I remember the days when I used to call Yosemite ‘Yose-Mite’ (a few days ago, ha ha), and ever since then I wondered where it was and what was there. Well, now I know. It’s in mid California, 200 miles east of San Francisco and it takes 6 hours to drive there from Salt Point State Park, where I was. I had booked a cabin at a mountain lodge in Oakhurst, a small village just outside Yosemite National Park, as it was much cheaper than staying in the park itself.
The ride into the park in the morning took longer than I expected, especially because once inside the park boundary it takes another hour to get to Yosemite Valley, which is the view I had been told was not to be missed.
And they were right – when I finally exited the tunnel leading into the valley, the picture-perfect ‘Tunnel View’ appeared before me like a fairytale. And here it is:
From there I walked to Mirror Lake to get a good view of ‘Half Dome’, the famous granite monolith at the end of the valley, and then onto the 3,000 ft high shear granite rock face of El Capitan, the famous rock-climbing wall a bit further down the valley.
Also not to be missed is Mariposa Grove where Giant Sequoias have stood majestically for thousands of years. In fact the largest of them called the ‘Grizzly Giant’ is up to 2,400 years old and so was around when Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, and later saw the birth of Jesus – amazing!
Many of the higher trails were covered in snow and closed for the winter, including the trail to Glacier Point, so I found a couple days were enough to satisfy my curiosity as to ‘what was there’. Job done I started my trip back south to my final stop in San Diego, and to drop my bike off at the shippers in LA ready for its long passage to Australia.