So after a couple of days in San Francisco (and a day in the Wine Country), we headed out north to Yosemite National Park.
(This is a long post so as Lisa-Marie did, you might want to make a cuppa to go with it!)
For the trip I bought my first ever pair of hiking boots, which really were needed…
The night we arrived we did a mini hike… which was apparently a test to see how well you could cope for the next two days of hiking!
(For those who have ever wondered this is what I look like minus any make-up and without shades on a very sunny day! My favourite blue ones broke within seconds of arriving at Yosemite… I did not take this as a good sign at the time. I have no idea why my hair looks that red here though!)
Anyway, we must have passed the first hike because the next day we drove off to our first ‘proper’ hike in snow.
Now when I say snow…
… that tiny bit of wood you can see is actually top of a picnic bench… which was level with the path we were walking on!
So the snow may not look that deep in the pic below – but if you went off the side of the icy packed snow path, you were up to your knees.
(Check out the look of concentration – it was really really icy. I’m also wearing driving shades borrowed from the hostel reception. It’s a look!)
And here’s what that first hike was all about… giant sequoias.
It has to be said they’re pretty tall. (Certainly a whole lot taller than my OH!)
After hiking in snow, we went further into the park to scale a huge waterfall.
(At this point I was wondering whether I’d secretly been signed up for bootcamp!)
On the way there, we saw this sign…
And the sign was swiftly followed by our first sighting… ekk!
Ok so he doesn’t look at all terrifying (so much for my fear that a bear would eat me!)…
But our hike guide did assure us that although the bears are pretty placid, they can still tear the door off a car to get at food inside.
Hard to imagine since he looks so soft and fluffy!
After all the bear excitement, we hiked on… and on… and on… oh and did I mention on?
And then there were only another 600 stone steps to climb before reaching the waterfall…
But the view was worth it… check out that rainbow!
As well as ‘meeting’ a bear, we also befriended some other wildlife on this trip…
This is Newton the newt. Who looks like we’ve just woken him up!
And this was… well we didn’t actually name this bird but it was very pretty.
We also encountered lots of cheeky squirrels… and even a small mouse who broke into our cabin and stole some of our trail mix!
The next day we went on a ‘flower walk’ which turned out to Yosemite speak for a hard hike with some flowers on the way!
There were lots and lots of flowers… my friend was managing to name them while I just snapped away…
But all insisted that we have to take a pic of this… a non-Scottish thistle!
And after all that hiking (and sliding in the snow) it was time to go back to San Fran… to see Jonsi in concert.
(See it’s all beginning to sort of tie-up now!)
Next time… Vegas baby!