Yosemite National Park: Sequoias & Mono Lake

FINALLY! I got the chance to visit Yosemite! Of all the years I’ve lived in California I had never been to Yosemite so you know that I HAD to go before I went back to Oki. We only had to drive 5.5 hours which was not too bad. I love driving around and seeing the different cities and landscapes so this was a plus for me.

We decided 4:30am was the perfect time to leave from our house. There was no traffic, thank goodness! The drive didn’t feel that long either. We stopped a few times to buy snacks and obviously to use the bathroom. The best part of the drive was witnessing the beautiful sunrise. I’m way too lazy to ever witness one beforehand and boy was I missing out!TEG_5747_Fotor

We stopped by this cute little town about an hour away from Yosemite for breakfast and it was sooo good! The people were so friendly and the town had such cute character. I wish I took pictures. Sorry guys I was so hungry that I forgot haha.

Anyhow after breakfast we went straight to Mammoth where our hotel was and it was so cute too! I had never been to Mammoth either, you all can imagine how excited I was. Since we live in the desert 6o is cold to us and it was 61 sooooo I was dying haha. Seriously, we were all cold! I took pictures from the car window to capture the beauty!TEG_5772_Fotor

We finally arrived to our hotel around 11am. We were only about 5 minutes away from their little downtown area. We were super excited because that meant we can explore the food and stores there! Our hotel was right in front of the ski lift, which was a plus too. Since it is only fall and there was no snowfall the lift goes to the top and people were riding bikes down the mountain. It seemed like so much fun! Unfortunately, we didn’t get to experience that but maybe when we go back.TEG_5790_Fotor

If anyone is considering going to Yosemite or Mammoth I would definitely recommend the Mammoth Mountain Inn. The hotel is close to everything necessary when it snows and as I stated close to their little downtown area. There are hotels in that area as well but they didn’t have a cabin feel and we really wanted that. Anyways, I just thought I’d put a little advice for anyone staying there. Moving right along…

After checking out the hotel we headed on over to Yosemite which was only 45 minutes away. There is a bunch of stuff to do before even getting to Yosemite but seeing we only had 2 days to explore we knew we had to cut things out. The drive up the mountain had phenomenal views!TEG_5803_Fotor

On our way up  we caught a glimpse of a BEAUTIFUL waterfall from the car so we decided to stop. I really wish we could’ve gotten closer. The pictures really don’t do the waterfall any justice. It was amazing!TEG_5807_FotorTEG_5831_Fotor

By the way this is the east side of Yosemite if another route is taking than these views will not be yours. There are probably other things on the west side and the north side. But we chose the east side because obviously we were staying in Mammoth which is on the East side of the mountain. This picture seems like I’m photoshopped in it but I promise you that was the backdrop. That’s how amazing it was!TEG_5843_Fotor

I didn’t want to leave this spot because the views were so beautiful to me. But light was burning so on we went to the next stop!

Trees are the things you see on your way up but they really don’t get old. They are so pretty!TEG_5859_Fotor

We made our way through the trees and since it was National Free Parks Day we got to experience Yosemite for free! We didn’t even know about it until we reached the entrance. Typically to get into Yosemite National Park it will cost $30.

We stopped by the information center because I REALLY wanted to see the sequoias! They let us know that they were an hour away from the visitor center. Which all in all it took 1.5 hours to get to the sequoia loop from the hotel. There is very few parking spots it took us about 15 minutes to find a parking spot. That probably is the only negative part about this place. But we finally parked and we were ready to see some sequoias!TEG_5865_FotorTEG_5882_Fotor

We learned that sequoias thrive by being burned. That is the only way they can reproduce that is why these trees are burnt in the picture below. We saw this throughout the loop. There are some areas that are brunt and others that aren’t. TEG_5887_Fotor

My dad really wanted to see some deer and we figured it wouldn’t happen but much to our surprise we got to see a family of deer! There were five in total and they were super cute! I’m guessing they are used to humans because they didn’t try to run or anything. So cute!TEG_5940_Fotor

We finally reached our destination!TEG_5964_Fotor

The trees were HUGE! I know it’s an obvious thing but omg they are so beautiful!!! I look like an ant compared to the tree!TEG_5982_Fotor

I wish we could’ve gotten closer to it. I really wanted to touch it and try to hug it with my family. Unfortunately, the gate kept me away from the beautiful tree. But the good news is they are trying to preserve the tree. By having us stay away from it we won’t step on the roots and the tree could grow even more!TEG_5984_Fotor

We walked towards another tree and we were able to walk through that one; It is called The Dead Giant. It used to be a tollroad! How awesome is that!?TEG_5998_FotorTEG_6018_Fotor

This sequoia was a bit smaller than the others. It was still beautiful and it was super cool to be able to go in it. I was a little sacred at first because there might’ve been animals in there but anything for the picture right!?TEG_6036_Fotor

The whole way to the grove itself was downhill there were a few spots that were uphill, it was only a 1.5 miles but there was another path that was 4 miles to view all the trees and get more exercise. Obviously, we didn’t choose that route. Anyway, workout clothes is a must for this place because on the way back everything was uphill. It was not fun, I once again learned that I was so out of shape when we had to go uphill. It was the worst! But I made it!

Anyhow after dying on our way back to the car we headed back to our hotel and decide to make a stop at the lake before getting there.TEG_6045_Fotor

It was super beautiful and the water was so clear. There were these girls in the water and I thought they were crazy because the water was FREEZING!TEG_6062_FotorTEG_6088_Fotor

Yosemite reminded to stop and smell the roses. We tend to forget to appreciate how BEAUTIFUL our earth is, how beautiful life is. Taking a breathe and taking in the phenomenal views reminded me how much we take our life for granted. Honestly, it may sound dumb but stopping and really enjoying how beautiful nature is and how wonderful it is to be with family I just remembered to enjoy the little things in life. I am super happy I got to visit Yosemite because it gave me the privilege to reflect and enjoy the natural beauty of the world all at the same time. I leave you all with that.TEG_6097_FotorThank you for reading and as always feel free to comment. Please stay tuned for the rest of the Yosemite adventure next week and don’t forget to check out our Flickr for even more pictures of Yosemite. Thanks everyone!

 

– A very grateful J. Teg

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