A Summer Trip to Yosemite National Park.

DB – For a change of pace, this is an article by someone who lives in Nicaragua visiting the states.

I visited Yosemite along with three friends, one Indian girl and two Portuguese guys. This trip was very memorable for all of us. While we are no longer in close contact, this trip will always be something great to remember from our time as graduate students.

Located in Northern California and first protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is one of those places worth seeing before you die. Spanning parts of Madera, Toulumme, and Mariposa counties, it offers attractions during all seasons, especially during the summer. The park is well known for its sightseeing adventures, biking and hiking trails, waterfalls, and camping sites. Some of the must-see places in Yosemite are: Glacier Point, for sightseeing; El Capitan, for rock climbing; Half Dome, for picture taking and sightseeing; Yosemite Valley, for lodging; and Mariposa Grove, for hugging the Giant Sequoia trees – just to mention a few. One trip to the park might not be enough to visit all the famous spots, since the park covers an area of 3,026.87 km2, but you will be able to take breathtaking pictures to show off to friends at any spot in the park.

We decided to rent a car and drive from San Jose to Yosemite, a four-hour ride with moderate traffic. Since we left around 5 p.m., we got to the park around 9 p.m. At night, you can see millions of stars in Yosemite´s skies. Once more, it was one of the most beautiful sights ever. We had reserved a heated cabin in the park, but to our surprise the cabin was an unheated tent. That night we barely could sleep since the night was very cold and our clothes were not appropriate for this temperature. You are right if you are thinking how silly international students from hot lands can be.

Early in the morning, we heard a baby bear calling his mother and we could no longer stay in the cold tent. We looked for a hotel with hot showers and comfortable beds for the following two nights. Unless you are used to the Alps weather, my recommendation is to rent a room in a comfy hotel ahead of time to avoid wasting your time in an unheated cabin.

On the next few days we visited Glacier Point and Half Dome, where we took incredible pictures. There were many tourists, mostly American families. We drove through the Tioga Pass, the most popular road for sightseeing. We hung out at Grand Meadows, where you can feel the vastness of nature. There we felt in perfect harmony with nature, and realized that to be happy, you do not need to be rich, but only to awaken your spirit with the simple things in life.

During that autumn, I experienced what the first explorers must have felt when visiting Yosemite for the first time. The wild spirit of the American West still lies in the valley and in each of the wonderful species of plants and animals that inhabit the site. This is one of my favorite places on earth so try to make it there while it lasts.

 

Ana Alejandra Alemán, MLIS
Private College Counselor in Nicaragua
http://collegecounselingexpert.tumblr.com