Day 4 of Our Jaunt in June

Yosemite National Park has been calling to us ever since our first almost failed attempt to visit back in 2005. (We did eventually get there, but in a car for hire, completely at someone else’s timetable.) So today we sprung out of bed at an early hour, gassed up the car and set out . . . all before 7:59. (That’s mighty early for us, folks.)

We took Highway 140 through Mariposa and entered the park through the Portal that was only just large enough for one car to pass through. It was a stunning and impressive entrance. We made our way across the valley floor and began to look for parking, the ever frightful experience in any National Park these days. Finally, finally, (after several passes) we saw someone leaving and snagged their spot. Now, out to see the park.

The very first stop, however, had to be a comfort stop . . . which was more uncomfortable than necessary since we couldn’t find any signage or information as to which direction to go. That dilemma, too, was eventually solved but by that time we were so fraught with anxiety we were tempted to just take a few pictures and get back in the car to return from whence we came.

Thankfully, after a little refreshment, and a lovely conversation with a couple who were kind enough to share their picnic table, we were revived enough to consider a hike. There were so many people milling around Yosemite Village it was difficult to find the trees! We walked up to the Visitor Center, watched the informative film about the park and made the choice to walk the valley floor. Perhaps that would allow us to really see the pristine nature we had come to visit.

And, we are so glad we did. We took a portion of the loop hike and logged about 6 miles around the valley floor among the meadow and trees; across the river and back again. Yet there was never a time when we were alone in the wilderness, as so many of the brochures promise about Yosemite. Granted, we did not go “into” the real heart of the park, but we also did not expect to be sharing every photo opportunity with dozens of others doing exactly the same thing.

The views and the beauty, however, were truly stunning. In every direction there was majesty and grandeur on a scale not matched by many places. This spot is a unique testament to the wonders of creation.

Sharing our search for beauty and respite with so many others – from so many different states and countries – made me wonder why it seems we have so few places to commune with nature. And then I began to wonder why I think my commune with nature has to be only with nature and not with all of God’s created glory – including other humans like myself.

It was a humbling thought. So many times when I take photographs, I struggle to get the shot WITHOUT any people in it. But, we too, are part of the wonder of creation and beloved of our Creator, just as are the rivers, rocks, trees and wildlife. Why then should I care to dismiss humanity and not deem us a part of nature’s profound beauty?

It is a quandary I am trying to resolve and overcome. And, so we did enjoy the park. We shared it with thousands of others today who hopefully enjoyed it as much as we did. It is a stunning place of natural wonders, filled with unparalleled pristine beauty and the fingerprints of God. Everything was beautiful! Not the least of which was humankind.

We returned to the road about 5:00 and made ourĀ  way back to civilization as the sun set. Famished from our day’s adventures, we had to stop at a Texas Road House for a fortifying dinner of grand proportions. It was worthy of the day!