "come on!!!!" before I even had the sentence, "is that a bear!?" out of my mouth.  Heart pounding and out of sight from this bear, we paused to reflect.  Not but a few minutes later some chatty, happy, hikers come strolling along all casual from the bears direction and say "oh yeah, we saw it, its cool, just dont look at it and talk to each other as you go by."  Reluctant, we waited for a couple a suckers to come from the other direction and followed behind them (strength in numbers right?).  Well we got by unscathed, and I was even able to get a photo. In retrospect, the bear didnt want to have anything to do with us, as he had all he could ever want, right there in that garbage bag.  

PLEASE NOTE: Bears in photos appear smaller than bears in real life.    

Lake Tahoe, CaliforniaLake Tahoe, California

Having survived the bear encounter, and feeling more prepared than ever, we headed into Redwood National Forest, first having made it to the ocean, made it 'west' and literally feeling the air change again around us.  As a person who has spent the majority of life towering over other people, Ive never felt smaller or prouder of towering than in the massive Redwood forest.  These trees are massive. 

And as if we didnt have enough amazing bodies of water in our week (I didnt even mention a campsite we had one of these nights, that was up a trail from a gorgeous clear water stream where I swam around and watched the sun go down), we hit Crater lake on Day 14 and I was blown away.  This is the bluest, cleanest, clearest, coldest water Ive ever had the pleasure of being in.  Its supposedly one of the most pristine bodies of water on earth and I believe it.  Water so cold it makes your skin hurt, but you cant help yourself but to get in it. 

To sum up, we saw more beautiful landscapes and sights than I could have imagined in a single week.  We still have a non-functioning fridge (although we are hoping that changes tomorrow), but we've made the best of that by turning breakfasts into a challenge both in quantity of food consumed and in finding the cutest, small-town-iest, greasiest spoon diners around and it has been amazing. Sightseeing well, eating well. 

 

Love from the road, 

A

 

 


Comments

4.aunt shelby(non-registered)
Such a treat to chat from the shadow of Mt. St. Helen's. I'm glad you're taking such good notes for our travel adventure. Can't wait for you to hear about Canada's grandeur as well.xoxo
3.Jamie Kaparunakis(non-registered)
Love this!!!! How beautiful it is to see through your eyes, or camera rather hehe:) enjoy the adventures!!
2.Dorothy Caldwell
I forgot about the fridge! What adventures you're having! I love it! And am jealous!!
1.Auntie R(non-registered)
Love love love this! So good to chat with you last night! Xoxo
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