I woke up early to rent a car for the weekend, then pick up my parents from the Millbrae Caltrian station. They got there much earlier than expected, but I was able to pick them up not too long after that. We got on the road and went to the northern entrance to Yosemite. The drive wasn’t too bad, but it got pretty stressful towards the end with the winding mountain roads. The views coming into the valley were amazing, and we stopped by Bridalveil Falls. It wasn’t flowing nearly as well as in the picture. We then went to the lookout point before entering the tunnel to leave the valley and got some really amazing views. We made it to the hotel and got some much needed rest. We were staying at the Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp, just outside the park’s southern entrance. There were a good number of decent restaurants at the lodge, and we ate there both nights were stayed there. The rest wasn’t great due to some snoring, but it was very refreshing after a long day.
The first thing we did on day two was go to the Vernal Falls trail. This has a footbridge that overlooks the falls as the first main stop, which is where my dad waited for mom and I to come back. Mom and I then went all the way to the top of the falls. The view from the top wasn’t all that good since you couldn’t see the falls at all. The creek at the top is also deceptively calm, and makes you want to go put your feet into the water. The stairs up to the falls were much trickier going down than going up. There was one guy who was running down the stairs, and we saw him later with a ranger who was looking over his ID. We hopped over to the Ahwahnee Hotel for lunch and dad was a little upset that the view he liked the last time he was there was blocked by trees that had grown into the space. The main dining hall had a large window in the back that used to look upon Yosemite Falls, but it was no longer visible. The hall itself was pretty amazing, and had a feeling of rustic luxury. After lunch we went to Yosemite falls, and mom and I put our feet in the water for a bit. The water was cool, but not as cold as we were expecting. We walked back to the bus stop and decided on more hike for the day. We picked out Mirror Lake as the last hike, but when we got there it was all dried up. There were still some pools of water there, but certainly no lake. We then went back to the car and drove back to the hotel in fish camp.
The next morning we went to the Mariposa Grove, and the trees there were amazing. There was one called the Grizzly Tree that had unbelievably massive branches. Dad waited at the California Tree while mom and I hike to the upper grove. There was a gigantic fallen tree up there, and it was very cool. I really liked walking through the grove. It was gorgeous and the trees were amazing. After going through the grove we headed back to Palo Alto through the souther route, which was much more direct. The roads back were pretty small, but they made much better time.