Y is for Yellowstone National Park (and it was so hard not to use Yosemite… so I will anyway)

El Capitan and Half Dome

Yellowstone is near the top of my list of places I want to visit.  (Of course, as I say this I am thinking about all the other places I have written about and think that they too are near the top of my list…)  Anyway, my desire to go to Yellowstone comes from another great place I have visited, so since it too starts with a “y” I thought I would tell you a little about my vacation at Yosemite National Park.

Once we all got past all of our initial concerns (my mom’s was that we would be eaten by bears, my dad’s was that our car would run out of gas before we found a gas station, my brother’s was that we wouldn’t find anything to eat, and mine was that I didn’t have cell phone service…), we all relaxed and had a great time.  It was one of the best family vacations we ever had.  It was my first time in the mountains and the sights, literally, took my breath away.  We stayed in a little condo with no air conditioning, and it was July and they were having a heat wave with record temperatures.  Still, we had a blast exploring the park.  We did some minor hiking to see Bridalveil Falls and Yosemite Falls.  We took countless pictures of El Capitan, Half Dome, and other landmarks.

As we were driving into the park, I made the statement that “I want to see a bear.”  It was not 10 seconds later (honestly, I am not exagerating) I looked out my window and said “Look!  A bear!”  I named him Norman.

One day we drove to an area that was at a high enough altitude that there was still snow on the ground despite the fact that the air temperature was in the mid-60s.  We were all wearing shorts and t-shirts and had a snowball fight.

Another day we decided to go on a longer hike.  We chose a 4-mile hiking path that was labeled ‘strenuous,’ but we figured we were all in good shape so we would be ok.  My brother tried to warn us that it was going to be tougher than we imagined after he looked at his topographical map.  We ignored his warning and desided to go for it.  We figured going down the mountain would be easier than going up it, so we drove to the starting point at the top and parked the car.  The plan was to hike the four miles down and then catch the park shuttle back to the top to get the car.  Let me tell you: down is no easier than up.  We were all so sore and tired by the time we made it to the bottom.  The hike was, well… strenuous.  To top it all off, the shuttle had stopped running.  Just when it looked like we were going to have to hike the 4 miles back up to get the car, a nice elderly couple offered us a ride.  We were so thankful, and I’m not sure any of us have ever been so sore before or since the days after that hike.

Still, it was an awesome vacation, and one of the best places I have ever been.  I know someday I would love to go back.

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