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Yosemite National Park

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Yosemite National Park – El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridal Veil Falls at Sunset

Have you heard someone say that we need to “get back to nature”? Have you ever wondered what that even means? Well, if you’ve ever taken a step back from your hectic life and gone camping, hiking, to the beach, to a lake, or anywhere in nature really, very likely that expression came alive for you. I know it did for me when we took a trip to Yosemite National Park.

Amazingly enough, on more than a few occasions, I got the same response when telling people that we had just gotten back from Yosemite. “I’ve never been there” they would say. And this is from people who practically have Yosemite in their backyard!

I must admit that I’m not so innocent myself. I had gone with a group about 8 years prior and ever since had said that I’d like to return. But days went by that turned into months and then years, without so much as even an attempt to return. So sad! But that all changed when I saw a deal on Travelzoo for a lodge near the park. After adjusting our schedules we booked our room and set off to see the sights.

Once inside the park, we drove for what seemed like several miles of winding roads surrounded by pine trees. This was hardly the site I  would expect one to gasp with excitement over seeing. But before we knew it, the landscape had opened up and we were welcomed by a river rushing with crisp water runoff from the snow capped mountains. The scene was absolutely beautiful. It kind of reminded me of a painting you would see from the artist who painted “happy little trees.” Remember him? Only this was better…much better, because it was real!

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Snow banked river

We pulled over to breath in the clean mountain air and listen to the water rushing by. This was what Yosemite is all about. And that was just the appetizer at the beginning of the park. Traveling on we experienced El Capitan, Half Dome, Tunnel view, Bridal Veil Falls and so much more.

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El Capitan

We spent 2 days in the park and afterward I can honestly say that I felt revived. It was a good reminder that we have a need to unplug from our everyday “normal” which has become constant text messaging, phone calls, Instagram, Facebook, and yes, even blogs. There is something out there that is bigger than this world of technology that we live in. Much, much bigger! And while most of us would agree that we love and need technology, trips like this will help one to realize that sometimes we really do need to get back to nature.

If you have a National Park in your backyard, a few hours away, or even a flight away, make the time to visit. I’m willing to bet you will feel as refreshed and renewed as I did.

(Think that the winter season wouldn’t be a good time to visit the park? You may want to reconsider. Check out this link that offers information as well as videos on visiting the park in the winter. The Winter Moments video is especially convincing!)

Things to Know:

  • Before heading to any National Park, it’s a good idea to consult the National Park Service website to view any alerts as to closures or weather conditions that could affect your trip.
  • Yosemite is beautiful from any vantage point. You can easily drive and do short walks to view most of the major sites. Or you can hike several different trails to get a more up close and personal experience. If you decide to hike, make sure you have enough water and possibly even some snacks for the longer hikes and know your physical limits! Some of the hikes are definitely more strenuous than others. Consult a map for elevation gains and length of the hike to be sure you know what you’re signing up for.

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