Hidden Corners of Yosemite National Park
I first heard about Yosemite National Park through my mother’s friend. She had gone there for her birthday, described it as a wonderland. The pictures she sent my mother were enough to convince her to go there on her next American visit. I knew Yosemite through the famous El Caption and the Tunnel View printed on calendars, and also through John Muir’s book The Yosemite. Recently, I had the opportunity to experience this wonderland with my husband. It was no longer the wild Yosemite of Muir’s descriptions, though. It has become a busy national park with paved roads and huge parking lots. The improvements make it accessible to the elderly and families with small children. But we preferred to get out of the crowds and get a glimpse of the wild Yosemite.
Layers of orange, yellow, pink, and blue all blend together in the horizon, pierced by the majestic sequoia.
The highlight of our two-day trip was the fantastic hiking experience in Chilnualna Falls, located in the southern section of Yosemite National Park. It is a lesser known trail and we met only a few hikers on the way. The trail was an 8-mile round trip, and was a lot more strenuous than we expected. We took several breaks along the way and enjoyed the scenery. The scenery was worth all the effort. We saw a giant sequoia, which was split into two from the root. The sunlight was making its way through the tangled branches covered by moss and mistletoe. We saw a lonely tree swaying like a dancing lady; green vegetation growing out of hollow tree stumps; colorful wildflowers decorating the grassy meadow. Even the hollow log has its unique beauty, a perfect match for the lofty blue sky and feathery clouds. There were several waterfalls along this trail. I sat on the big rock, bathed in the warm sunlight, and listened to the rejoicing sounds of the streams. The ancient oak was bending over the stream to get a better look at the sun.
We crossed paths with a resilient butterfly. Her beautiful yellow spotted black wings were dragging on the ground as she was trying to combat an army of ants. No matter how bleak her future looked, she showed no sings of weakness. We watched her struggle on the ground until she finally found the strength to fly out of that death zone.
We saw a lonely tree swaying like a dancing lady; green vegetation growing out of hollow tree stumps; colorful wildflowers decorating the grassy meadow.
We reached the top of the cliff and saw cascades, small water pools, and white wild flowers. There was an abundance of water rushing over the granite, and in the sunlight it created a beautiful rainbow. My love was standing close to the edge of the cliff, viewing the scenery in the far distance. In my eyes, he is young, handsome, carried with strength and wisdom as if he is facing his kingdom.
In the hours before sunset, the moon becomes more apparent and brings a greater sense of tranquility to the valley. The sunset is beyond magic at Yosemite Valley. Layers of orange, yellow, pink, and blue all blend together in the horizon, pierced by the majestic sequoia. In the warm sunlight, the snow-covered purple mountain range in distance was calling us. I love sunsets. It is as if all the beauty in the world condenses into a few moments.
We didn’t have enough time to explore all of the famous Yosemite Valley. Before dark, we hastily passed through the famous Bridal Veil Fall and got a closer look at the spectacular Half Dome and El Caption. There were many more tourists and devoted photographers in the Valley. Seeing the crowds made me feel regret for missing the photo opportunities, but also happy that I had a different perspective to others.