Adventures in Yosemite

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A little while back, my brother and Nerissa invited us to join them on a camping trip to Yosemite. Flights were reasonable, so we figured it would be fun. (Considering that Nerissa had made the campground reservations back in February, the odds of us having this opportunity were very low.) T and I had gone to Yosemite back in 2000, but had pretty much stayed in the valley the whole time. This time we’d be camping in Tuolomne Meadows, up in the high country and I was excited to see a different part of the park.

We flew in the night before and had a fantastic dinner in Oakland before heading back to Erik & Nerissa’s place. The next morning, we completed some last little errands and set about getting the truly impressive amount of stuff into Erik’s Element. Luckily, T & Nerissa were up to the job:

Y14T-packIt’s about a 4.5 hour drive, (plus a quick In-N-Out Burger lunch stop.) As we got closer, we just had to get out to stretch our legs and admire the amazing scenery:

Y14-view Y14-OlmsteadThe scale of Yosemite is hard to describe. Consider that my brother is 6’8″:

Y14-viewEN Y14-viewTrock Y14-viewN Y14-viewTtreeAnd the giant granite fields are insane:

Y14-Olmstead2Finally, the demands of our full bladders drove us on to the campsite. We got checked in and set up our camp. Erik made fun of T’s and my luxurious method of camping, but it was pretty obvious that he was just jealous of our sweet set-up. 😉

Y14-tentPlus, it’s not like they hadn’t brought some camping fanciness of their own:

Y14-NerissaHammockI finished setting up camp while T, Erik & Nerissa went on a firewood run. Somehow T got the supervisory role…

Y14-WoodGatheringYosemite has very strict rules about food/trash to keep the camp from attracting the local bear population. Each campsite has a bear box where all food/toiletries/anything scented needs to live. Dishwater has to be flushed down the toilet and this is what the trash cans look like. It’s a little bit stressful!

Y14-CampTrash

Nerissa, T  and I decided to go for a walk in the meadow, while Erik relaxed back at camp. Just a short walk from our campsite was this beautiful meadow:

Y14-MeadowWalk2Given the altitude (8600 feet), I think we were all grateful for the flat trail:

Y14-MeadowWalk3We came upon this herd of deer in the meadow. They didn’t seem to mind our presence at all. Aside from the occasional over-zealous tourist, I guess they don’t have too many predators up here. Behind them is Lembert Dome:

Y14-MeadowWalk5And if the placid wildlife in front of the granite mountain isn’t picturesque enough, there’s a pretty little river that runs through the meadow:

Y14-MeadowWalk4Y14-MeadowWalk6Y14-MeadowWalk7

So far, Yosemite has really managed to raise the level of natural beauty to a ridiculous degree.

After our walk, we went back to camp for a delicious dinner, excellent red wine and a fabulous Pinterest experiment from Nerissa for dessert – strawberries dipped in marshmallow fluff and roasted over the campfire. Do yourself a favor and try it, you’ll be glad you did.

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