Monday, July 13, 2009

Yosemite National Park Day 2

Today, we are going to take a look at ourselves at Mirror Lake, then follow the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall to cool off!

After having eaten very little yesterday, we decided to have a good breakfast since we were going to have a long day ahead of us. The following greeted us as we made our way into the cafe! Black Bears!

"Gor Gor, let's fight the bear!" Grrrhhh!!!

Squirrels, big and small ... they are everywhere!
After breakfast, the boys stayed outside the cafe for a while, "playing" with the squirrels. There was a big family of squirrels in the lawn outside the cafe, looking for leftover food as their breakfast.

It's amazing how a good night's sleep worked wonders for the little ones. They were so energetic, even though they woke at 6.30am! Although the morning air was chilly, the hot chocolate/coffee and muffins kept us warm. Now they were more willing to pose for photographs, and were running and making funny faces.

Darling son KW even had a try on our DSLR camera! We took a long time to walk a 100 metres ... we were always stopping to admire the scenery, and to take photographs.

The walking trail to Mirror Lake was closed, due to a recent rock slide.
We walked along the bike path instead.

We barely walked for 10 minutes when we saw this house .... it's a toilet! Just right, as both the boys needed to use the toilet, which was good, as we wouldn't want them to be needing one when we reached the lake.

We saw two deers along the way to the Lake. They were tame, and not afraid of people. They did eye us with suspicion. The kids got a chance to be real close to them! This was better than bringing the kids to the zoo.

It was a pleasant walk to Mirror Lake. It was cool. There was no heat and humidity to tire us out. We took our time to walk, and read the information boards.

Not much water in the lake, as it was a hot summer. But we could still see our reflection .. It would have been a lovely sight in Spring, when the melted snow flowed down to the lake.

It was almost time for lunch when we made our way out of Mirror Lake.
We brought bagels and peanut butter jam, as well as apples with us. We had a quick bite and continue to our next destination .... Vernal Falls. We were not sure if the kids could make it there, as it would take 2-3 hours to and fro. But the boys were full of energy after lunch, despite an uphill climb! Our little darling started off running, but eventually, walked by dragging his feet. Our big darling was faster than his little brother, and most of the time, he just lie against the rock to rest while waiting =)

Scenery as we climbed up the cemented, winding path to Vernal Falls Bridge.

After a draining 2+hours walk, with many stops for drinks and snacks, we finally reached the Vernal Falls Bridge. There were so many people taking photographs at the bridge! As usual, we had to wait before we got a space for photo taking. Despite the place being crowded, we were glad to be there, as there were bathrooms and water fountains for us to refill our water bottles! The kids needed to go to the bathroom too! While resting, the boys ended up playing with the squirrels, trying to trick them with "fake" food. We had to get the boys to sit down to rest, to ensure they were ok before we continue our climb up to Vernal Fall. Actually, we were not sure if we could make it to the top of Vernal Falls. We all agreed that at any one point we could not go on anymore, we would just stop and go back down. We also needed to take note of the time, as we had consumed most of our food, and the idea of having to carry two boys downhill was an unpleasant thought.

This part of the climb was tougher! It was uphill climb. The stone steps were very narrow, slippery and wet. My old knees felt like they were going to give way any time! Darling son KW was suddenly energised when he saw these stone steps! He was hopping from step to step. We had to tell him to slow down and wait for us, and his little brother. He would sit at the side, and say hi to all those who passed him! We had to rest frequently ... this view of the waterfall was taken halfway up the hill!

After a short rest, we were ready to continue our climb ... the steps get more and more slippery and wet ... camera had to be kept as the thunderous splashing of the waterfall drew nearer.

Although we were very tired by then, we were very excited to see not one, but two rainbows! The photo-taking had to be quick as water splashed onto our camera .....

We were very near to the top of the waterfall! Probably another 400 metres ... uphill .... another half an hour, including resting?

We finally made it to the top of the waterfall!
Look at us ... all wet ... perspiration and water from the waterfall.

View of our trek from the top of the waterfall!
I couldn't believe that we had climbed that far!
The boys were very pleased with themselves, when we showed them how far we had walked. After a short rest, they started climbing up rocks and chasing squirrels!

Going down was a lot easier ... the hike took us close to 4 hours! We started after lunch, and by the time we reached the bus stop, it was almost time for dinner! We still had a little time to spare, so we let the boys watched the deer, spotted near our camp.

I didn't think we could do so much in a day! Never underestimate the abilities of children .... and I'm really proud of them! It was a tough day, but they didn't complain much about being tired while walking. They had their share of joy (and tiredness). As parents, we were happy to have their company, and complete the journey, to the top of the waterfall, with them.

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