4.22.2015

Yosemite // Babymoon #2

The view shortly after you come into the park.
In the distance you can see Half Dome, right between our heads.
Now that I've gushed about our B&B it's time to talk Yosemite.

We spent almost all of our time in Yosemite Valley, and hiked the trails from the valley on up.
*Fair warning: I took hundreds of photos on this trip, and choosing which to use was so dang hard! This post is insanely picture heavy. Consider yourself warned. 

Day One:
Bridalveil Fall (hike elevation, 80 feet)
The fall itself is 620 feet, however the "hike" to it is basically a 1000 foot paved walking path. It was the perfect little warm up to get our day started. Though the walk was easy it did not diminish the beauty of the fall by any means.
Bridalveil is one of the first things to see when entering the park, so the crowd was considerable. After a couple photos we moved on. We knew there were bigger fish to fry.
Vernal Fall (hike elevation over 1,000 feet)
The fall itself is only 317 feet, but it seems so much more massive than that when you get up close. Round trip the hike is just over 3 miles, and my runner brain thought, "Psh, 3 miles will be cake." HA! So wrong.
The hike to the fall was considerably more difficult that I anticipated. The trail is considered "moderate to strenuous." The first half of the trail wasn't too bad (I'm guessing this is the "moderate" part), some pretty steep inclines, but not terrible. The second half was legit (the strenuous part, for sure). Steep, slippery stone steps that were not to be messed around on. But, oh my, worth every second of burning quads, calves, and hamstrings.
All those stairs.
But worth every shaking, exhausted muscle.
The lighting to get a good picture of us was simply horrible: shadows where we were standing and serious sunlight on the fall - makes it difficult to get a solid shot. But how about that rainbow? I died and went to heaven when we were treated to that.
At the top of the fall we took a much needed break. Snacks and a little lounging while taking in the beauty that surrounded us. 
The top of the fall on the right side of the photo.
 After making it back down the trail - which might have been just as difficult as going up (oh, my knees), we figured we'd squeeze in one more must-see.

Mirror Lake (hike elevation 50 feet)
Two miles round trip, and super easy.
The lake is slowly drying up, as is the natural life cycle of lakes. But, we still appreciated the splendor of it all.

We spent our down time in the valley, enjoying all the surrounded us. 
We didn't know it at the time this picture was taken, but we would discover ourselves at the top of that waterfall the next day. Hiking that fall wasn't on our original itinerary.
The deer were everywhere, and seemed to care a nary about the people all over the place.
Isn't El Capitan a beauty?

That evening we made our way up to Glacier Point and stuck around to watch the sun set on Half Dome. It was freezing (for real, like 38ยบ), but holy smokes was it gorgeous. 
Along with the main event (the sun setting on Half Dome), the view of the park from Glacier Point is crazy. I had a hard time keeping my jaw from hitting my feet.
The fall with the arrow pointing towards it is Vernal Falls. It seemed so massive while we were hiking it. From Glacier Point it seems tiny. And Nevada Fall, above it, is totally on my to-do list for the next Yosemite trip!
 I've said beautiful a million times, but what other word is there?

To end our epic first day we had a local see us out.

Day One: Three hikes, approximately 6 miles logged, and views that blew our minds.

Day Two:

Lower Yosemite Fall (hike elevation 50 feet)
Literally, a walk in the park. A mile round trip, totally paved. Totally easy. 320 feet of falling water and amazing. 
Like Bridalveil we knew we had a lot before us, so we snapped a picture and kept it moving.
Upper Yosemite Fall (hike elevation 2,700 feet)
Round trip, 7.2 miles. The fall crashes down 1,430 feet (sixth highest in the world), and is considered a moderate to strenuous hike. Again, my runner mindset thought 7.2 miles is do-able. No cake walk, but do-able…
Half way up the trail we were treated to some of the most breath-taking views of the park. 
At Columbia Rock - not quite half way up, and we're still smiling.
About 45 minutes after passing Columbia Rock the views of the waterfall were great, but the hike began to be a total mind game. I literally had to tell my legs to keep moving forward and up. It felt like the last two miles of a half marathon, when you know you're close and giving up is beyond an option. 

After two and a half hours we were at the top. Physically I was ready to be done. Mentally I was spent. 

Did I mention, to see some of these views - already at the top - we had to master stairs that were not for the faint of heart? 
That railing to the left is the only support… To the right, nothing but air…
Thankfully, the views were second to none, and made the grueling trip worth every tear I may or may not have shed at the top… 
See the trail on the far right side of the picture?
Yosemite, you have my heart.
If the currents wouldn't have been so strong I would have seriously considered jumping right into the freezing waters.
We rested our weary bodies, replenished with food and water, and began the tedious trek back down. The number of rocky, stony steps on this hike was astronomical. There had to have been at least 1,000 rocky steps to master. No easy feat going up, or down.

On the way down, the fall flashed us a stunning rainbow shot. It was almost as good as receiving a medal when you cross the finish line of a race. 
Finally, 4 hours and 40 minutes later we were back at the bottom. Totally exhausted, yet, elated to have completed such a trail. 

On our ride back to the B&B Scott asked what my favorite part of the hike was. After some thought, and prompts from him, I had to say simply DOING the hike while 5.5 months pregnant was my favorite part. It wasn't easy - honestly it may have been one of the hardest things I've done - but dang it, I did it.

Day Two: Approximately 8.2 miles hiked, and I felt every last step in my sore legs and butt for days.

Yosemite, you were pretty spectacular. I already have a bucket list of trails and falls I would love to visit our next time around!

16 comments:

  1. Ahh, these pictures! Just beautiful. I hope to visit Yosemite one day!

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  2. Beautful pictures!!!!! Love how active you are!!!

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  3. What a beautiful place!! I keep saying for our 10th wedding anniversary I want to hike and explore a Canadian forest.
    I love how active you are during your pregnancy. So many women take it easy but you are going on all cylinders!

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  4. Wow! So gorgeous! Glad you two had a great time :)

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  5. wow! I love hiking, and waterfalls, and I hope to hike again one day! it's been awhile! The pictures with the rainbows are especially great, but so are all the rest. And I like the Sporting KC shirt!

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  6. Wow, good for you for staying active during your pregnancy. Those hikes in Yosemite are gorgeous, but challenging. Thanks for sharing your pictures--they're beautiful! I'm glad you two had a great time.

    Sabrina
    www.babymoonadvice.com

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  7. Yep, I've definitely got to get my booty to Yosemite! These pictures are gorgeous. I am so happy you guys had a fabulous time!

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  8. Wow, you are a rockstar! I can't believe how much hiking you guys did! Those steps with nothing to the right would scare the crap out of me. I definitely would not have gone up those :-o Side note- that Columbia Rock falls looks like the one that's in Soarin! :)

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  9. Oh my goodness! 1, you are a rock star. Seriously, girl you amaze the socks off of me. 2, DANG I can't even imagine how pretty it was in person. You guys will NEVER forget this trip.

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  10. Wha those steps just hanging out by the nothingness....no thanks. I think I'd be terrified. I mean I kind of am just looking at that picture, geesh. Y'all are crazy, in a good way =) Those views!!! I like your friend that saw you out on day one.

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  11. Picturesque! I'd love to camp there one day!

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  12. Girl you are a ROCKSTAR!!!!! I don't think I could even do all that hiking now let alone 5.5 months pregnant. You deserve a medal and a bath in that glamorous tub!
    Also, side note, why do guys always hike in jeans? I always wear some type of yoga pants or something, like you, even when we go on a walk around the neighborhood and Seth ALWAYS wears jeans. So weird to me!

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  13. First, awesome job doing all that while pregnant! Second, holy cow those views are amazing! That last hike I probably would have wet myself out of fear.

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  14. The photos are spectacular, what a trip!

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  15. AMAZING!! Such gorgeous photos. And I'm so ridiculously impressed that you're doing all this pregnant. You are my new preggo hero!

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  16. Okay, I just had to come back and look at these gorgeous pictures once again!

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