Friday, January 16, 2015

beauty happens-- Yosemite National Park

You have heard the tales of Mist Trail and Bridalveil Falls. You have seen the iconic images of El Capitan and the Half Dome. Even the famous Tunnel View is on the California state quarter. Sometimes in life we need a source of power that will double the output of our current energy. If that's the case then Yosemite National Park is the place to recharge, rewire and replenish ourselves.
This is a magical place where children's smiles beam and there are sparkles in the eyes of every adult. Utter beauty and diverse landscape greet you at every turn. The natural vistas are soothing and invigorating. This is a wondrous place of nature that should be on everyone's list of Lifetime Places to Visit... you cannot help but fall in love with the gorgeous scenery and spiritual rejuvenating power.
But plan ahead, make provisions and use forward-thinking... As in-- make your reservations now. Most all of the National Park is-- No Occupancy-- during the peak Yosemite summertime.
Getting Around--
If you choose to lease an automobile out of San Francisco-- be sure to secure Tire Chains at the car rental agency. The window for NO snowfall in Yosemite National Park is short-- realistically June through August. There are public transit options that run between Bay Area airports and the small Yosemite town of Merced. Amtrak train service is also available to the scenic Valley.
Once you arrive, hop on the free Half Loop Valley Shuttle that runs throughout the year. The Valley Floor Loop starts at the Lower Yosemite Falls Trailhead, shuttle stop #6. Hiking the 6.5 mile loop takes approximately 3 hours.
The Hefty Price Tag
Crusaders of the national parks Teddy Roosevelt and naturalist John Muir would cringe at the cost of booking a four night Yosemite vacation nowadays. Lodging inside the Valley can run to an astronomically high rate of $955 per night. For a more affordable hotel alternative stay just outside the National Park. Located a scant five minutes from Yosemite entrance is the well-appointed
Cedar Lodge Hotel
This lodge appears to have seen it's better day but no worries... With fresh linens and clean rooms you can still find time to immerse yourself in the local landscape. A short walk across the property's road yields a romantic gazebo-- nestled up alongside the swift moving Merced River.
They proudly feature an indoor as well as outdoor swimming pool. But bring along some groceries-- there is one on-site restaurant, but no really exciting dining opportunities for miles. They even have a YARTS (Yosemite Regional Transportation System) Bus Stop located outside the rustic Cedar Lodge.
No Missteps:
With descriptions of Yosemite like 'the glorious place,' or 'breathtaking,' you knew there was going to be a catch. And there is-- this place is as dangerous as it is beautiful. At Yosemite, one misstep doesn't come without a price-- Watch out for mice-- or hantavirus. Hikers hit by lightning atop the famed Half Dome. Drowned bodies plucked from the Merced River. A large tree or boulder falling... Getting swept off a 317 foot waterfall...

Even on a short hike to the mighty Sequoias one can hear the warning growl of the mountain lion. They even have a website dedicated to the people that have lost their life at this legendary National Park.
Aren't Enough Hours in the Day--
Self-Bailing Rafts
Shredding tight channels and whisking past incredible scenery is more than just speed and fun. Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions sets the standard of performance on the Merced River. Whitewater paddling adventures through twisting torrents with friends and family will never be forgotten. These long lasting memories of  the fast-moving and a powerful streams will live on.... If you're looking for a whitewater raft expedition to sneak away to, this is the group to trust.
The length of the Yosemite rafting season changes from year to year and depending on river depths, water temperature and atmosphere weather conditions.
Hike, Hike, and More Hiking
Yosemite Guide Service
Why follow the masses along the Yosemite Valley loop when you can strike out on your own-- with a personalized guide, of course. Backpacking and  Day Hikes can be an extremely humbling and rewarding experience. They build affordably priced trips around you or your family interests.
By pacing the difficulty level to abilities of your group this is your opportunity to trek the daunting Sierra Nevada Mountains. Commune with Nature and don't miss this one of a kind this private hiking tour to feel you are one with the elements. Yosemite Guide Service offers an optimal guide to client ratio and specializes in backpacking.

Crushing Takedowns
This is where fantasies of crushing takedowns, taunt fly lines and strong runs-- meet reality. When it comes to angling on the river, Jimmie Morales offers the sport fishing exploit of a lifetime. Few experiences rival the adventure and thrill of fly fishing. After spending an afternoon with Sierra Fly Fisher Tours you'll be able to spin a few yarns-- recalling the aerial acrobatics and how you reeled in the big feisty one. No need to feel left out-- fly fishing classes and trips are customized for anglers of all skill levels.        
Nature Photography

Get the most out of your camera at the Phil Hawkins Workshop. Participants will to take their wildlife and nature photography to the next level. The two full days course will set you back $450 US...  But a bargain considering a signed poster reprint of a professional costs easily that much.
Have a good time capturing quality imagery and getting the most zing from your Digital camera. What's best still... no more than six participants per instructor. Landscape & Night Photography Classes, Workshops and Photo Tours in an inspirational setting-- you can't ask for more..

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