Friday, August 06, 2010

Yosemite - Day 4: July 26, 2010

This morning we picked up our friend from home, David, to join us in Yosemite for the day. We were thrilled that he wanted to come with us as the girls - and we - absolutely adore him. After Cornbread and the girls picked him up we headed out to the park. Our plans were to get to Glacier Point today, but Cornbread had stopped at the concierge to find out if there were any kid friendly hikes near Glacier Point and had gotten a couple of ideas of some hikes to do before getting to GP.

We set out to climb Sentinel Dome:
We set out on the path, but quickly veered off in our own (Bugly lead) direction.  She definitely lead us astray:)  We had fun exploring, though, and thought we had gotten to the top of Sentinel Dome (we had no idea what we were doing or where we were going) and were thinking, really? so what

But as we went back to the parking lot, we found the actual trail and went in the right direction.  We met up with some hikers who had done the climb in the past.  He told us that it was the second highest peak in Yosemite (other than Half Dome) and that it was the best payoff of a mile hike and well worth the hike.  We were a little bit leary because of the girls and the size of the Epcot Center looking structure ahead of us, but as he said, we had to persevere - because it was worth it.

Once again, three little girls continued to amaze us.  It was not the hardest hike, but it certainly was not an easy hike at all.  And each of them breezed through it like it was a piece of cake.  As we got near the base of the dome, I got pretty nervous with wiggly children who like to run and one especially who tends to fall all.the.time.  But they were great.  I think they understood our nervousness and the potential danger of the situation and really stuck close to us and listened when we told them to stop doing something or to come by us.  The base offered some pretty cool views of the Yosemite Falls, El Capitan and of Half Dome, but the best was definitely yet to come.  

At the base of Sentinel Dome.  David looking over the valley, Nodie making her way to see what he was seeing.
David and Nodie at the base.  Upper Yosemite falls in the background on the right.
View of Half Dome at the base of Sentinel Dome.

We continued up the dome... it was a pretty steep climb that was completely on rock.  We were so happy to have David with us because he was an extra person to hold one of the girls' hands and help them climb up - we each had one girl to help.  

When we got to the top, it was breathtaking.  Seriously.  Honestly.  Breathtaking.  Like nothing I could actually describe.  We could see the whole Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Half Dome, Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite Falls, another waterfall, the Sierra Nevadas on the other side.  Mountains and peaks as far as you could look.  Nothing but mountains and God's creativity.  Nothing but amazing creation.  
The first thing I saw when Bugly and I finally got to the top.  My heart almost stopped:)

Our hiking team: Me, Cornbread, Skipper, David, Bugly and Nodie.  Half Dome in the background.
We stayed on the top for quite some time, just enjoying the view and taking tons of photos and finally decided to make our way back to the car and lunch.  Since we hadn't used the actual path for most of the hike, it seemed like a whole new hike on the way back and it was fun.  
Nodie taking in the view of Half Dome.
Cathedral Rocks on the left and El Capitan on the right.  El Capitan is the largest granite monolith in the world - just a giant wall of granite.
View of Upper and either middle or lower Yosemite Falls from the top of Sentinel Dome.

After eating lunch at the car, we got in and drove to Glacier Point, which was another spectacular viewpoint of the valley.  This view was a little lower, so we could see the layout of the valley a little bit better.  It was also beautiful and we were happy we did it after Sentinal Dome because we may not have taken the time to hike the dome otherwise.  
This is the actual point of Glacier Point.  Years and years ago, people used to dance on this formation, do handstands and all matter of life threatening things.  They have since been cordoned off and you cannot climb on them - which is good, because there is nothing to catch you if you fall.  You can also see Yosemite Falls to the right.
Yosemite Valley as seen from Glacier Point.
View of Half Dome from Glacier Point.

On our way back to the Lodge, I read a few more chapters of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.  We have been reading whenever we're driving for more than 10 minutes and the girls are completely engaged in this book.  It has made the driving portion of this trip so incredibly enjoyable.  The girls have been remarkably well behaved and good - I was definitely not anticipating things to be this great and easy.

We ended our evening by having dinner with Dave and Gramma at El Cid, a Mexican restaurant in Oakhurst.  We are again going to crash before 9:30. 


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