One last journey into Yosemite before we push further north so we thought we would day trip it on two wheels, as in bike around Yosemite Valley. The weather was perfect, temperature ~75°, blue skies, and no haze, probably due to the nice breeze blowing through the valley. As Terry pulled our bikes from the truck I felt like a kid. It may have had something to do with Terry saying, “I don’t think I will wear my helmet but you probably should”. He knows me well and I’m not complaining, mind you, as I have not done much biking in the past 20 years and not sure why, because I was an avid biker before that (mental note to change that).
Although there’s lots of traffic in Yosemite Valley (almost all visitors hang out here), there are still plenty of bike paths and roads less traveled for 2-wheeling adventures. Being on a bike in a place like Yosemite reminded me of what riding a motorcycle used to feel like in the higher country, no roof over your head to obstruct your views. After taking the circuit to get different perspectives of Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls and Half Dome, we opted to head to Mirror Lake, taking the road less traveled.
Mirror Lake is a small seasonal lake on Tenaya Creek. It is a stretch to call it a lake, more like a big pool. What it is is the last dregs of a large glacial lake that once consumed most of Yosemite Valley and today is on the verge of becoming extinct. You don’t come here for the lake, although many do for the swimming, as it is the biggest swimming hole in the park. What you do get, however, are some stunning views of the mountains above reflected down into the waters, most notably Mt. Watkins sitting at 8500 feet. We had to admit that these were some of the best views we had seen in Yosemite so far, and we had seen some beauties!
While checking out the great views, I stumbled upon a little cache of stacked rocks. It looked mystical to me, with the sun warming them and the mountains looming overhead. I learned that those visiting the area will add a few to the collection if the mood strikes and will continue to do this throughout the season. The snows begin to fly and the rocks come tumbling down, and the process begins anew when the warmer weather moves in. These cairns, or what looked like a small temple of hoodoos, was a great little treasure to find along the way.
After living in Yellowstone for a couple of years, hiking puts you on high alert for some predatory animals, like grizzly, bison, moose, elk with their young, etc. You don’t find that here but what we did see on this hike was rather unusual – a squirrel minus a tail!
The last part of our trip on two wheels took us back to Yosemite Village and to the Ansel Adams Gallery. It was a great way to spend a little time and there are some stunning pieces of his work, as well as those of other artists.
As we headed back out of the park, we both agreed that our trip would not feel complete unless we saw climbers on El Capitan. We proceeded to pull over, got out the binoculars, and what did we see but four climbers inching their way up the smooth granite face. SCORE – a perfect ending to a glorious day!
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18 thoughts on “Day Trippin’ on Two Wheels ~ Yosemite National Park (Part 3)”
Yosemite is one of my favorite places. I’ll be up in the high country in August. I remember bike riding through the valley as a teenager. I think I need to do that again.
You should do that Andrew. It will probably bring back some great memories of your teenage years.
This sounds like a “bucket list” kind of day, happy for you 🙂
Yep, put it on the list!
Great post! I’ve always wanted to visit Yosemite myself.. definitely something that is in my bucket list! Those squirrels certainly aren’t struggling for food are they?!
It is a breathtaking park so I hope you get to experience it. The squirrels do seem to be very habituated to humans, so I am guessing they are being fed well.
sounds like a wonderful day, LuAnn. Biking is always the way to go, if it isn’t too hilly. Enjoy your last stay there and good luck in the coming days.
Thanks Roger and Gayl and a big congratulations on ticket sales. You two rock! Are you headed back home at the end of this month?
This article is wonderful and I could virtually feel myself walking through Yosemite 🙂 Hi, I wanted to inform you that I have nominated your blog for the One Lovely Blog Award at my site http://musewithcoffee.wordpress.com You could have a look 🙂 Best Wishes!
Thank you so much. I am very touched!
Thanks for the virtual tour of Yosemite. I hope to get there someday 🙂
You are most welcome and we hope to see some of the fascinating places that you have been able to explore.
I am certainly enjoying your adventures. Are you planning on heading North enough to make it up this way?
I wish we were but we will not get that far this year. We are hoping for that next year, however, unless you decide to not stay put!
In answer to your question, we have been asked to move to South Carlsbad for the month of July. I guess Gayl’s ticket selling frenzy at San Elijo made them think she could do the same up there. We just got settled today and are anticipating our month at South Carlsbad. We have been asked to come back next year to S E and we look forward to doing so. Bill has tenatively scheduled us for April, May, June and the first 10 days in July. This doesn’t coincide with your plans however, which makes us rather sad. R&G
We are glad to hear that you are coming back but sad that it doesn’t coincide with our time. We were so hoping to see you both again this winter. And you two rock with ticket sales! FCCSB is very lucky to have you both there! It sounds like everyone really did a great job with sales.
We have heard so much about Yosemite, it will be so great when we actually get to see it
You will love it!