Albert and I recently visited Yosemite Nation Park and it is stunning. Yes, I took a beautiful picture of one of the most fantastic panoramic views this country has to offer, but it doesn’t even begin to capture the overwhelming scale of this place. You absolutely must experience it first hand.
A couple weeks before we left, I was talking to Gabi’s sister Dalia about our plans and our reservations at the South Gate of the park, the closest entrance to Los Angeles. She looked at me and responded, “Well, you’re doing it wrong.”
We hadn’t even left yet, and we were already doing it wrong. First, let me say, for doing it wrong, it was still an unforgettable, beautiful trip. Second, after seeing how massive the park is, and how the South Gate was still an hour and a half from all of the activity in the Yosemite Valley, I realized that we were totally doing it wrong.
The park is celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year, which is also sort of amazing. Constructing the trails that climb for miles up granite cliffs, while also protecting the land, would be a feat today, with modern equipment. How this was done with dynamite, ropes, and horses, sort of blows my mind. They actually blew through the side of one of the mountains, just so cars would have to drive through a tunnel of darkness, like being shot out of a cannon, to exit on one of the most majestic views I have ever seen. The view stops you, stops everything. People from all over the world are walking around Yosemite with their jaws hanging open, just looking at all the splendor.
I have been to the Great Smokey Mountains, the most visited National Park, as well as Zion, Joshua Tree, The Petrified Forest, and, of course, the Grand Canyon. Yosemite is now at the top of my list of parks I want to return to for more hiking. If you have any interest in nature, get in your car and take a drive to one of these places. They are OUR parks, politically neutral, carved out by God and nature, and they give me American pride. Look what we can do! Thank you, Theodore Roosevelt.