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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Yosemite: My Winter Wonderland!

A glimpse at Mirror Lake

If telling you that Yosemite is an awe-inspiring place is an understatement, that’s because it is just that. After fourteen years of not visiting this majestic place, I decided that it was time to visit once more with my husband and two preteen kids. While most people visit the park during the spring and summer, a rare wintery wonderland beckoned all of our senses.

A walk on the Merced river

Many know Yosemite National Park as the home to the world’s largest granite monolith, El Capitan.  It is also home to one of the tallest waterfalls in the world, Yosemite Falls.  As you enter the park, you are quickly absorbed into winding roads that are contoured by a variety of pines, oaks, firs and cedar trees to name a few. There is even one lone Elm tree in one of the meadows in the valley floor. The elevation ranges from 2,000 to 13,114 feet!  I traveled during the month of January in the New Year and it was a beautiful winter wonderland to say the least.  The snowcapped landscape made the geological landscape all the more incredible.  The snow covered the meadows but the waterfalls were still flowing from the immense cliffs.  If you pause to admire the wintery waterfalls, you could see the cold water transforming into snow while piling up at the foot of the waterfall, which then it turns into ice.  

Beautiful Landscaped Mountains 

A beautiful 600 foot drop at Bridalveil Fall 

As a writer, I wanted a one-on-one experience with nature.  Therefore, I contacted a couple of good friends that have vast experience all through out the park.  I explained to them my many restrictions and my endless wish list.  John and Gabe at, listened and for the next couple of days, showcased without reserve the beauty of Yosemite.  

A Mariposa Grove of Sequoias 
The only Elm tree in the Yosemite valley floor 
Bridal Veil Falls 

They first took us on a gentle hike, into a wintery landscape along the Merced River.  As we hiked and stopped to take photos of the beautiful snow capped mountains above us, they enchanted us with the history of the park by telling us the many stories of the Native Americans, John Muir, the Gold Rush, the glaciers and the first pioneers that helped protect this park from the pillaging of the land. Their expertise in the region was priceless as they are very aware of the weather and its patterns.  To make a long story short, we were caught-up so much on the place that we even forgot to eat!  Now, that’s a rarity. But as the old saying goes: a picture is worth a thousand words…here are some more landscape photos, courtesy of Joseph Gutiz.  Enjoy!

Majestic Sequoias
The Yosemite Chapel in the valley floor 


John DeGrazio said...

Hi Ileana. It was great to meet you and your wonderful family. I hope to see you on your return trip to Yosemite.

Ileana said...

Hi John! It was an amazing experience. We will definitely go back for another unforgettable adventure. See you again soon!