Pictures from my trip to Yosemite back in 2003 (and some from Aug'06 when I visited with my parents). The first time I went here was for Labour Day in 2003. I flew into San Francisco airport on a Friday, and left for Y'mite on Saturday afternoon. The drive was looooong, and rather boring. the problem is that the scenery around isn't one bit dramatic, it's just plain plains for the most part. And then it gets exciting as you enter Yosemite, and make your way to Yosemite Valley. That drive is a bit interesting, relatively speaking of course.
We had pizza that night for dinner which was not bad at all. And woke up on Monday morning. We had gotten a good lodge, right across the visitor's centre where we'd go for breakfast.
Our plan was to go the regular route hiking. My GOD this park is a mess! I can't believe people were telling me to visit this place when it's so darn crowded and no place to breathe. The irony is the "hike" - it's so well paved and all, it looks more like a walk up a hilly road. Its crowded.... and I've never been on hiking trails before where I've seen kids and animals walking like it's the park. It was also very hot! We finished our erm.... "hike" in the afternoon and drove back to Bay Area by night.
In 2006, it was slightly different. I was going with my mum and dad. We left on a Friday afternoon and reached the Valley by night. My parents were getting a bit scared as we were driving down the hill to the valley. We rested that evening, and on Saturday morning, after a relaxed drive we went on a drive to see Half Dome. They weren't overly impressed either! To me, the problem with Yosemite is the drive... it takes five bloody hours to get to, all for CROWDS!!! The other thing about this place is that it feels a bit too commercialised. When I went first in 2003, it didn't strike me. It had been a couple of years since I started working and just the idea of going on a hike was a cool thing. Especially when you live in Texas where you don't have too much next door, so to speak. But in hindsight, I think Yosemite is awfully interrupted with constructions which remove the thrill of a small hike as well. Not everyone can be pro's to scale the Half Dome.