Apr 14

A day in the land of Yosemite, that only seeing is believing

Ok, so I need to start by saying that none of the below will be able to communicate how beautiful this place really is, I just hope it inspires people to want to see it for themselves. I know some of you already have and you weren’t wrong!

This place has been on my ‘to do before I die’ list since I watched all the wildlife documentaries about it and Bear Grylls! I love a bit of Grylls. We were picked up at 6.30am in the lovely rain outside our hotel, the true San Francisco weather was here. Expecting it to be the same in Yosemite, we packed our rucksacks with waterproofs etc and some trusty bagels and snacks.

The mini van was filled with people from all over the world; Toronto, Indonesia, China, Germany, Holland and Spain. It made for a fun experience, as no one had been there before. The drive took us through tons of pistachio tree farms. After about 3 hours,  we hit the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the sun started to shine and our ears began to pop!

Spring time in Yosemite is one of the best times to visit. There are smaller crowds, gushing waterfalls from the melting snow, ice capped mountains and some roads were even still closed due to snow. Surprisingly to us, Yosemite gets really hot in the summer, with bad forest fires and the waterfalls pretty much run dry.

We were driven around to all the best views in Yosemite, most of these were from the road side. This was the warmest we’d felt since being in the USA, the air was so fresh and smelt amazing! It’s no wonder that people head here to escape the city chaos.

At last, it was time to stop for our 3 hours free time to explore. With bear bins everywhere, I wasn’t sure if we should hike with our food but apparently black bears are even more scared of humans. We were told to stand proud and make louds noises, they just want your food, not your face, like the Grizzlies!

As we jumped off the green bus, our driver (Mitch) pointed up to a lightened rock near the top of Yosemite Falls (the highest waterfall in North America). There were tiny pin pricks of a few people, he said we could probably hike there in the time we had, to get an awesome view of Upper Yosemite Falls, rather than just seeing it from the ground.

This would be around 6000 feet above sea level! Don’t worry, we started at about 4000 feet. It was a steep climb, with tons of switch backs with huge boulders all the way. If you tripped, you were going down, and a long way down!

We climbed a good mile or so up to Columbia point. We had a time limit, so we were hoping the waterfall would be around the corner. We suddenly started seeing little waterfalls and heard the sound of roaring water. We were almost there, 5 minutes of the steepest section and we could finally see Upper Yosemite in all its glory and feel the cold spray…bliss. We were so hot!

It was time to eat my bagel (Tom had munched his 3 before we even started!), weirdly, my mouth was too dry and we had no water left so I couldn’t eat. I think the altitude was playing havoc. After taking in the view, sadly we had to rush back down. We both wanted to hike all the way to the top, but that was a 6 hour hike and we had to go to catch the bus.

On the way down we filled up our water bottle at a waterfall, forgetting Bear Grylls’s survival tip on whether it was safe or not to drink, we just decided to pour it over us!

This climb is tough, but tons of people do it with their kids, babies on their back and even the elderly with ski poles! They just take their time and stay away from the edge! We got down in half the time than we did going up and went straight to buy some water! It tasted sooo good!

Back in the van, we had a ton more stop offs and photo opportunities. We drove up to where the snow was as the man from Indonesia said he had never seen snow before, so our driver Mitch took him to see some. It was great watching him go from a 40 year old man to a 10 year old kid in a matter of seconds.

Everyone was knackered, so it was a quiet ride home back into the San Francisco rain.

We never saw any bears, which would have been amazing but everything else we witnessed made up for it. Crystal clear water, snow, sun, mountains, huge trees, giant boulders dropped from the ice age, massive waterfalls, deers everywhere, crazy blue birds and amazing spring flowers! Its a pretty cool place.

Lots of love Fi and Tom xxx

oh Mitch (our crazy driver) says bye too!