Saturday, September 15, 2012

Yosemite: Day 5; Glacier Point and Tunnel View

Our trusty Winnie, taking in the gorgeous view
Glacier Point was on our "must see" list for our visit to Yosemite. We decided to have breakfast in Yosemite Village, and then head out to Glacier Point for the remainder of our day.

We remembered Degnan's Cafe from our previous visit, and decided to go there. We could pick up our food and eat at little picnic tables outside. Most importantly: they had COFFEE!! And secondly: No dishes to do afterwards! When we biked up, look who was here to greet us:

This little guy was grazing right outside the cafe, completely oblivious to all of us gawkers around him.
Two young bucks face off
The kids were enthralled. 
Finally, we pulled ourselves away from this beautiful guy to go have breakfast.
The food was just ok. I had biscuits and gravy and it was good (and I didn't have to cook it, so that made it great in my mind)! Mr. S had a breakfast sandwich, which was pre-cooked egg, bacon & cheese microwaved on an english muffin. I mean, we were in Yosemite, in the middle of nowhere, so we didn't expect fantastic food. I'm just being honest for anyone who might go there. Just expect "ok" and you'll be happy. They did have a huge assortment of yogurts, juices, energy bars, breakfast breads and snacks for sale too. We tried to eat outside, but the bees were ruthless. I'm serious, these Yosemite bees are some of the fiercest, most aggressive buzzers I've ever seen. One night, while grilling, we actually saw one of them trying to carry off a small piece of chicken that had fallen off the breast. CRAZY! Do bees even eat chicken? But I digress, sorry. So we ate indoors, and then headed off to Glacier Point.

We had considered taking the buses/shuttles that the park provides, but it was about $25 per adult and $17 per child, so that was just way too expensive for us to justify. We drove ourselves, and really enjoyed the scenery. My husband is a very good driver, so it was not a problem at all for him. If you are not a fan of winding, twisty roads, you might consider it a value to ride the bus. It was a bit un-nerving to see the huge buses barely fitting in their lanes hurtling past us, but it was definitely manageable with caution. The drive there is simply gorgeous (especially for us passengers-ha ha!), with scenic outlooks and lush forests for the entire ride.

And wow, what a sight when we arrived. This was one of the most spectacular views I have ever seen!
Poor little L had just woke up from a nap (prematurely) so he was not too sure about the whole thing.
Enjoying the view with Dad
And this is where little K gets even with us. Wouldn't this have been a spectacular family portrait? Oh wait, we can't see someone.... 
You could see both Vernal and Nevada Falls from the overlook
Another view of Half Dome
Look at those beautiful falls!
Stunning Half Dome
So after viewing this gorgeous scenery from the main overlook, I started walking up the little trail to see what other perspectives we could get. Big mistake. I may not have mentioned my of heights. I've gotten much better over the years, but I absolutely hate the sheer drop-offs without railings. palms are sweating right now. To make matters worse, L had barely napped and was slap-happy and hyper (my kids act wound-up when they are over-tired). K hadn't napped at all and was acting hyper and clutzy (she loses coordination when she's tired), and my poor husband was trying to wrangle the both of them so I could get some decent photos. I mean, we had come all of this way, we both wanted some pictures for crying out loud! Our oldest daughter was in heaven. She's not afraid of heights at all, and is very responsible and careful, so at least I had one that I wasn't worried about.

When we walked down to the second vista point, it was all I had feared. Sheer drop-off and barely any rails at all. AACCCKKK!! Of course R went straight to the edge and began video-taping down to the valley floor. I have yet to watch the video. When I work my way up to it, I'll try to share some here. 

So again, I must reiterate, this is a National Park. It's very rugged and beautiful. It's not meant to contain your kids, you must keep a tight rein on them, or it could really be dangerous. So, I sucked up my desire to immediately hit the ground and cling to one of the railings while I crawled my way back up the path, and tried to appear as a fearless mom. I took this one shot:
Then L was writhing on A's shoulders, trying to get loose, and K was wiggling, and fooling around (I was petrified she would trip and fall). Look at that railing! I mean, there is nothing there!! So that was that. This shot was all I could take. I had to drag my crazy K away from that edge. 

We moved on to the third vista point, and took a few more shots of the scenery in all of its glory. 

Do I look scared? I'm a good actress, eh? I have to admit, despite the heights, this was the most magnificent view in all of Yosemite so far.
Glacier Point was all we had hoped for, and more. It was truly beautiful, and just gorgeous to see. I would definitely recommend adding this to the top of your list of things to see in Yosemite.

As if this day wasn't beautiful enough...on our way home, we decided to just pull off and check out Tunnel View. We had seen it on our way up, and it looked pretty, so we decided to take a look.

Here's the Tunnel:

And here's the view:
El Capitan on the left and Half Dome in the center  
El Capitan. Amazing. Simply amazing.

A nice Harley rider had asked me to take his picture when we first arrived here. Thankfully, he returned the favor. We hardly have photos with both of us in them. Need to bring tripod on all future trips!
Man, am I glad we decided to pull off here at Tunnel View. It was amazing. I loved this viewpoint, and am so happy we didn't miss out on this spectacular opportunity. Definitely stop here and enjoy the view. It is well worth the time.

1 comment:

  1. To watching sunset at the top of the glacier point is the best part of Yosemite that I enjoyed before my niagara falls usa side tours. It's a little out of the way but not to be missed! You will have the best view of everything iconic about Yosemite from this vantage point. Half dome is spectacular and so is the view of the numerous waterfalls spilling over.
    If your intention is to get the best pictures I wouldn't recommend coming for sunrise, the shadows over everything don't make for the best photos. Sunset would be better for photography purposes.


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