Emily and Brenden's Worldwide Volunteering Adventure travel blog

Many uses for a bear proof food box.

Mmmmm...Who wants some pancake bites?

Lower Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls Lower- 2

Yosemite Falls Lower - 4

Yosemite Upper and Lower Falls

The view from above - Half Dome

Brenden is a charter member of ITHA (Int'l Tree Huggers Assoc.)!


In one day we drove from the deserts of western Arizona and eastern California to "Nature's Cathedral." As we drove down the windy two-lane road into Yosemite Valley the energy of this once violent place of glacial activity permeated the walls of the dense forests and rock skyscrapers.

Once reaching the valley floor Goldy's breaks were squeaking with a request, "can we take a break, please!" We reached our campsite, Upper Pines: tent site #177, see above photo. We felt very lucky to have gotten such a wonderful site. Yosemite Park during the summer months is very crowded and it is recommended that one reserve a site at least a month ahead of time. When we called they had no sites available for Saturday evening and only two (two in the entire park!) on Sunday.

After setting up camp we went into the very well maintained Yosemite Village. We had read about a film that was going to be presented in the amphitheater so we thought we would check it out. The film was a documentary about a Yosemite rock climber named Ron Kauk. Mr. Kauk was there to introduce the film and answer any questions. The camera followed Mr. Kauk around the park capturing stunning images of him hiking, climbing, playing, and meditating. He spoke about his relationship to the park and nature. It appeared that he had truly become so in tune with the nature in the park that he could feel its ebbs and flows. He spoke about living in the moment, being conscious of every step, every climbing hold, and every drink of water. It was great to have seen this film before exploring the park on our own for it gave us, day trippers, another perspective of those who call this park home.

The following day we woke up fresh and ready to explore. Brenden attempted to make pancakes but found that it was not as easy using a single burn (hot), round stove. Instead he got creative and invented the next breakfast craze...Pancake Bites (see recipe entry for the "how to"). We packed the car, parked it in the day parking and set off on a trail that lead to the base of the largest waterfall in North America, Yosemite Falls (see above photos). We hiked to the base of the fall where most people go. From this location one can only see the lower portion of the fall, which is beautiful, but is only half of the whole. We decided to hike left of the waterfall fed stream to find out if we could see both the upper and lower. What do you know we found the perfect spot away from the rest of the visitors (see above photos). We hiked a bit further following the base of the rising rock face away from the waterfall and reached a point where we could see beyond the trees in to the valley. The view of Half Dome was amazing (see photos).

We left the park that day planning our next trip back!



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