One of the overriding reasons why my husband wanted to go to the West Coast was Yosemite. I will freely admit I was skeptical that the trip would live up to the hype, until we went up Route 120 to get there. The Tioga Pass road is something I will never forget, a climb up in daylight that’s amazing but in darkness is more frightening than any movie, book or game you’ll ever experience. I have to give credit to my husband who drove both ways in a SUV that owes more to Sherman than Buick, without batting a single eyelid. What was abundantly apparent on the entire trip was the extent of the drought the State is currently gripped by, and how much of the countryside has already burnt. Massive swathes of trees were black, shells of their living selves. It was in turn both depressing and beautiful, but nothing really prepared me for what we’d find when we finally made it to the eastern entrance to the Park. The three and a bit hour drive was more than worthwhile and pictures simply won’t do the experience justice.
The Park defies adequate description: hot, vast and dangerous, and full of views that make you realise just how insignificant humanity is on the general scale of existence. We found a place fist to paddle and then later for the kids to swim. I have no problems on days like this being the designated adult, and watching the world pass by, documenting as I go. My only dissapointment is that we didn’t have more time to explore, as I suspect the majesty of the place would take several days to take in properly. Needless to say, from big to small, I tried to capture as much as I could in pictures. The Flickr feed has a selection of the best images (points to the right.)
What struck me most was the sense of scale: how huge everything was and how tiny I felt in comparison. It was a sombering reminder that however good you think you are, you are a mark, a stain on a planet that has existed for billions of years. It was an amazing day I doubt I’ll ever experience the like of again, especially with my children and husband. That, more than anything else, is what made me realise how grateful I am to have them and how much I love them all. It makes me understand I made the right choices in coming to this point. Because human life is so fragile, it is undoubtedly essential to enjoy every moment as much as you can.
I will not forget this time at Yosemite for the rest of my days.