Yosemite also makes it onto my "Beautiful Places that I've Visited" list. It's hard to put into words how being in these amazing forests makes you feel. It's a great reminder of how tiny and young we all are as humans. These mountains and trees are like sentinels full of wisdom. I know this was Tanner's favorite stop of our trip.
We hiked up a waterfall, which seemed to us at first glance to not be a big deal. But 1.5 miles vertical is a heck of a lot different than walking on a straight paved path. It was a lot more intense than I had expected but also an amazing experience. At one point climbing up, there was so much mist coming from the waterfall that we were completely soaked and had water dripping down us everywhere. With the wind and the sun we dried off pretty quickly after reaching the top of the water fall.
There weren't railings all the way up, only on the really steep/dangerous parts. Going back down actually was a little more challenging than the climb up. Trying to maneuver the slippery rocks in a downward motion without falling to your death in the waterfall was a little nerve wracking. It's actually kind of scary how many people die in national forests. I had about a million heart attacks seeing kids in Yosemite and Sequoia climbing around peaks of mountains freely while their parents stood nonchalantly by. Of course this is coming from someone who doesn't have kids and doesn't really know what it would be like but I'm 99% sure I'm getting one of those child leash things once the time comes.
That night we rented a tent in the middle of the forest at a place called Curry Village. It was awesome, although I did dream about bears all night. We actually saw a bobcat about 20 feet away from us creeping right through the woods by our tent. It saw us as well but just kept walking around. We watched it for about 2 minutes before it ran off.
As we were driving out the next day we did a little exploring around Yosemite Falls. It was really hard to leave that Forest. I want to spend a week there in the future. There's just so much beauty to see. I'm so thankful for these experiences that we are fortunate enough to have.