For better or worse, here I am—trapped in paradise. As long as I continue to live in this vital, inimitable spot on the globe,

I will continue to seek out the unique…the delicious…the innovative products, services and traditions of San Luis Obispo County.

Stay posted for a few of my favorite things.

About Me...

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A wanderlust at heart... captivated by the California Central Coast. Join me on my culinary and vino-infused adventures as I explore and discover the regional novelties of San Luis Obispo County that make living here...easy to stay...and hard to leave.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Paradise Hopping

Half Dome at Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite National Park is just a hop, skip and a jump from San Luis Obispo County. Well, not reallythe journey is more like a three-and-a-half hour drive—but in the grand scheme of things, the distance is well within the realm of possibility for a weekend trip. 

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 Domea Yosemite icon that looms 8,800 feet above sea levelas 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.
Even better is the 4.6-mile hike that meanders down and around the giant hillside. As walkers wind down to the valley below, the waterfall inches closer, Half Dome moves farther away, and El Capitan, the largest monolith of granite in the world, suddenly breaks through the horizon. 

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.

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