Yosemite National Park, California

Song of the day: Whatever You Like by T.I.
This song has been playing on the radio since the first day I stepped into the U.S. It has some real dirty lyrics, but what the heck, I totally dig it.

Week 1
Day 2 (Nov 21st, Friday)
L.A. -> Yosemite National Park -> San Francisco

The U.S. is a place of great natural beauty. Yosemite National Park, the U.S.'s first National Park is truly one to prove it. I regret not going along with Leo's suggestion that we visit Yosemite on the way back from S.F. to L.A. It took 6 hours to drive to Yosemite from L.A. while it takes only 2 hours from S.F. to Yosemite. Wintertime means shorter days and longer nights. In not doing so, we only managed to spend less than half a day in the great Yosemite park. :-(

Road to Yosemite

Trees slowly changing color in late fall

We passed by beautiful meadows...

...and creeks so quaint that we couldn't help but to stop and take pictures...

...saw the largest trees in the world - Giant Sequoias at Mariposa Grove that can live up to 2000 years and grow up to a diameter of 25 feet...

...and tempted little rock squirrels to feed out of my empty palm...

We had only a few hours of sunlight left while we were faced with a choice of either visiting Yosemite Valley or Glacier Point. In the end we chose Glacier Point as the road would usually be closed in winter and there was a lesser chance to visit a second time. At an elevation of 8000ft, Glacier Point is one of the most easily accessible mountain viewpoints by car! I had never been this high before! And the view was breathtaking!

View from Glacier Point - the Clark Range mountains (At this point I seriously regret not buying a DSLR with wide-angle lens to capture the astounding scenery)

Half Dome rock - Sometimes it looks like a bird to me and sometimes it looks like a Red Indian chieftain. The left face looks as slippery as a mirror. I was surprised to know that people can actually hike up there from the right then gaze down the slippery face! It's amazing how human challenges nature!

Behind me is North Dome. There is a legend stated in the National Park leaflet where Half Dome and North Dome were once husband and wife who quarrelled a lot and were punished by the gods to be turned into stone and stand forever facing each other across the valley. Doesn't sound quite appealing to me if I hated my other half enough to tear his hair off each time I see him.

I'm guessing that's the Merced River down there.

All of us!

I love this picture very much - my family portrait

Colors of dusk at Yosemite

Sadly, there was no time left for us to visit Yosemite Valley. We had to beat nightfall by getting out of the park as fast as possible as it would be dangerous to drive downhill as the night deepened. The drive downhill was extremely winding, dark, and scary. It was an amazing relief when we got out of the National Park and saw civilization again at a nearby village. We drove on to San Francisco and reached around 10pm.

I'd used the word 'amazing' 3 times in this post and I think it would not hurt to use it a few more times here. Leo, you're an amazing driver and boyfriend. Without you it would not be possible to see this amazing creation of God. And also to my brother, it was amazing for him to continue halfway driving us safely to San Francisco even though it was his first time driving in the U.S. Hopefully I'll be able to pay another visit to Yosemite and see Mirror Lake! My friend just told me he's been there 4 times and not finished seeing the Park yet!


F!ojo said…
So many interesting pictures. Oh man, when am I seeing you to hear your stories? Man...
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