The 5th day, we woke up and drove 20 miles to Yosemite. It took us 1 hour to get there! The roads are up and down mountains the whole way, and the 20 miles was just to the park. Once you get inside, it takes forever to get anywhere. We finally made it down into the valley, parked, and took a shuttle to the trail we wanted to hike. The valley has a free shuttle that runs to all the trail heads all day. We chose a 3 mile hike up to Vernal Falls- piece of cake, right? (Here is a view of the falls from the trail.)No, it was uphill the whole way, and the last half mile was straight up these steep stairs. But it was well worth it! The view was incredible from the top of the falls. I got a little dizzy looking down. John swam in the pool at the top of the falls (don't worry- it was a ways down from where it dropped :) ) The water was basically melted ice, or that's how it felt. He didn't want to get in at first, but it turned out to be his favorite part of the trip. He said after you get out of water that cold, your whole body feels so warm, almost like a high. I don't know; it didn't seem worth it to me. :) The kids were playing on a natural slide made by water running over this flat rock. After the walk down, my legs felt like jello. Out of sheer exhaustion, we are sleeping better and better each night! Afterwards, we drove up the Glacier Point, which is the highest point you can drive to. The view was beautiful! (Here you can see Vernal Falls at the bottom and Nevada Falls at the top.)
I thought I was exhausted on day 5, but day 6 was even worse! We arrived back at the park to do Mirror Lake, a "2 mile round trip hike". Well, when you get to the one mile mark where you're supposed to turn around, there was no sign saying which trail went forward and where the Mirror Lake trail ended. We walked 1.5 miles in the wrong direction in "mountain lion" territory, and then had to trek back to find where we started and get back to the shuttle stop. When we got there at 3pm, we were starving! We imagined how pretty the lake must be, bc it basically disappears in the summer, once all the snow is melted. That was a fun adventure. :) We ate in the dining hall there in the valley. Afterwards, we drove south to the grove of Giant Sequoias. We parked and looked around. The trail was .8 miles, round trip. We thought, "that's not too far; let's do it." (This is the root system of a fallen down tree.)About a tenth of a mile down, we read each other's minds- we were too tired to take another step. We barely made it back to the car. :) That night, we drive back down to LA. Here is the sunset we saw on the way out of the park.We made it to the hotel late at night. Yay! Another real bed- finally! The shower can wait until tomorrow! Goodnight.