Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Yosemite April 2015

We just got back from a week long camping trip in Yosemite. I know we were just there 6 months ago, but it is just so beautiful and peaceful! Our visit this time was to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We were there for a total of 5 nights and rain was forecast at 70-90% chance everyday. The first three days we got lucky. It would only rain for a couple of hours in the afternoon and then it would be sunny again. The last two days it rained on and off all day and night. Thankfully our new tent handled the rain well and it kept us dry and warm.

Brightest tent in camp! But at least it was dry!
Shortest hike with biggest reward? Mirror Lake. Thankfully it snowed some the week before or there would have been no "lake" for our visit! This picture does not do it justice!
A deer crossing Mirror Lake.

Lower Yosemite Falls
Bridal Veil Falls

As we were walking along the pathways at Bridal Veil Falls, I noticed something on the ground out of the corner of my eye. It took me a minute to realize what it was... Savannah had just walked within three feet of the mysterious fuzzy object. Then I realized it was a bobcat!! He was sleeping right next to the trail. I sent Savannah to wait with Daddy while I snapped some shots and watched it from a safe distance. We watched him for about 20 minutes and then he walked off into the bushes and out of sight. It was my favorite moment of the trip! Bobcats are a rare sight let alone up so close.

Quietly sleeping. People walked right by without even noticing.
Off he goes...

The dogwood trees were in full bloom in the valley. They were insanely gorgeous! Curry Village was filled with the trees and walking through them felt magical. I just could not capture the feeling or beauty of these trees on film.They made enduring all the rain worth it!

Dogwoods at Camp Curry.

Pink Dogwoods? I swoon!

Dogwoods at The Ahwahnee hotel.

Dogwoods near our camp.

Due to the drought, Four mile trail connecting Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley was open this time. Usually the snow closes the trail (and the road to Glacier point too) at this time of year. So we took advantage of it and bought bus tickets to the top of Glacier Point so we could hike down the nearly five mile trail again. The last time Savannah went down this trail was two years ago, in a backpack. This time daddy was not thrilled to carry the 37lb toddler down again. So we told Savannah that if she walked the entire trail by herself she would be rewarded with a stuffed mommy and baby black bear. She agreed and off we went. Daddy brought the kid backpack just in case. Savannah had never walked this far on her own. 

Thanks for the reminder that there is not shuttle service on this steep, narrow TRAIL.

With just a little bit of initial complaining Savannah continued to walk. She did get tired around mile three or four but she kept going  with the idea of the bears and a little encouragement from a pocketful of Skittles. We told her that if we got to the bottom she could ride in the backpack at that point and still earn her bears. By the time we got to the bottom we were all starting to get sore and tired. We bribed Savannah with the idea of a daddy bear to complete her family if she kept walking to the bus stop about another mile away from the trail head and... SHE DID IT! She walked the whole trail on her own and all the way to the bus stop!!! I have never been so proud of her and the best part- she was beaming with pride in herself! She told everyone in the following days that she hiked 4 mile trail. They were quite surprised too.

Daddy is the line leader!
Approximately 3 miles down, 2 to go!
I can't believe she did it!!! This is the trail head from the Valley side.
Here she is with her new Daddy, Mommy, and baby bear. Well deserved!

On the last day we drove down to the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. Savannah had asked if we were going to do more hiking and we fibbed and said no. We told it was just a walk to see some big trees. After about five minutes of walking uphill, she quickly figured out that it was a hike and she was not happy! Thankfully some more Skittles motivation cured the problem and we hiked through the grove until the rain hit. It rained hard all the way back to camp and did not let up. After eating dinner we went back to the tent and fell asleep early. About 3am that morning the rain was deafening! Soon the tent was aglow with the nearby lightening. Just when we thought it couldn't get any louder the hail came. Thankfully Sav slept through it and were able to fall back asleep after the hail and thunder had stopped. 

Fallen Sequoia
Tunnel tree

Walking up to Grizzly Giant.

Other pictures from the trip-

The valley the day we were leaving.
El Capitan peaking out of the clouds.
Taking cover in the Ahwahnee hotel during the rain.
More dogwoods!
Mom and dad staying dry while Savannah jumps in all of the puddles.
Still waiting out the rain. I went to the gift shop and bought Sav crayons and coloring book. We were also drying her shoes and socks on the radiator heater under the window!
Her newest furry friend. He was inside the Curry Village dining hall, where we ate and stayed dry on two nights.


Where will our next adventure lead us to???

Borrego Springs

A little over three weeks ago we bought a new truck (finally!). Our 14 year old truck was on it's last legs and we decided to shop around and see what was out there. Three dealerships later and test driving three specific trucks, we decided on our newest baby- a Toyota Tacoma 4x4. Our last truck was not a true 4x4 and I couldn't wait to take this one out for a road trip. So with paper plates still attached, we decided to take the truck out to Borrego Springs to see the giant metal sculptures (Galleta Meadows) and do a little off-roading in Coyote Canyon. I have always wanted to see the sculptures and they were everything I imagined and more. We only had a half a day to explore and found about half of the sculptures. I can't wait to go back out and find the rest of them!

The old truck on one of our Baja trips. 

No 4x4 needed but watch out for soft sandy spots if you stray from the road.
Sav with the serpent's head.
Awesome sea serpent that spans both sides of the road!

Giant, apparently screaming sloth.

Mom and baby giant sloths.

I forgot the name of this one...

Such a little poser!

Mommy and me with the mommy and me camels.

Scorpion vs grasshopper

My favorites so far... We still haven't seen them all!

One of the numerous tortoise statues. Love the apple someone left behind!

Sabre tooth tiger

One of the areas of soft sand about 50 yards off the pavement.
Savannah's expression when you ask her to "look like it is attacking you".

The beginning of the Coyote Canyon trail.

Pretty Cactus flower in Coyote Canyon.

A small wash in Coyote Canyon.

New posts coming soon!

Sorry for abandoning Savannah's blog. I promise at least one new post very soon! We just got back from camping in Yosemite (yes, again!) and I will post pictures shortly...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Walking with Dinosaurs

Last Sunday we took Savannah to see the "Walking with Dinosaurs" production. We decided to go to the matinee and I was surprised to see it only about half full. I bought our tickets two weeks ago and I was able to get first row, end seats (mid-priced section). Our seats were awesome and I didn't have to worry about not being able to see over people or Savannah kicking the back of the seats. The dinosaurs were impressive and the show was surprisingly educational. It did get dark and loud at times but not enough to scare Savannah. She loved the show and is still talking about it!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Summer is over.

This sums up Savannah's summer in just one photo. She had an amazing time but I am looking forward to cooler weather and the holidays!