I had high hopes for heavy doses of John Muir to be directly injected into my psyche the very second I put eyes on Yosemite Valley. Instead on day 1 in the park, I found myself herded around at curated nature vistas. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing in Yosemite Valley. I just don’t take well to selfie stick spectacles and vending machine experiences. It is a zoo! People bring their hustle and bustle energy into a place where it doesn’t belong. These places need to be taken in like an aged glass of wine - look, sniff, sip, discuss. Not slam that RedBull, take a picture but don’t look at it, now run to the next vista.
Day 2 in Yosemite was AMAZING. We drove to the backside of the park (via Tioga Pass) which is away from the madness of rental cars and hippy vans. We found ourselves pulling into the Inyo National Forest near Saddlebag lake. From there we departed on an 8 mile hike (starting at 10,087’) towards 20 Lakes Basin. Not being acclimatized quite yet we quickly found ourselves gasping for air, the air we were so eager to take in was full of quiet peace and beatiful surroundings it was perfect. It was a big hike for us with a two year old, an attempt we were not sure would end well. But it did! It was the best of the bestest.
I have been lucky enough to see some very incredible places in my life, and this hike ranks in my top 5. Rhye rode on our shoulders the entire way, she was truly a perfect monkey to have on my back. Not one complaint! It was on this hike when we fell in love with Yosemite, I think we both I felt the faint whispers of John that day.
Later in week, Robyn was working from a coffee shop and I noticed a beautiful black and white image of Half Dome hanging behind her, which inspired all my Yosemite Valley pictures to be in B&W (the hike pictures are in color).