We were picked up promptly by our guide at 6:00am. We traveled in a small, comfortable mini bus. There were 24 people on board. Our guide "John Walker" stressed that we must keep hydrated and encouraged us to refill our water bottles with the fresh, cold water he provided. He set out a healthy breakfast of fruit, various breads and rolls and juice and peanut butter and cream cheese, which we ate by the side of the road. He talked throughout the trip about where we were going, the most prominent features and the history of the park. He educated us so we would appreciate these sites when we came upon them.
We got out of the bus and took photos frequently at some of the major scenic areas. I have been to many national parks and Yosemite is different than any other I have seen because of the massive boulders littered all about. There is breathtaking scenery, high snow covered mountains and steep drop- offs to the valley down below. We saw El Capitan with climbers more than half way up that were so high up they were almost invisible to the naked eye. He told us stories about Half Dome and how many climbers had died trying to climb it or were killed by lightening once on top. We saw several waterfalls. The flowers were just staring to come out because of the long winter and the deep snow.
We had a sort of gourmet lunch, including adult beverages, at a picnic area which he personally brought for us. There was no shortage of bathrooms along the way
At the end of the day and just outside the park, we stopped at Whoa Nellie Deli. They serve some delicious food, and we ate dinner there on the outdoor patio. Then John showed us a movie about Yosemite on the way home.
There was an optional hike during the trip to see a grove of young Sequoia trees (about 100 years old, I think he said.) This involved a hike about 2 miles round trip, half of which was a steep grade, although paved. I decided to go on it because I didn't want to miss anything. I am 77 years old and I had a hard time on the steep parts because I am not used to climbing, but I made it on time. As for the trees, I have seen a lot of them in my life and these, being young, were not that impressive, and I could have done without this part of the trip. If you choose not to do this, I don't think you will be missing that much. But we saw other people, some even pushing strollers, that were doing it. We got back to our hotel after 8:00pm.
We got back to our hotel after 8:00p.m.
I think our trip was greatly enhanced by the young man who was our guide. He was concerned about our safety, kept us all on schedule so that we would not miss anything, and gave us a greater appreciation of this wonderful place and stressed the need to keep it pure. He even picked up cigarette butts at each stop. I am not a tree hugger by any means, but I am more concious of the environment than I was before. That was through hearing him talk and seeing his example,
Great trip. In some ways it was almost spiritual.
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