Yosemite FallsLast week I snuck away for an overnight trip. The draw of Yosemite is like the pull of the moon on the tides of the ocean – ever present and undeniable. It’s a long journey to get there, and a much, much longer journey to explore its vast wilderness. For me that’s what has created the love affair – the time, the sweat, the fear, the reward of going miles by foot across Yosemite’s terrain, year after year.

If you’ve been … you know. The terrain is profoundly beautiful. Incredulous granite walls are the leftovers of glacial force and the valley among them is an oasis of life and activity. You are part of the wildlife here, co-existing with a healthy population of bears, bobcats, deer, marmots and even mountain lions — years ago Jay and his climbing partner were followed by one near Mount Clark. Yosemite is life on a grand scale, with the power to stop you in your tracks or inspire you to climb to new heights.

My memories of Yosemite span the park: the ginormous spring mosquitoes at our campsite in Tuolumne meadows, the moonlight hike in the snow to Yosemite Falls (too deep, too freaked out, didn’t make it to the top), the wonder of Hetch Hetchy, the ass-kicking 18 miles to Half Dome and back, the sunsets of Glacier Point, the big rainy picnic at Tenaya Lake, that day at the waterfall, and the most magical overnight ever on the top of Cloud’s Rest – sun setting in red and moon rising in full.

That magical overnight led to my wedding at the Ahwahnee Hotel, a grand lodge on the valley floor. Going back last week, I was reminded of how significant Yosemite has been in my life. It feels like home, like the backdrop of some very significant years and events in my life. A rock and a tree and a waterfall in Yosemite mark the places where I finally knew what I wanted and took the road less traveled to the rest of my life. That road will always lead back to my favorite place in the whole wide world.

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23 comments

  1. Hey there. I totally know what you mean. I went there in May this year and it’s my favourite place in America. I stayed at Camp Curry which was good. Did one epic hike to Eagle Peak and El Capitan. Simply amazing.

    I’ve only found one place that i think even tops it. Iceland! Check out my pics. Truely insane!!!!

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    1. Great that you’ve been to Yosemite! I will definitely check out your Iceland photos. We have friends who are going there in August and I can’t wait to hear about their trip when they return. If you think it tops Yosemite, it must be incredible. Thanks for your comment and stopping by my blog! 🙂

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    1. Wow, Joy! That’s SO cool! No doubt it was a fabulous honeymoon for them. Jay’s dad was born in Yosemite, and his grandparents worked there too. Seems we all share some treasured Yosemite history. Great to see you Saturday! ♥

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  2. Kelly, Spectacular photos and description of one of America’s greatest wilderness treasures. I think it’s also fabulous that you remember and celebrate where you were when at life’s turning point. And might I add, THE best use of “ginormous” I’ve ever seen! 🙂 ~Terri

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    1. Terri! Thank you! What a wonderful comment to receive on a post that means the world to me, literally. Thank you for always being so kind and supportive. Hope alls’ well in your world! 🙂

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  3. Amazing place I would love to visit someday. I can see you feel about it the way I do about Glacier NP There is so much to see and I have not scratched the surface. I feel the same about Yellowstone, but yet somehow it does not touch my heart the same way.

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    1. I suspect when I get there, I’ll love Glacier NP just as much as Yosemite! I look forward to going someday, especially considering your endorsement. Thanks for reading and sharing the love! 🙂

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