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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Yosemite A Year Ago Today

Above, the South Entrance gate to Yosemite. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Today marks one year since Sierra and I arrived in Yosemite National Park.

I woke up early and after putting things away after breakfast, we got back on the road and headed to Yosemite.

It was rainy in the park upon our arrival at the South Entrance and it continued to rain off and on for the couple of days. But the rain didn't dampen my enjoyment of the park.

The first stop after entering the park was along the road where there was a beautiful view of the mountains. They were shrouded with clouds, which made for some interesting photography. The next stop was at Tunnel View, which is an overlook next to Wawona Tunnel on the east end from the south entrance on Highway 41. Visitors can see the whole Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View on clear days. El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, Half Dome and the Three Brothers can be easily seen. On this day, clouds covered Half Dome. The Wawona Tunnel, from which the overlook gets its name, was built in 1933 and renovated and re-dedicated in 2008.

Reservations were made the previous November for a campsite at North Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley, It was a nice campsite and it was just a short walk to Tenaya Creek.

Fortunately, the shuttle stop for the campground was nearby at the stables, so I was able to get around Yosemite Valley easily. The free shuttle stops at all the main attractions in Yosemite Valley. Although it was early spring, there were many people in the park, but they weren't overwhelming.

Above, one of the Yosemite shuttle buses. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Before checking in at the gate to North Pines Campground, I drove around Yosemite Valley to see some of the attractions such as Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls, Ahwahnee Hotel (now called the Majestic Yosemite Hotel due to the trademark lawsuit with Delaware North) and Tenaya Creek. I also stopped at Curry Village (now called Half Dome Village due to the lawsuit) for some groceries. After this, I was off to North Pines Campground.

After setting up camp, I spent most of the day relaxing before starting dinner (consisting of barbecued steak). After dinner, I caught a shuttle bus to go to Yosemite Village and the Ahwahnee Hotel. After roaming around the Village, the Visitor Center and the Ahwahnee, which had the only decent Wi-Fi in the park. I headed back to the campground on the shuttle. On the way, we spotted some deer.

Here's some photos of Yosemite on the first day:

Above, the first stop after entering Yosemite. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the view of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, Bridalveil Falls. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, The Beast at the stop at Bridalveil Falls. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the campsite at North Pines Campground. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the Visitor Center. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, Degnan's snack bar in Yosemite Village. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the lounge in the Ahwahnee Hotel. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, a view of three deer from the shuttle bus. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

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