Yosemite / 2016-06-27

Today we woke earlier to attempt to make it out to Yosemite before the crowds and good thing we did.  It was packed there.  The ride was steep and full of awesome views.

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Views driving into Yosemite Valley

We had to stop about half way through our trip to Yosemite Valley at the park gate entrance where Emily’s 4th Grade Pass once again saved us money ($30 this time).  We completed our drive into Yosemite Valley, arriving at the parking lot around 1030.  We found / created a parking spot and made our way to the information and visitor’s center.  With our stroller and kids in tow, we boarded the Yosemite shuttle down to the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail.

The hike to the falls was easy and paved; simple with the stroller.  About ¾ of the way there, Weston had to use the bathroom, so I walked him back, took the other side of the loop back to the falls to meet up with the girls and took in the view.

It was a very cool little falls, especially relative to the hike that we had to take to get there.  The girls and I scrambled up some rocks to get a bit closer, but only dared so far before we returned (the caution signs had scared the girls from going further), and then headed back to the shuttle stop.  The shuttle took us back to the main center area, where we had our picnic lunch, plus a few extra items from the café there.  Then, I took the cooler back to car, met back up with the rest of the crew and boarded the shuttle again.

We headed to the trail head for Mirror Lake, which promised unmatched views of Half Dome.

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Half Dome reflected onto Mirror Lake
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Kids and adults playing in Mirror Lake

The hike was considerably longer than the previous one, but the views were great and the lake enjoyable to play in.  The kids wished we had brought bathing suits for them to swim and we promised to do so the following day.

Beyond views and cool, refreshing water, some interesting places stopped our hike, like this area with stacked stones.

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The girls standing in front of the stacked rocks

Mark this as something I never knew of before, but the balanced stone area is popular and some consider it graffiti.  We noticed balanced stones in other places throughout our trip to California down the coast as well.

Hot, dusty and tired, we boarded the shuttle with the promise of ice cream treats awaiting the kids (bribes for perfectly posed pictures) at the main visitor area.  However, we did not expect the crowds on the bus, nor the traffic, both of which delayed us 10 minutes passed closing time at the cafe.  We found the general store, however, and let the kids pick something sweet (Caitlyn picked Tic Tacs thinking she could barter with the sheer volume down the line within the kids strange economy).  After enjoying their treats, we cleaned up and walked to the car.  It was close to 630 and we wanted to make sure to make it back to Groveland and our vacation home before dark.  So after a quick trip, albeit with wonderful views, we backed into our driveway.  Another creative dinner, some much needed baths and then off to bed to our tired group.

This is day 7 on our California Road Trip Summer 2016.  Make sure to check out the entire trip!

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