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19th November
written by Hazel

On Wednesday my mom flew down from Seattle to spend some time with us before we leave.  Since she’s always wanted to see Yosemite, I hatched a plan for us to go out there for a night.  We had an awesome time hiking and seeing the sights, and now I have some actual travel to blog about.  It was very special for me to go back to Yosemite, because almost exactly a year ago Justin proposed to me there.

She got into the San Jose airport (after a minor delay) in the middle of the day and we headed straight to the park.  The drive was fairly uneventful, although there was some crazy smoke/smog/fog around Merced.  It was like driving with really dirty windows.  It disappeared once we got into the mountains though and we managed to make it to the park just after sunset.

Half Dome at Sunset as we Arrived

We stayed in a heated tent cabin in the Curry Village Campground and even though it got down to about 27 degrees Fahrenheit we were fairly warm and comfy all night.

Mom at the Pizza Place for Dinner

Me Excited with the Map

Inside our Cosy Tent Cabin

Reviews online were pretty mixed about this campground – apparently, it can be noisy, spiders have been sighted, and the blankets are wool so they are itchy.  We really liked it.  It’s right next to Half Dome, has hot water, heaters, and the beds were pretty comfortable.  It also has a handy bear locker right outside your tent so you can keep all your food from being stolen by a bear.  Apparently bears are a pretty huge problem as they break into cars and tents to get at the people food.  We didn’t see one though.

Our Cute Cabin

We were up with the sun at about 6 a.m. and started out on a hike right away.  The first stop was Mirror Lake and we got some sweet views along the way.  You can click on any of these pictures for a bigger version.

Yosemite Falls at Sunrise

Frozen Meadow with Fall Colors

Exploring the Trails

It was very, very cold, but very, very beautiful.  This was my first chance to check out how my trip clothes would perform in really cold weather and I’m glad to say, it went very well.  I brought an extra scarf and mittens, but aside from that I got by just with layering things from my backpack.  Good to know that I can be ok hiking at those kinds of temperatures with the clothes I’m planning on bringing!

Reflections in Mirror Lake

Around 10 a.m. we were starving so we splurged and had the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet at the Ahwahnee Hotel.  So yummy and I definitely ate too much.  But after several cups of coffee and at least 5 pieces of bacon I was ready to hike again!

We checked out the gift shop:

Dancing bear?!

And the Visitors’ Center (this had some really good exhibits):


And then headed to the waterfalls.

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls

According to the Visitors’ Center these are the highest falls in the U.S.  and are usually dried up at this time of year.  We were lucky to have awesome views of them and I spent a lot of time taking pictures.  In fact, most of the rest of the day was spent hiking around this area and snapping photos of the incredible views.  It’s really hard to decide which ones to post since I got a lot of good shots.  Hopefully in a day or two we will have worked out how to get photo galleries up and then I can post them all and not clutter up my blog posts as much.  But, because I like them, here are a few more of my Yosemite shots:

Upper Yosemite Falls

Beautiful Fall Leaves


Half Dome

El Capitan

I’ll try to put the rest up in a gallery soon.  Today is a frantic getasmuchworkdoneonthehouseaspossible day, so I’d better get to it.


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