Mountains surrounded by tall tress in all colors of autumn, the sound of ravens echoing through the valley and crisp leaves under my boots. Majestic waterfalls, golden sunsets, starry nights and as many trails to hike as there are chipmunks scurrying about in the forest.
I am trying to process where I have been and what I have seen. Yosemite made such an impression on me.
How do I even begin to tell the story of my adventures there?
I guess I will try and break it up into sections since we did a lot o day-trips or went hiking. But let’s start everything with a few images from the village and some of it’s surrounding areas.
≫ heading into the park
This the heart of the national park. Here you find Yosemite Village with all the stores and restaurants, the visitor centre and the postal office. This is also where you can hop on a shuttle bus and head to other areas of the park. Basically it has everything you need wether it’s grocery shopping, grabbing lunch or coffee, buying souvenirs and gear or enjoying a cold beer infront of the fireplace at Degnan’s.
At the visitor centre you can find out all kinds of information about the park; which of the hikes that fit you and where they are, tips on what to see and do or information about any of the roads being closed for some reason.
≫ I saw way too many cool vans during our stay in Yosemite, this one is my favorite!
Since we visited the park during it’s low seasons, a lot of stores and restaurant was closed but I really enjoyed the ones that we’re open and I can only imagine the other ones being just as decent as well.
The Ansel Adams Gallery was open though which was just wonderful. If you don’t know about Ansel, he was an American photographer and environmentalist who helped put Yosemite on the map. He first visited the park in 1916 and he said this about the place:
“The splendor of Yosemite burst upon us and it was glorious…. One wonder after another descended upon us…. There was light everywhere…. A new era began for me.”
He got his first camera during that stay, and later returned with better gear. His black and white photos of Yosemite have been seen a lot on calendars, posters, books, and the internet.
After catching an early sunrise, or being away for the day we usually went to Degnan’s for a second breakfast, coffee or lunch while chatting about what we’ve seen and working with some images before heading out again. We became regulars there and I quite liked the place. An elderly man had been working there since he was young and he told us a few stories as me and Katarina dozed by the fireplace one day after a long hike:
Back in the day he’d start early with chopping wood for the fireplace (which runs on gas now a days) and in the mornings he’d often find a mama bear waiting by the trash containers. She was to big for it but her cubs had gone inside to look for food and they couldn’t get out. Eventually part of his morning routine became letting them out and the mama got to know him and knew he wasn’t a threat so she would sit and wait while he did so.
It’s such a lovely little anecdote and I just love meeting locals when I visit places and to get to know them and their stories. It’s a part of what makes traveling worth while and also why I in general rather travel in nature and avoid the typical tourist areas (Yosemite being an exception).
More often than not we’d spend sunrise and sunset at some beautiful viewpoint, but catching the last light down in Yosemite Valley is just as magnificent. We had a rental car and drove around a lot which meant it was easy for us to head out to good locations.
≫ Shoutout to my friend Katarina for acting as my human tripod and helping me get a shot of myself all geared up!
Ida bundled up against the cold in such a gorgeous poncho! And I understand her, as soon as the sun dropped down behind the peaks it got pretty cold. But oh my gosh so beautiful too!