My first night in Yosemite, I spent sitting on the porch, gazing at all the beautiful stars showing up in the winter, night sky. I could hear the wind, blowing through the Sequoias, with an owl hoot every now and then. The air was crisp, it smelled clean and fresh. The scent of Sequoia and pine filtering through.
The day broke with a clear, and beautiful sunrise over the mountains, and the calls of Wolf Ravens stood out, more than the others. I took a solitary walk through the trees, my boots hitting the snow, making dense, crunching noises.
As they day carried on, the sun highlighted the glaciers in unique ways and I kept bringing my camera to my eye to try and capture the beauty I was seeing in each moment.
Beauty. It surrounds and fully embodies Yosemite.
Beauty is not only a passion, but is also feels like purpose. A purpose to take time and notice, embrace, and appreciate, to try and somehow get others to do the same. To fully appreciate the beauty surrounding us all, every moment.
I'm home. I'm always home no matter where I journey because I believe the only true home, is knowing my own soul. Learning this, I have realized my soul is happiest and most at home, when it is voyaging.
I am a nomad at heart.
I feel settled when I'm not settled. The idea of living in one place, working in one place, makes my soul cringe, and bit by bit, fall into decay and despondency.
On the flip side, I want to be comfortable and safe. I want to live in a space of harmony with my environment, and feel a sense of stability, so I perform and react from a place of inner peace, rather than trauma-learned responses.
I have spent the last two years doing work to get to a place of inner peace. It isn't easy, nor complete, but it has transformed the way I travel.
I was assaulted a few years ago. When I was living in Colombia. I had no idea the amount of anxiety I was carrying in my body. I started somatic therapy and the results have been phenomenal.
So when I went to Yosemite and hiked alone, I felt good. Not just good, I felt phenomenal.
I have wanted to travel to Yosemite, since college. I found a very great flight, my previous post describes my costs and where I found the deals. I went for my birthday.
I stayed in an AirBnB with a fireplace in the room. I had the whole place to myself because of the season. Thankfully, the weather was amazing, high 60's and sunny! The fireplace was definitely a highlight.
I hiked two trails, one which lead to Mariposa Grove and another Mirror Lake. Both were very accessible and easy to navigate and complete as a solo, plus-sized woman.
I never talk about my weight in traveling because it has never been an issue for me, but I realized there are a lot of people who assume you can't be highly active and still overweight, so that's why I even bring it up.
For the record, my weight has never kept me from doing something I wanted to do. It may make it more difficult, usually if I'm climbing vertically, but I can still do it.
If you are in Yosemite, and only have a few days, here is my list on must sees:
1. Tunnel View
2. Yosemite Valley - The museum is very interesting and has a ton of information on the ancestral people who once lived in the area.
3. Visitor's Bureau - Buy a postcard of Yosemite and use the post office located next to the Ansel Adams photography studio to mail yourself a letter.
4. Hike the trails in Yosemite Valley to see Yosemite, Vernal, Nevada, and Bridalveil Falls.
5. Get a sunset shot at half dome from tunnel view.
6. Rent bikes to check out all of Yosemite Valley.
7. If you love architecture, make sure to stop at both inns, the one in Yosemite Valley and the one in Yosemite West.
8. Sign up for guided tours, they have several and you can get more information on the National Park Service Website.
9. If it is a winter trip, try skiing!
10. If it is a March through October trip, check out Tioga Road, Glacier Point, and hike through Hetch Hetchy Valley.
Depending on the season you travel, there are different things to see and do. Winter doesn't have access to Tioga Road or Glacier Point, but you do get incredible sunset views in the valley, empty spaces (I was alone at Bridalveil Falls), and winter sports. Summer has more access, but more people come, so the crowds go way up.