Day 29: Riding Through Yosemite!

With a full day ahead of us, we venture out to explore Yosemite.  We drove to the the Big Oak Flat Entrance and met a super nice ranger that  told us, upon looking at Greg’s ID, that because he is 62, he can pay $10 for a lifetime free pass into any National Park!  Darn!  Wish we would have known that at the beginning of our trip, instead of paying entrance fees at the several parks we visited prior to today.  Oh well!  Now we know!  I’m sticking with this guy for all future freebies!

Once inside the park, we are excited to catch a glimpse of the famous Half Dome.  Unfortunately, due to the Rough Wildfires, which are still burning, having scorched 97,000 acres so far, the air is very smoky and visibility is very bad.

The lower we get into the valley, the more the smoke clears, giving us a much better view of the splendor of Yosemite Valley!

We’ve always heard of the Ahwahnee Hotel, so we knew this was a “must see” place!  Did you know that it opened in 1927?  Did you know that it was created at the order of America’s first director of the National Park Service Stephen P. Mather, to attract people of influence and power?  Did you know that Steve Jobs (Apple) was married there? (Haha! We just finished listening to his unabridged biography audio book…took us about a week to hear the whole recording!) Well it was time for lunch and to see this beautiful landmark.  So we parked our car, jumped on our bikes and rode on over!

After a yummy lunch, we had a most delightful treat!  We actually had enough of a signal to be able to FaceTime with Mike and Val…wow!  Have we ever missed them!

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Then, we found our way to the Visitor Center…which is a stop we have come to love whenever we visited the national parks during this trip.  We love watching the documentary films about each park and, I confess, I always catch a little nap in the dark, comfy movie theatres! At the advice of the park ranger, we take a bike ride on a beautiful paved trail to MIrror Lake, where we will be able to get a better view of half dome.  The ride was wonderful, and safer than the one in Napa (no cars whizzing past us!)  Sadly, there was no water in MIrror Lake, but we had to pose anyway, just to show we made it!

The highlight of the bike ride was the beautiful deer that was completely unafraid of crossing the road, only a few feet from us!

You’ve probably noticed that I am running out of words….I guess that’s to be expected, given that we are nearing the end of our trip.  Tomorrow is our last stop in Paso Robles.  Stay tuned for one more day of adventures, and my thoughts as we return home!  Good night!

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