The first assignment I remember from my first semester of college was writing a narrative response to John Muir’s essay “A Wind-storm in the Forests.” This last week, 4 friends, friend’s baby, husband and I travelled to a land that inspired John Muir: Yosemite National Park. It’s the place Ansel Adams photographed, the place John Muir traipsed across while writing his essays, and the location for our weeklong summer vacation.
Yosemite seemed to be part Eden and part Disney World…Eden, because I found myself uttering more than once, “I have never seen anything this beautiful in my entire life,” as I craned my neck towards the tops of waterfalls and granite canyon walls. Part Disney World, because I shared the experience with about 15,000 of my best friends, riding from trailhead to trailhead through Eden on the packed out hybrid Yosemite shuttle busses…part Eden because I could not stop saying, “This is so, so beautiful,” everytime I walked back to our campsite on the banks of the South Fork of the Merced River. Part Disney World because we literally waited in line to take pictures under the giant sequoia tunnel tree in the Mariposa Grove.
It’s a funny thing to be camping in nature in the middle of nowhere with 15,000 other people, spending an hour or two each day waiting on construction flaggers to switch their signs from stop to slow, and stalking passersby in hopes of snagging their parking spot.
But Yosemite has to be that amazing, if at the end of it, we would say it was all worth it…the crowds, the construction, and hand-washing our dishes in a National Park sink three times a day…to be walking through Yosemite Valley with best friends, eating picnic lunches aside towering granite cliffs.
The moral of the story? You should go to Yosemite. It’s beautiful, and you will love it…
Hiking the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls. We got drenched. (Check out the tiny people on the right-hand side.) Clay and I hiked up to the top!