It’s by far my favorite spot to go to, because my soul finds an odd peace that nothing else brings. Beautiful, majestic Yosemite. As John Muir said, there are temples that man built, and then there are temples that nature created. This is one such. This is my temple.
Last week was my fourth visit to Yosemite, and it still took my breath away. I discovered that staying close to the park makes most sense. I did this the last two times, and ended up having to spend just under 40 minutes to drive to a trailhead or a viewpoint. Yosemite View Lodge or the Cedar Lodge just outside the park are both great options. The Merced runs along both of these lodges, and a walk by the river at twilight is the perfect end to a day spent inside Yosemite.
Nothing comes close to the view of Yosemite from the Tunnel View. It’s a perfect postcard shot – if you will. I can stand there all day and just look at the valley sprawl out. It’s quite amazing to notice how different it is at each season. It’s a blanket of white in December, lush green in April and a mixture of yellow, orange and red in November. The BridalVeil falls is the showpiece here! Especially just after the rains, it’s full – and I’ve never seen it this prominent before.
I decided to walk up the Yosemite Falls trail this time, since I’ve never tried this one before. It’s a reasonably steep climb, but definitely not as intense as the climb up to Sentinal Dome (8 perfect things to do at Yosemite – all thanks to AirBnB – the thought bar: https://shak05.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/8-perfect-things-to-do-at-yosemite-all-thanks-to-airbnb/). The Lower Yosemite Falls trail allows us to walk past the actual falls, and at this time, the spray from the falls as we cross it feels like a new showerhead!
Continuing on level ground for a bit, the climb up to the Yosemite middle falls trail begins only a confusing one mile ahead. But I’m headed the right way. The way up is made up of steps that have been paved. The continuous walk up leaves me breathless and the view of the valley as I walk up adds to the breathlessness – it takes my breath away.
About forty five minutes later, I stop and then scramble onto the rocks, away from the trail to get closer to the falls. It calls me. It’s almost like going to a temple and wanting to touch the deity, to seek blessings. The majestic Yosemite falls chills my hand, delighting my tongue in its sweeetness. I thank everything in nature that allows such purity to exist.
I return home that night, feeling rejuvenated. In this world where it’s imperative to collect material things, it means a lot to step into nature and be a stranger there. Leaving nothing behind, taking nothing with me but memories.
To remain a friend and stranger to the land.