There are lots of things we look at when we ask to serve at different ministries. We usually try to go to a project where we’ve never worked before. We sometimes look for specific needs (though we’ve also learned that the needs that are published are often different by the time we get there). We try to choose a ‘less-served’ ministry – one that doesn’t get many SOWERS. But I must confess that the reason we chose Sugar Pine Christian Camp had a little less to do with a specific need, but more to do with this little notation in our listing. “6 miles from the S entrance to Yosemite Park”. It did meet all of the other criteria, but that Yosemite thing was really what tipped the scale. This is only our second swing out to the West Coast (the first one before and after we did our Alaska Adventure), and since we never know what tomorrow will bring, I really wanted to make sure we made it to Yosemite.
So it was pretty much a win-win all around! We were blessed to serve at Sugar Pine Camp – and we were certainly WOWED at Yosemite.
We spent two beautiful days exploring Yosemite, and although we barely scratched the surface of hiking and back country activities, I do think we covered most anything you could get to by car – plus a couple spots that required our feet!
Here are some highlights –
This is pretty much everyone’s first recommendation. They even recommended seeing it at sunrise. That did not happen. But we did get there early-ish, so we missed some of the crowds while we enjoyed the magnificent views.
Since we knew that Half Dome was way beyond our hiking capabilities, we decided to give Sentinel Dome a shot. The Yosemite experts back at the camp felt it would be a good hike for us – a little challenging, but certainly do-able. For us out of shape oldsters.
We were a bit intimidated by the fact that we were headed to the top of that dome
but still, we pressed on!
OK – if young couple wearing a toddler can do it,
so can we.
Just a little bit slower. And with a slightly faster heart rate!
As we were headed back down, Gary’s sharp eyes spotted a bit of wildlife.
Can you see it? Up in the tree….
Happy hunting, big guy!
This was a great hike – good cardio workout on the way up, and a bit hard on the joints on the way back, but we did it!
We caught a couple of glimpses of El Capitan as we headed up to Tioga Road (in the northern section of the park)
but it pretty much dominated the horizon once we ventured into Yosemite Valley the next day!
But first – Tioga Road, Omsted Point, and other views from that road! (There is lots more park to the north of Tioga Road, but it’s all ‘back country’.) Here are just a few of the our stops –
Olmstead Point (the other way!)
We stopped at a little cafe near the north entrance (Tioga Pass) for a bite to eat and struck up a conversation with a couple of back-country hikers who were sharing our table. Now mind you, we were feeling pretty smug having hiked the Sentinel Dome (all 2.2 miles of it), so we asked one fellow how his hike was going. It turns out he was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and he shared his good news that he only had 1000 miles to go. A Thousand Miles. So much for the our Sentinel Dome experience! He was very interesting and since he was looking quite longingly at Gary’s fish and chips, we funded him for a couple of meals. (I wonder if he made it to Mexico yet?)
We finished that first day with a stop at the “Tunnel View Overlook” which offers spectacular views of the park.
And just as we were getting ready to leave, we ran into some friends from Trinity, TX!!! How crazy was that????
Now that was a ‘God Wink’ to be sure!!!!
We returned the next day and took one more shot of the “Tunnel View”.
Love the morning light!
But we were headed to explore Yosemite Valley, which is a much busier area. Kinda like the ‘downtown’ of Yosemite.
We took a little meadow hike
and checked out the historic Ahwahnee hotel.
Lunch was a bit pricey, but oh, so elegant and yummy. It was a fun treat!
The famous Yosemite Falls (Upper and Lower) were dry this late in the season
but you can certainly see how magnificent they must be in the spring with the snow run-off!
Once again we were very glad we started early in the day –
because this is how it looked when we were ready to leave!
From start to finish – Yosemite was magnificent!
We are so thankful to be able to mark that off our ‘bucket list’
If you’d like to see more of the beauty of Yosemite, there are more pictures HERE! (I did my best to whittle down the number, but it’s still just shy of 100! Just wanted to give you a warning!)