Skip to main content

Vernal Falls


As I sit here quarantined from the Coronavirus, I am day dreaming of my time last summer spent vacationing in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite, one of the most beautiful and captivating places I have ever traveled. My heart yearns to return sooner than later. If Yosemite is not on your bucket list, you should add this magnificent national park. 

While our visit to Yosemite was only a few days due to the fact we were trying to hit several national parks on our road trip last June, we were able to squeeze in a hike to Vernal Falls.  I tried watching some YouTube videos the night before our hike to get an idea of what we were in for the following day.  Going in late June meant that the snow melt had just occurred and the rivers and waterfalls were roaring.  The videos I found to watch were of hikers in late July and August and gave no justice to the monster we were about to encounter.  The people in these videos climbed up the rocks and along the path like they were just out taking a Sunday stroll.  Well let me inform you that if you go during or after the snow melt, it will not be an easy hike. 



I use my Fitbit Versa daily and laughed out loud when I saw in the Fitbit app you can do a solo adventure of Vernal Falls and get in 15,000 steps.  I showed my spouse and he too laughed.  Trust me the 15,000 steps I am taking here today are are a far cry from the incline stepping, can't breathe, wet from overspray steps I took back in June.




We had to drive to the back of the valley and park in a parking lot half a mile from the beginning of the trail.  So basically we had to hike through a small forested area to even get to the hiking trail.  If you are able to stay in the park campgrounds then you would be able to take a park shuttle or walk from your campsite to the trail.  We were park commuters, as we did not plan a year in advance and reserve a campsite. I advise planning ahead and trying to stay in the park.  We wasted tons of time driving in and out of the park each day.  I say tons as in several hours each way.

After our  small hike to the trailhead we were greeted with individuals running towards us.  After you begin the hike you quickly realize why those coming down the trail are choosing to run rather than walk down.  The trail is basically straight up. I mean leg burning, you can't catch your breathe, hands on knees straight up.  It is a very intense half mile to the bridge.  There were several families choosing to turn around because of the high demand of the trail.  There are a few flat landing points that you can stop and try to catch your breathe. The trail is not very wide and shares traffic going up and down.  It can be hard to even pass someone going slower in front of you.

Next on the trail comes the bridge.  The bridge was packed when we finally reached it.  For some this is where they decided to turn around and head back down. On the bridge you will have a beautiful view of Vernal Falls and the river flowing down stream.  If seeing the waterfall is enough, then the bridge is a perfect spot to turn around.  If you want to challenge yourself the cross the bridge and begin another ascend to travel up along side the river, to the bottom of the waterfall, then to the top where you can view the waterfall next to the falling over point.




The path turns from a concrete pathway to a dirt trail with rocks laid to form steps.  There is no handrail to assist.  You will literally be climbing at this point.  The steps require you to almost climb up them instead of stepping.  Some steps are close together while others are far apart. The overspray will make the steps slippery. An enormous amount of energy and time will be spent making sure your footing is accurate and safe.  The steps were extremely slippery and filled with overspray.  Hiking boots would have been a smarter choice than the tennis shoes we packed. Tennis shoes slipped on the rock steps and filled with water on the steps under water from the overspray.  I was shocked to see some choose to go bare foot.  I remember not even being able to get my phone out for pictures because I was drenched from the overspray. If I had planned better a waterproof case would have be beneficial for this hike.

As much as I want to say we reached the top, I regret to say we decided to turn around upon reaching the side of the waterfall. The hike continues up a stairway to the top of the waterfall. When we visited the stairway was packed with other hikers going  both directions sharing the stairs.  We decided we were done trying to share the trail with so many. We were finished and began our desend.  If you visit in the summer months plan on sharing the park with thousands of other visitors. There were times we had to wait and take turns walking sections of the trail because it is so narrow.

As you desend it is easier to jog back to the bottom rather than hold yourself back on the steep incline to the bottom of the trail. The desend takes half the time as the ascend. We strolled our way back through the small forrested area to the parking lot.








Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CBD Oil and Josie week 10

Well, it's been a while since I wrote an update. In the beginning the changes were fast and easily noticeable. I think we have now reached our plateau. It would be hard to keep writing weekly updates as there aren't many changes from week to week now. I may continue with monthly updates instead.  Labs are prone to bad hips and lose some of their mobility as they age. I watched the loss with a previous lab we owned and eventually he had to be put down. He was 16 years old but his mind was still viable. Putting a dog down who stills understands what you are saying but lacks the ability to even stand anymore is one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever done. Experience is key in life! After we went through it, we made a decision to do the things needed to alivaite some of that pain and suffering for our next dog. No matter the cost! I remind myself, I went and chose Josie, she didn't come pick me out. I owe her the best life I am able to emotionally,  physic

CBD and Josie Week 1

My dog Josie is a 7 year old lab that has started showing her age.  Within the last year after we would go for long walks she would spend the rest of the day laying around sore and tired.  She showed extreme discomfort.  She would want to jump up places and lack the ability to do so.  Her level of play had decreased tremendously.  Her mind would want to run and play fetch but her body would tell her otherwise.  Just after a few rounds of fetch she would retrieve and walk to the door telling us she was done. A week ago we decided to try something new for her.  We have some family that runs a CBD oil shop.  After consulting with them and doing some research on our own, we decided this was worth a shot for our Josie girl.  Though we have only given Josie the oil once a day for a week, I want to say we have seen small changes in her mood.  I want to keep an on going journal of her progress as we try this CBD oil out.  After week one: She shows signs of discomf

CBD a year later

So here we are almost a year later, how is the CBD treatments going? I updated a previous blog with updated information.  After a year most thoughts I had a year ago are still the same.  Remember these feelings I posted months back? Labs are prone to bad hips and lose some of their mobility as they age. I watched the loss with a previous lab we owned and eventually he had to be put down. He was 16 years old but his mind was still viable. Putting a dog down who stills understands what you are saying but lacks the ability to even stand anymore is one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever done. Experience is key in life! After we went through it, we made a decision to do the things needed to reduce some of that pain and suffering for our next dog. No matter the cost! I remind myself, I went and chose Josie, she didn't come pick me out. I owe her the best life I am able to emotionally,  physically, and financially give her.  Yes still strongly feel the same way. We h

Scout's passing, my first heartbreak.

Three years ago my son came back from his freshman year of college and decided he wanted to take a different career path other than college.  After being home a month he decided he was ready to get his own dog. We had a 5 year old lab and didn't think we wanted another dog in the home. We tried and tried to talk my son out of getting a dog. My son is kind of impulsive, does things, and never really thinks anything through. He went one afternoon and picked out a 10 week old lab that some people had leftover from a litter. Since he was already 10 weeks old, they had dropped the price dramatically to just $125 for a full yellow lab. June 2018 Scout became a part of our family whether my husband or I were ready. It is hard not to love a puppy but we both knew the struggles coming with training, house breaking, and chewing.  My son being a 19 year old who thought he knew everything quickly realized how little he knew and how stubborn Scout could be. I had never seen a dog dr

CBD and Josie week 4

We have reached the four week mark of testing CBD oil out on our 7 year old lab Josie.  I will start this blog by saying I am so glad we decided to try this treatment. I feel like we enabled our dog to continue doing the things we think brings her the most joy. What are those things?  Long walks  on conservation land. Before the treatment, we would have passed on taking her mushroom hunting through the wooded areas. The physical demands of navigation through the terrain and length of activity would have been too much for her. Seriously, she would have gotten tired and quit. I mean sit down and quit. We took her walking and mushroom hunting both days this weekend.  We would have never dreamed of asking this of her a month ago. Instead she would have been left at home to sleep her day away. The CBD oil treatment has given her freedom again. She was always a dog we took everywhere with us. It broke my heart when we had to start leaving her at home.  We would tell ourselves we

Confessions of a dance mom 1

I spent 13 years in the competitive dance world. Man I have got a lot to say after 13 years. I watched so many things evolve, change, become better, and always become worse. I will break this into several small sessions to hit many topics without writing a book each blog. So session 1? What else besides the dance, duh. When we started dance 13 years ago, my daughter was 4 years old.  She is now 19 years old and a student at AMDA college in Los Angels getting a Dance Theater Bachelor of Arts Degree. I remember running to my computer at home and watching numerous YouTube videos for the next amazing dance move, costume idea, or song choice.  Back then it was like a guarded secret which YouTube channels had the good stuff.  You see the really competitive parents back then in dance didn't like to share information. Fast forward to today and the information is at everyone's finger tips and easily accessible. It has been quite amazing to watch the world change before my ey