San Francisco Day 5: Yosemite

For Whitney vacation day 5 we had enough Shannon’s good morning song so we decided to dump her at the Oakland airport. (Okay just kidding…kind of. She has a new job and was only able to take a short vacation with us) with a little extra room in the rental car, we ventured west to Yosemite national park for a change of scenery. What a beautiful sight!

After a few hours of driving we were surrounded by tall beautiful ponderosa pines, huge granite formations, and the twisty Merced river. I won’t lie, I feel asleep on the way over, but it was the fresh smell of pine and nature that woke me up to the breathtaking views. Once we reached our resort, we marveled our balcony view, unpacked our luggage and headed straight to Yosemite vally.

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The view from our room!

We checked out the history in the visitor center, and watched the informational video about the formation and preservation of the Sierra Nevada. The park is over 1200 square miles and has over 860 miles of designated trails. In 1864 President Lincoln signed a grant to protect the area as the first national park.
Dad’s favorite parts of vacation are sharing what he learned back at MU as a geology major (rocks rock!) Different from the Grand Canyon, Yosemite is not layers of rock formations, but rather all granite. The granite was actually pushed from the tectonic plates shifting , and then reshaped by the ice age avalanches.

Because a lot of our day was spent traveling, we decided to keep our hiking to a minimum and check out a few trails in the valley including a great view of the Yosemite falls.

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We then caught a wonderful live performance of a “buffalo soldier”. This man was an African American park ranger here at the park when he discovered that post civil war, a regiment of black soldier were stationed in the park. He made it his responsibility to educate the nation by sharing these soldiers’ stories. He delivered an incredible monolog as one of the black soldiers in the regiment. They got their name, the buffalo soldiers, from the native Americans who thought their hair resembled that of the fur between the horns of a buffalo. These men were stationed in a beautiful area where every day was a Sunday. Their job was to protect the park from loggers and poachers. It was really interesting to hear the story. He had a really amazing way of making me feel like I was there, having a conversation with a buffalo soldier, hearing his story, and sharing his feelings.

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This looked like dinner for the hunters in our family… But we let him go for the other visitor s to enjoy

I have been fortunate enough to be able to explore the trails of the Grand Canyon, Zion, the Badlands, the Petrified Forest, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Burren region and now Yosemite. Still, each and every time I see a place so beautiful, and so different from anywhere else in the world, I am in awe of our Creator. He has given each and everything so much detail, uniqueness, and beauty. We are blessed with so much to enjoy, explore, and protect.

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This is just a small piece of paradise  here on earth, I can’t even imagine what life after this must look like!

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