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Yosemite - 2011

Back in the Western world, Jan joined a raft of cousins at Yosemite. Many of them have been going for years together, staying in Yosemite Lodge, hiking, biking, picnicing, enjoying a fun family reunion in this most spectacular setting. Because I was home, I got to crash the party. It was every bit as fun as promised. Despite seeing many photos of Yosemite, nothing prepared me for the grand scale of the granite cliffs carved away by the Merced River. Each hike was breath-taking, in more ways than one.

Our first hike, aka "the killer", was from the valley floor, up granite steps next to Vernal Fall, then up switchbacks to the top of Nevada Fall, down a winding trail to Illilouette Fall, the up the Panorama Trail to Glacier Point, a net 4000 foot elevation gain. A few days later we climbed again from the valley floor up the 4 mile trail, also to Glacier Point, same elevation gain, with even more magnificent views. Fun! I gotta find a way to make next year's party.

Kathy, me, Diane.

Chris and Betsy brave the side blasts from the roaring Vernal Fall.

Yosemite Yeti appears.

Hiking on, we climb up Nevada Fall.

At the top of the Nevada Fall we sprawl for lunch.

This flood year river rafting is not advised.

The views keep getting better as we climb on.

Family gathering at the stunning Alwahnee Hotel.

Each year clever Katie designs t-shirts for the gathering.
This one incorporates Half Dome into the skull's head.

The real Half Dome looms over the valley.

Up at dawn, we bike to the 4-mile trailhead.

Along the trail a deer watches.

Halfway up, rest stop.

As we climb, the valley view widens.

Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.