A National Park Adventure - Yosemite


When I was a teenager, I always dreamt of taking a road trip to see our beautiful National Parks.  When I didn't have a chance to fulfill this dream, I made a promise to myself that I would do it with our family.  Last year, we all went to see the Grand Canyon, which was on top of my "National Park list."  This year, after some research and consideration of finances, we chose to go to Yosemite National Park.  This year's trip wasn't as long as our visit to Arizona and the Grand Canyon, but it was still AMAZING!

As usual, I will have to break up this trip into several different posts as there is just too much to show and explain.  We started with our six-hour plane ride to Sacramento, California and then traveled another three hours to Groveland, California to stay at the Evergreen Lodge, which was just outside of Yosemite.  The three hour drive wasn't at all what I expected.  The first hour was highway, but shortly after, we drove through farms, rolling hills, and then along the ledge of a windy mountain that climbed up further and further (CA Hwy 120).  Before long, we were 8,000 feet above sea level and still climbing.  My fear of heights set in, and I literally felt as if I held my breath for the rest of the drive to the lodge.  

Once we arrived, there was no time to waste.  I had signed us up for a happy hour sunset tour of Yosemite, which was to depart 30 minutes after our arrival.  We quickly went to our cabin, set down our luggage, and dressed ourselves in preparation of the tour, knowing we probably needed warm clothes and bug repellent.

Once the van departed, we found ourselves with the tour guide and two other couples--one older (probably in their 60's) and one younger (probably in their late 20's or early 30's).  Lew and I instantly had this strange feeling.  The younger couple was an example of who we were about ten years ago (before we had Little Lewie).  The older couple was an example of who we would be in another 10 to 20 years when Little Lewie would be an adult.  I suppose we should be happy with our age at this moment, but I did find myself slightly missing the young us from ten years ago....

The sunset behind Yosemite's mountains was beautiful, and we had good food (cheese, fruit, crackers, & wine) and good company.  We noticed right away that many of the trees around us were black and charred--this was due to one of California's largest wildfires in 2013.  While I expected the guide to tell us the fire was "bad"--he unexpectedly told us it was good.  Forest fires (as long as they are contained) are good and actually necessary for the environment to grow and replenish itself.  The Evergreen Lodge, back in 2013, actually survived the fire, as firefighters were allowed to move in and use it as their home base to combat the blaze.

Once the sun set, we were back to our cabin at the Evergreen Lodge where Lew and Lewie decided to get into their swimsuits for a quick dip in the pool.  I rested knowing we were about to hit the trails of Yosemite Valley the very next day.   (There were five more adventures ahead.)

Our cabin at the Evergreen Lodge

The pool before sunset.