Monday, May 15, 2006 –
This morning, Mom decided to take it easy at the Tenaya Lodge. Dad and I decided to go into Yosemite National Park to bike and hike.
We started the day by driving to the Happy Isles trailhead in Yosemite Valley. We chose the 1.2 mile hike to Vernal Falls, one of the most popular hikes in the park. For the first mile, we hiked a paved trail under a canopy of trees following the Merced River on a moderately sloping trail until reaching the footbridge with a fabulous view of the falls.
A little further, we took the split on the Mist Trail where it got steeper and we walked through a granite stairway of 600 steps to get to the top. Vernal Falls had significant power from the heavy snows and the mist was like rain as we approached. We had to put our raingear on, but still got wet. The view from the top of the 317-foot waterfall was beautiful. Some incredibly stupid people were swimming in the small Emerald Pool near the top. Almost every year, a number of visitors die here swimming above the falls.
We decided to continue on the Mist Trail to Nevada Fall. We hiked about a mile to the base of Nevada Fall. We admired the 594 feet waterfall as it thundered towards us. It was a beautiful place to eat our packed lunch. Then we headed back down the Mist Trail past Vernal Falls to the trailhead to conclude our 3.5-mile hike.
Back in the valley, Dad and I got some ice cream before renting some bicycles. Yosemite is a fantastic place to cycle with more than 12 miles of paved, mostly flat trails. We rented our bikes at Yosemite Lodge and set out for a couple of hours of biking. They cost about $10 an hour, but the scenery was magnificent as stopped for views and photos at El Capital, Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls and other sites.
That evening we returned our bikes and said goodbye to Yosemite Valley. We returned to the Tenaya Lodge and went to dinner with Mom in nearby Oakhurst. I’ll be back again, Yosemite!