Wednesday, May 16, 2012–The Valley Floor, a Great Lunch, Big Trees, and the Top

We had a pretty ominous start for the day as Kay was up and down all night from apparent food poisoning, with chills and fever. She rarely gets sick so this was quite unusual. However, she definitely felt better when we got up about 6 am, and returned to her old self as the day wore on.

We’re staying in Curry Village, and it’s like a small city with shops, stores, food establishments, etc. All are pricey as is the norm for national park concessionaires. I walked down to the coffee shop, then across the path to the “reading” room for Internet. The reading room is really a separate building with a big porch and rocking chairs. Internet was good with a strong signal so we were able to keep up with email and news from home. Kay, Nan, and George joined me, and it was a surprise as George is not an early riser.

We drove down the Valley to the trailhead for viewing Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls. The trail was short, but the views of the falls were inspiring. Yosemite Falls is the highest falls in the US.

Nan and George opted for a hike to Mirror Lake, and we stayed behind to further Kay’s recovery. We had reservations at the old and famous Ahwahnee Hotel, and the Mediterranean salad was among the best salads I have ever eaten, comparing favorably with the Caesar salad at the Grand Ely Lodge in Ely, Minnesota.

We departed the hotel and began a long afternoon of sightseeing, stopping along the way at the Tunnel View of the Valley. This is a pretty awesome place.

Here you can see El Capitan, Bridal Veil Falls, and Half Dome.

Our drive continued south and much higher in elevation to the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees. It is almost unimaginable that such living things exist on our earth.

Driving back northward, we diverted off the main road for viewing the Valley. Our first stop provided a great view of both Vernal and Nevada Falls, and Half Dome.

From there, we drove to Glacier Point, one of the best areas from which to view the Valley. The short hike provided spectacular views at every turn.

On a whim, George elected to hike to the top of Sentinel Dome, and Nan and I joined him. This 1.1 mile hike climbed almost a 1,000 feet in elevation in the short distance from the trailhead to the the top, but the views were to behold. After the long, but exhilarating hike, we returned to Curry Village for our last night in the “tent”, ready for a good night’s sleep and tomorrow’s adventures.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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