The Grand Tetons
Panorama of The Grand Tetons
Day 1 - As we were appoaching Yosemite, we saw this large forest fire. We thought the fire was IN Yosemite but it was only near. We aren't in any danger but the whole area has smoke in the sky so the sights aren't as beautiful as they usually are.
Day 2 - This morning we went on a wildflower hike with a park ranger. He helped us find and name 42 different kinds of wildflowers.
The hike took us to a place called McGurk's meadow. This forest ranger is explaining to us how Mr. McGurk had to leave the cabin he built because didn't really own the property he built it on. He built the cabin 150 years ago and it is still standing strong.
This stream runs through McGurks meadow. It is very clear and very cold.
Here we are hiking out of McGurk's meadow.
McGurk's Meadow: Of course Kevin had to take a few pictures.
Later we went to a place called Glacier point which is a scenic overlook of Yosemite. In this picture you can see the giant rock, Half Dome. Over to the right you can see two waterfalls. We are going to try to hike to those if we can.
You can see how hazy the smoke from the forest fire has made the sky. None of your pictures look any better than this.
Even though all the far away things are too hazy to make a good picture, Pam found this flower growing out of the side of the cliff to take a picture of.
Day 3 - Today we headed up to the high country, where we found SNOW! We also saws lots of little waterfalls.
We ate our lunch on the bank of Tenaya Lake. It was very beautiful.
Pam really liked this tree growing from this giant granite mountain.
The streams were beautiful.
This is the beginning of a hike into Lyell Canyon. We hiked about 2 miles in an 2 miles back out. The best part of hiking into the canyon was the stream crossings where the water rushes through the rocks.
The smaller streams didn't have bridges. We just had to hop across the rocks. The water here is deeper than it looks.
Day 4 - One of the big things on Pam's list was to see some waterfalls. This waterfall is called cascade falls. Some of the biggest waterfalls in the world are here. We hope to see some more tomorrow.
Most all of the waterfalls here empty into the Merced river. It almost becomes a waterfall itself.
Even though this is one of the fanciest restaurants anywhere, we ordered . . . Hamburgers! They were really good! Pam had some soup with hers. Kevin had a salad with his.
These flowering trees called spice bushes grow around Yosemite but they are everywhere at the Awhanee hotel. No only do they look pretty. They also smell pretty. We learned today that this tree was one of the Miwok Indians favorite trees for making arrows. The branches are very straight and very light so the arrows will fly straight and far.
We came to this hotel for lunch. It is a famous hotel that many presidents and other celebrities have stayed at. All of the parts that look like wood are actually concrete made to look like real wood so it can't burn.
If there is anything that there are more of than spice bushes at the Awhanee, it is chipmonks and squirrels. This chipmonk thought I might give him some food. He was wrong.
We visited a museum that had a Miwok Indian village, the Indians that used the spice bush for arrows. Most of the village was just a dispaly, like the huts, but some parts are still used for their old religious ceremoneis.
Day 5 - Today were are hoping to see more waterfalls. Here Pam is setting off. At this point the plan was to hike about 3/4 of a mile and see if we can see the Vernal Fall and then decide what to do from there. Little did we know . . .
That first 3/4 mile went pretty fast. From here we could see Vernal Fall in the distance. We decided we were ready for more. We decided to go on and climb a series of steps to get to the top of the fall. We had read that there were about 700 steps.
There were a lot of those steps. We didn't count. From here we are getting our first "close" glimpses of the waterfall.
The trail we are on is called the "Mist Trail." As the water from the waterfall is falling, the mist blows across the trail. You can see the "rain" blowing across the picture. By this point, everyone on the trail is pretty much soaked. The cool mist made the steep climb much more pleasant. Pam is standing by a rock archway. When you step through that arcway . . .
You get your first full on sight of the waterfall. There is so much mist that you have to take your picture quick to keep from ruining your camera.
From here you really begin to feel like you are a part of the waterfall. It's roar is so loud you can hear it from miles away. Here, we are only a few hundred feet.
If you are climbing the Mist Trail in the morning, and you look back at where you have come from you get a special treat. A continuous rainbow that gets better the higher you climb.
Vernal Fall has a drop of 317 feet. That's about half as high as the St. Louis arch.
Looking back you can see the long line of people climbing the 700 steps to get to where we are.
Here we are at the brink of Vernal Fall. To the right of us you can see the water pouring over the edge. We had climbed about 1,000 feet to get to this point.
Also on the way back we could see another waterfall, Nevada Fall. I wish we could have hiked on up to there but we did all we could for today. All in all we hiked 6 miles and climbed a total of 1,500 feet above our starting point. We were tired but had a great day and made some good memories.
Next we climbed another 1,000 feet to get to the John Muir trail and make our way back to the bridge at the bottom. On the way we looked back at what we felt was the best view of all.
Day 6 - We visited a couple more waterfalls. This is the lower part of Yosemite Falls which is the talllest waterfall in North America. You can walk very close to this part. As the water falls to the bottom here it creates a wind that blows.
Next we visited Bridalveil Fall. We visited both of the waterfalls before breakfast so they wouldn't be crowded. There are a lot of people here.
Next we went to visit the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. The Giant Sequoias are giant trees. They are the largest living thing on the earth. We took a tram tour where you listened through headphones to someone teach you about the giant trees.
The is the largest tree in the grove. It is 27 feet across. This tree is so big, the bottom couldn't fit in our living room. It has been named, "The Grizly Giant."
This tree is called the California Tunnel Tree. It is one of two trees that had a tunnel cut through their trunk that cars have driven through. Even though a big hole has been cut through this tree, it is still alive and growing.
Wawona Bridge. Next we visited a Pioneer History Park where we learned about the history of Yosemite. At one time, everyone who visited Yosemite by horse or stagecoach entered through this covered bridge.
We ate supper at the Wawona Hotel. It is 130 years old and has had many famous guests including president Teddy Roosevelt.
Pam and Anna on Flight to Yellowstone Vacation
Anna and Abigail get junior ranger badge at Little Big Horn National Monument during Yellowstone Vacation.
Yellowstone Vacation - Grave markers at Little Bighorn National Monument
Yellowstone Vacation - Grave markers at Little Bighorn National Monument (including General George Armstrong Custer)
Yellowstone Vacation - Horses on Crow Indian Reservation near Little Bighorn National Monument.