Day 1 of our Journey to Yosemite – the Maraposa Grove & more

That is one big tree.

That is one big tree.

Every time we have come to Yosemite from the south, we pay our entry fee and make the immediate left turn heading toward the valley.  This time however, Mary and I decided to turn right and visit the Maraposa Grove.  This is a large grouping of Giant Sequoias, with some rumored to be over 3000 years old.  Oh my.  We elected to try the tram rather than walk both groves.  It seemed like a good idea at the time and probably still was.  The tour is rather expensive at $25/person and takes you for an hour and fifteen minute tour of the upper and lower groves.  The upper grove is a good hike and we would not have gone there if we had to hike that distance.  The tour is well narrated with two 10 minute stops for pictures.  The tour is good if you want to see both groves.  On the downside, you don’t get the best pictures since you are bound by the angle and stops from the tram.  Also, the tram is just a trailer modified with seats.  That means it is directly bolted to the axle and the road is just a paved trail, sooooo……you feel every bump and dip.  I would not recommend it if you have a bad back.  All in all, an OK experience and good to do at least once.  From the grove, we headed back towards our original destination at Yosemite Valley.  You know about our trip to the Ahwahnee (see below), then we checked into the Yosemite Lodge and started to wander. By now it was in the late afternoon with some great shots of the setting sun hitting the valley sides.  We have included pictures of the “dry” Yosemite falls (one thing about a trip to Yosemite in the fall is that the falls are all pretty dry and the rivers are low and quiet), an orange half dome and some of the fauna having dinner in the meadow.  (For a view of the pictures for now, just click on the Picture widget to the right of this article. We will update when we get back)  What a photo rich area…..The only problem was that they were doing some controlled burns in the park and the valley had picked up a slight haze in the evening ( note the shots of half dome).  Mary and I then had a light dinner at the Lodge cafeteria and followed with a few drinks at the lodge bar while watching Boston make an incredible comeback.  All in all, a great way to spend our first day in Yosemite.  This is such a great place to come for vacation.  It is almost spiritual here.  This is nature at it’s most impressive. 

 More to come on day 2………

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