Yosemite National Park – Yosemite Valley


So for the Independence Day weekend, I decided to travel to the west coast and take a road trip from San Jose to Las Vegas through Death Valley and Yosemite. I was gonna stay near Yosemite for two days and in Las Vegas for two days. I booked my flight to San Jose on Friday evening so that I would land early and head to Yosemite but United airlines had something different waiting for me. After boarding the plane and completing all the departure procedures and leaving the aerobridge, the plane was idling on the tarmac for 1 hour 45 mins delaying departure and evidently my plans. I hit a speed bump at the very beginning of my trip. I was supposed to land at 8:30 pm, instead I landed at 10 pm. Now I had to drive 3 hours to get to my lodging for the night – Yosemite bug – which was near Yosemite Valley. Hence started one of my longest days in my life and one of the best trips of my life.

By 10:30 I was on my way heading towards Yosemite. The time difference between New York and California meant that I was already awake for more than 20 hours and fatigue was slowly setting in. I stocked up on food and water as the drive to Yosemite is mostly devoid of civilization and California temperatures during the summers cross 100F. Most parts of my drive were pretty smooth but by the end, fatigue was getting to me and making the drive arduous.It was a race against time.The longer I was away from my bed the more dangerous it was for me to be on the road and driving through the mountain roads in pitch darkness wasn’t helping either. After weaving my way through the curvy roads with thousand foot drops I reached my stop for the night. The Yosemite Bug is a mix of hostel and cabins that make it perfect for solo travelers as well as families. It is located on the side of a hill.Since I arrived at 2:30 in the morning I had to drive up to the hilltop for parking. And the reward for driving all the way from San Jose through my fatigue was waiting for me at the hilltop. A sky littered with stars, twinkling like sparkles on an obsidian blanket, showing me the beauty of creation. Such views were waiting for me through out my trip in different attires.

After my bumpy start, I  rejuvenated most of my energy with a good night’s sleep and headed to Yosemite around noon along the curvy road and was immediately hit by the summer traffic. Yosemite is extremely packed and busy during summers and it took me almost 3 hours to get to Yosemite Valley. But the views from Yosemite Valley were something out of an epic movie.Large expanses of greenery with sequoia trees and Sierra scrims, Water falls falling from incredible heights, perfect blue skies with passing clouds. I could just lay there and enjoy Yosemite the rest of the day. A quick walk from the drive is the Yosemite Falls, placed among high rock formations causing most of the water falling to mist away before reaching the landing adding a mystic afterglow to the landscape. As I was driving out of the parking lot I witnessed a butterfly flapping in front of the falls making the whole scenario seem as if the butterfly’s flap was causing the waterfalls. Though Yosemite was bustling with people I felt I was sharing a private moment with the Valley’s serene beauty.

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