In Yosemite Valley, you pay attention. The changing of leaves on the trees or the presence (or absence, in our case) of water in Yosemite Fall mark each distinct season. I tried to imagine myself with wings to soar over spacious golden brown meadows and vertically down cliffsides with textures like crumbled paper. It was Autumn, “a time of hushed beauty and reflection” read one information board.
Our last ascent along the Top of Upper Yosemite Fall hike gifted us lush, mossy greens over dark oaks. Think Bambi in a fairy-tale forest setting, which isn’t far from the truth as not long after we were greeted by a shy wild mule deer.
“I could definitely live here,” the Dutch said.
“A cabin in the woods – that’s my dream,” I replied.
Although we came from different parts of the world, I loved our intrinsic resonance of nature. We need not verbally express but to let the poetry of landscape speak for itself.
Finally treading flat grounds excited to reach the brink of the Fall, there it was, panoramic views over something of a temple of nature we were so blessed to visit. A region “incomparable”, described explorer and environmental activist John Muir.
Dusk had fallen and we had been sitting around our crackling log fire sipping wine before we decided to rug up for some astrophotography in a nearby meadow. Just a 10-minute walk from Camp 4 past Yosemite Valley Lodge, we adventured through darkness into the thick of long grass with our camera gear.
Did we get a good shot? (Scroll down!)
Nonetheless, we got our snaps. So, huddled up on soft grass while drinking rum under a blanket of Yosemite stars, for the rest of our last night here we giggled like children, contemplated our existence on Earth, reminisced over Burning Man, hoped, cherished, and felt.
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TOP OF UPPER YOSEMITE FALL HIKE
Starting point: Camp 4 near Shuttle Stop #7.
Distance / time: 12 kms round-trip, 6-8 hours.
Difficulty / elevation: Very strenuous, 823 m elevation.
WHERE WE STAYED: CAMP 4
- Open all year (check the official website for updates).
- No RVs/trailers. If you have a campervan, you must park your vehicle in the parking lot and pitch your tent separately on the camping grounds.
- First-come, first-served. Camp 4 often fills before 9am each day, May through September as there are only 35 sites.
- Daily fee: $6/person. This does not include the national park entrance fees.