California, Where We've Been

Yosemite National Park

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     “Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” ~ Ansel Adams

Yosemite at Sunrise

There is nothing quite as beautiful as Yosemite National Park at sunrise. This particular day, smoke from the nearby fire had flooded the valley and it became difficult to see the towering mountains, but it scattered the light and gave us amazing colors on the valley floor.

The kids were fascinated with this spot by the Merced River. The water was so still and quiet. You could see the tiny bugs hover above the surface of the water, looking for a place to land for their morning drink. 

If it would have been a clear morning, the mountain behind the trees would have been clearly visible, towering far above the tops of the trees below. 

Merced River

A quarter mile downstream, the Merced River becomes littered with boulders, rocks, and fallen logs. 

Without hesitation, the kids began navigating along the stream looking for ways to cross it. They went from log to rock, hopping between each one while trying not to fall in to the chilly waters. Ellie wasn’t so lucky to stay completely dry. She lost her grip on the slick rock face and a shoe found itself soaked in the water. For the rest of the morning until it dried, I heard stomp, squish, stomp, squish, whenever she walked next to me.

They continued to explore a bit further downstream. I was trailing behind them, trying to keep my camera gear from the same fate as Ellie’s shoe, when I heard a startled scream and I saw them jump back from where they had been standing. “Mom, I think it’s a scorpion!” Jaden screamed. “No, it’s a crawdad!” Ellie supposed. It was a crawdad and it was huge – the largest one I had ever seen – probably 8″ long. Thank goodness it wasn’t a scorpion!


The Beauty of the Yosemite Valley

Once the skies cleared of smoke, the beauty of the Yosemite Valley was able to be seen. I can see why people have been coming here for centuries, standing in awe of its natural beauty. At this point, I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves as to the magnificence of the place.


     “Yosemite Park is a place of rest… None can escape its charms. Its natural beauty cleans and warms like a fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree” ― John Muir




     “There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.” ― President Theodore Roosevelt


“The great rocks of Yosemite, expressing qualities of timeless yet intimate grandeur, are the most compelling formations of their kind. We should not casually pass them by, for they are the very heart of the earth speaking to us.” ― Ansel Adams