You need a head for heights here

Trip Start Aug 07, 2011
Trip End Aug 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
Strawberry Creek Yosemite West
What I did
Explored some of Yosemite National Park

Flag of United States  , California
Monday, August 15, 2011

We started our day with a proper American brunch of pancakes, maple syrup, crispy bacon and eggs and set off to explore Yosemite valley. We had not banked on how busy the Park would be and we detoured off at Bridalveil Falls to take a short walk to see the Falls.  Then we decided to head for the Visitor Centre to get a more detailed map of the trails available  also popped into the store close by, which was surprisingly well stocked.  Winding through Yosemite Valley is the Merced river and in some places there were small beaches at the side of the road so we did no more than pull over and went exploring.  We found a quieter bend in the river and paddled our feet - Paul debated whether it was deep enough to go swimming but he did not have his towel with him and it was very cold!   We did notice some very large animal tracks in the soft mud at the side of the river, we thought we could make out deer, birds and probably bear prints.  It was getting very hot by now, up in the high 80s so we decided to head back to base and then go out later to visit Glacier Point, which was supposedly one of the best places to get a good view of the valley floor and neighbouring peaks

     The drive up to Glacier Point was about 12 miles from our base at Strawberry Creek and it was much cooler at 6pm and got noticeably cooler as we climbed up towards the viewing point.  Glacier Point is 3200 ft above the valley floor and when we reached the top we were almost level with one of the famous Yosemite peaks known  as Half Dome.  It was really quite chilly at the top of Glacier Point and both Flo and I wished we had bought our fleeces with us. We were surprised to find that we were driving through smoke on our way up as it seems that the Park Rangers and the Forest Fire Service were "managing" a forest fire - and when we came down at nearly sunset it was far more dramatic as you could make out the flames licking through the undergrowth.  The smell of woodsmoke was acrid and pungent and when we returned to Strawberry Creek we could still smell it inside the house.  We enjoyed a very nice bottle of Pinot Noir from our winery visit with our evening meal and spent a pleasant evening chatting with Mark.  
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