Although I am currently trying to get through my San Francisco bucket list, sometimes the opportunity to complete a lifetime bucket list item outside of SF comes along. This past weekend, that bucket list item was camping in Yosemite National Park.
The most ridiculous thing about the fact that I have never been to Yosemite is that I have lived less than a 5 hour drive from it my entire life. My family did some camping when I was really young, but around age 9 we bought a house in rural Shasta County right on a river, so we pretty much stopped camping at that point in exchange for real beds and running water in a beautiful country setting. I have no excuse for not going on my own since I turned 18; I think it was just one of those things that was so easily achievable that I didn't place an emphasis on making it happen. Plus, I think I under-estimated Yosemite. I mean, if you've seen one campsite or National Park, you've seen them all, right?
Well, clearly I was wrong. I get it now. What makes Yosemite stand out is not the forests and foliage you can find in Tahoe or around most of Northern California like I first imagined, but the sheer magnitude and grandiosity of the rock formations and mountainous cliffs that adorn the valley. I have seen plenty of images of Half Dome, but it is much more awe-inspiring in person. The Yosemite Valley is simply epic: big, beautiful, and imposing.
My friend Maggie planned the trip months ago when group campsite reservations became available (getting a reservation here is about as rare as getting struck by lightening), and Dave and I knew it was time we finally went. There were 17 adults total, plus an adorable 22 month old who was a trooper throughout the whole trip. We arrived late Friday night, and set up camp at Bridalveil Creek Campground.
Also, you might even see some deer or coyotes, like we did, or bears, which we fortunately did not. And I can't promise you won't run into this guy.