|Half Dome at Yosemite National Park.|
A few Saturdays ago, I hit the road before the crack of dawn to trade in one paradise for another. As SLO County disappeared from my radar and the drive through California's flat Central Valley brought me closer to the undulating Sierra Foothills, my reverence for this extraordinary part of the world soared.
|Yosemite Falls, viewed from Glacier Point.|
With an open invitation to visit close relatives who moved to Madera County last year, exploring Yosemite and its dramatic highs and lows is now a pastime. Each brief sojourn grants me a few days to get out in the mountains, breathe its fresh, piney air and discover something new.
My latest magnificent find is Glacier Point. This elevated lookout station sits 3,200 feet above Yosemite Valley and sports brilliant views of Half Dome—a Yosemite icon that looms 8,800 feet above sea level—as well as Yosemite Falls to the west and the valley below. From this vantage point the drops are shear, the sky is limitless...the views are phenomenal.
|El Capitan on the right.|
If you decide to make this awesome trek, even though the trail is easy to follow, pay attention to a few slippery spots and the steep drops off the side. Hiking sticks would be a great asset. Oh, don't be surprised if you encounter a rattlesnake or two. They know paradise when they see it.
|This elderly rattlesnake crossed our path on the trail. The encounter scared us all a bit, but then he quietly slithered away, retreating back into his own shady paradise.|
|Yosemite Valley surrounded by awesome rock formations.|
|Half Dome. Jutting out of paradise.|