We arrived Friday afternoon with a good part of the day left and so we drove into Yosemite for a little site-seeing and enjoyed drinks on the Pizza Deck before heading back to Oakhurst. One of the highlights of Oakhurst is that we managed to find the best Mexican food we've ever had! El Cid Restaurant isn't much to look at but they make a killer carne asada burrito and strawberry margaritas. It was the perfect way to fuel up before the big hike.
We took off early Friday morning to avoid Memorial Day weekend traffic. It was a surprisingly quick 4.5 hour drive mainly because it's a straight shot on I-5 for the majority of the way and, Russ had remembered to download a few episodes of This American Life for us to listen to. Our plan was to spend the night in Oakhurst, a little town outside of Yosemite, on Friday night and start the 20+ mile hike first thing on Saturday morning.
Taken at the beginning of our hike from Glacier Point. The Panorama Trail curves around to the right, across the waterfall (Nevada Falls) in the distance and culminated at the big perch of granite, also known as, Half Dome on the left.
A beautiful butterfly that wanted to go with us.
Stopping at Nevada Falls for cheese, salami and crackers...everything tastes better on a hike.
Nevada FallsThe next morning, we started out strong. The first two+ miles are largely down hill and then it's uphill for a few miles and a beautiful hike along the ridge line where the views are spectacular. The scenery in Yosemite is so beautiful and breathtaking that it almost looks fake, it is truly one of the most majestic places we've yet to see. We ended the day in Little Yosemite Valley, a place for backpackers to camp, and made sure to secure our food in our bear canister. I was originally terrified of bears but realized there is nothing to worry about and we actually found ourselves hoping one would roam into our camp so we could get a closer look.
This little Stellar's Jay was a friend of ours and loved to perch himself next to our tent.The next morning we headed out for the most exciting part of our adventure....making it to the top of Half Dome! We hiked the 3. 5 miles up hill and used the cables for the last 900 feet to the very top of the Dome. It was a little nerve-wrecking at times but overall, it was a piece of cake!
You can see the cables lining the way to the top of the Dome.
A 45-60 degree climb, yet we manage to take photos :)
We returned to camp, made some dinner, and savored the adventure. We look forward to conquering many more mountains in the years ahead!
The top of the Dome! Standing on the Diving Board...it is very high up 4,737 feet above the valley floor and about 8,900 feel in total elevation.