We arrived at Yosemite National Park today and were blown away by the beauty. The park covers almost 748,000 acres and is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, and giant sequoia groves. Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. Prominent Californians lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development, ultimately leading to President Abraham Lincoln signing the Yosemite Grant in 1864. The grant created the first wilderness area in the world that was protected by a government for the use and enjoyment of all citizens. Later, John Muir led a successful movement to establish a larger national park encompassing not just the valley, but surrounding mountains and forests as well – paving the way for the United States national park system.
By the time we waited for check-in time at the campground and got settled, we only had time for one hike which was to Mirror Lake. It would have been nice if the guide books (and the volunteer that told us about the hike) would have told us that to be on the correct side for the reflection we needed to not take the trail, but walk up the road that the shuttle bus uses. So, we hiked 2 miles to find out we were on the wrong side of the lake. Needless to say, photographer Don was not very happy. He tried to wade across up river from the lake, (keep in mind that the water temperature was in the high 30s), but could not make it down where he needed to be. Leslie snapped his picture on the way back as proof of what he will do to try to get a picture. Luckily, he was able to get some pictures of Yosemite Valley so we could post a blog.
P.S. We are half back in the world of technology – we have internet now (so those of you who get the blog e-mails brace yourself), but still no phone. Totally worth it though – these national parks are amazing.