California Travels – Yosemite

I meant to write a post before we left but with packing and planning that soon became a distant dream. Better late than never though right? Last weekend James and I traveled to Yosemite National Park to photograph a wedding. We were so excited for this wedding and just being able to explore one of the most amazing parks our nation has to offer. The wedding was AMAZING and I love, love, love the photos we took! I’m excited to share a sneak peek soon so stay tuned. But first I wanted to do a quick post about our free time at the park.

We got in on Friday late afternoon in our cute orangey rental car. As we were driving into the park our jaws were dropping from the beautiful views and cascading waterfalls. It was a little overcast and rainy but still it was gorgeous. We stopped and took the below photos from the road. The last photo on the left and in the bottom of this set was a view of Yosemite Falls from the Lodge we were staying at.

The wedding was on Saturday so we really didn’t get a chance to explore Yosemite until Sunday. I remember waking up exhausted and telling James that I wanted to do a fairly easy hike because I was so tired and it might rain. James thought the Yosemite Falls hike would be a good one since it should’t take the whole day to hike. Yosemite Falls is the highest measured waterfall in North America at 2,425 ft high. It’s best to view it in the spring but we were lucky that the water was even flowing this late into the season.

See the photo above of the falls on the left? We were going to hike to the top of that.  When we approached the trail head I knew this would not be an easy hike. There were stones and steps up the whole way!  It was slow going and I was so tired. But the views on the way up were amazing. The higher we got the worse the stones and steps became. We had to take a lot of breaks.

When we finally made it to the top I heard thunder and lightening to the left of us and I could see it was not going to be a lightly passing storm. It started to rain on us- lightly at first. James wanted to stay up there and I wanted anything but. I was terrified about being hit by lightening, washed away in a water slide, or just being stuck on a mountain overnight. So we started hiking back down the treacherous trail. The rocks were now slick and the rain was coming down really hard. I was soaked and freezing as we didn’t pack or wear anything waterproof. The rain wasn’t letting up and we knew it was at least a 2 hour hike back in good conditions. I tried to go as quickly as possible but those stupid stones were tricky. I think we did pretty good for the most part- we just kept moving. I managed to fall once from slipping over a rock. I badly bruised both my hands and my wrists. (Thankfully they didn’t break.) James took this picture from his phone at some point on our trek down the mountain.


We finally did make it back to our room at the lodge. We were drenched and in pain but we did it. It was probably the hardest hike I’ve ever done despite the rain and definitely the most scary. The rain continued to pour down the whole evening so we ate soup, had some adult beverages and enjoyed our cozy little evening while keeping dry.

The next morning we headed back to the airport and laughed about our experiences hiking. What a crazy trip- but so glad we had the opportunity to go!

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