Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day 7 - Yosemite National Park

Today was a bit of a long day for us, but what beautiful sights!! Our family got to witness the beauty & majesty of our great country! Yosemite National Park has to be the most beautiful place in the U.S.! The towering granite mountains, the cascading waterfalls, the tall trees, & the wonderful wildlife! We got to see it all!

We began our tour of the park with a few quick shots along the road, making our way up to the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. Our mouths just fell open as soon as we entered the park and I don't think they ever closed until we left at the end of the day!

A view driving up to Yosemite National Park.

A view of El Capitan on our drive up to the Visitor's Center.

Once we arrived at the Visitor's Center, we enjoyed a movie called "The Spirit of Yosemite" which talked about the history of the park and what made it the majestic sight it is today. Thanks to John Muir & Galen Clark, we have the National Park we can visit today. They both lobbied to the U.S. Congress at different parts of our nation's history to establish a National Park to protect the beauty of Yosemite.

While touring the Visitor's Center Kylie & Daddy had fun exploring the different exhibits. They couldn't resist climbing & touching everything. Mom-Mom got in on the fun too!

Daddy climbing through a Giant Sequoia inside the Visitor's Center.

Galen Clark - the first explorer of Yosemite & the first one to lobby for its protection.

John Muir - he lobbied to have the boundaries of Yosemite enlarged and realized that all the different parts of the park were connected and could not be separated.

Kylie exploring the model of the Yosemite Valley.

Mom-Mom checking out a Tee Pee - she seems to enjoy it!

Once we left the Visitor's Center, after we bought a few souvenirs, we began our hike up to see the Lower Yosemite Falls. You could hear the roar of the falls the entire hike! The views were spectacular & we even got to see a brown bear along the way! We definitely kept our distance and thanks to the zoom on our camera, we were able to get a great shot. Once at the falls, it was absolutely breathtaking! There was a cool breeze off the water & you could even feel the water spraying off the falls. Daddy couldn't resist climbing on top of a log to get a better look at the falls & even on top of a granite rock on the way back to the car. He was determined to climb something while were there and I think he succeeded!

A brown bear we got to see while on our hike - he looks cute from this distance! :)

A gorgeous shot of Lower Yosemite Falls.

Daddy on top of the log at the Falls!

Look at them Falls!!

Yosemite Falls!

Check out this video of the Lower Yosemite Falls!

Once we got back to the car, we headed up to Bridalveil Falls for a quick picnic lunch & to get some more great shots. Daddy did the hiking this time while Mommy made the yummy sandwiches!

A view of Bridalveil Falls - good shot Dad!

Another good shot, Dad!

Bridalveil Creek - the base of the Falls.

Jillian ready for her yummy peanut butter sandwich!

After lunch we headed to Glacier Point to get some great shots of Half Dome and the valley below. Mommy & Kylie got to enjoy some ice cream and Mom-Mom & Daddy hiked up for gorgeous photo opportunities!

View from Glacier Point - Half Dome is on the left and Nevada Falls on the right.

Daddy & Jillian at Glacier Point - looks like a postcard!

Gorgeous shot of Half Dome!

Another great shot of the Nevada Falls - how beautiful is that!?!

The last stop on our tour of Yosemite was tunnel view where tourists get the classic shot of Yosemite Valley. The views were so calming, you could stay there forever! The weather was perfect too with just a slight breeze which made leaving very hard! Check out these amazing views of the valley.....

Yosemite Valley - El Capitan on the left & Bridalveil Falls on the right.

Bridalveil Falls from Tunnel Viewpoint.

El Capitan

The Thayer Family in front of El Capitan! What a trip!

Even though it was a long day, it was a day we will never forget! The beauty that we saw was a once in a lifetime experience and wish everyone could've been with us to see it all! Words cannot express the majesty of Yosemite!

We are in Mammoth Lakes, CA tonight getting much needed rest for our LONG drive to Las Vegas, NV tomorrow! We are excited to spend two days in Vegas staying at Excalibur! We're hoping to meet up with our good friends, The Mosers too! Stay tuned for more fun pictures! ~The Thayers & Mom-Mom :)

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