ON THE ROAD // Yosemite Car Camping

“Yosemite Park is a place of rest, a refuge from the roar and dust and weary, nervous, wasting work of the lowlands, in which one gains the advantages of both solitude and society. Nowhere will you find more company of a soothing peace-be-still kind. Your animal fellow beings, so seldom regarded in civilization, and every rock-brow and mountain, stream, and lake, and every plant soon come to be regarded as brothers; even one learns to like the storms and clouds and tireless winds. This one noble park is big enough and rich enough for a whole life of study and aesthetic enjoyment. It is good for everybody, no matter how benumbed with care, encrusted with a mail of business habits like a tree with bark. None can escape its charms. Its natural beauty cleans and warms like a fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree.” – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, (1938)

I’ve finally reached a place that took me 4.5 years to visit. I booked a car camping spot back in January for Lower Pines in Yosemite National Park. The drive from LA was an easy (albeit, a bit boring) 4-5 hour drive. How did it take this long to get here! My friends, Alyce & Bronco, came with me (what an awesome couple). I drove through the Sequoia National Forest on the way to the entrance and decided that this weekend was one where I wanted to look at things with new eyes. How long has it been since we really looked at things with wonder and curiosity? When life hands you the same thing day in and day out, there is an ache for newness & non redundancy.

Driving through the Sequioas, the road was winding and spotted with shade. The Ponderosa Pines seem to be presently shooting up from the ground to the sky above. I expected to feel a rumble at any moment and see a pine skyrocketing up in its full form. Not going to lie, the photos from this trip are minimal and not too impressive. Not only did I try to take the time to try to be fully present, but I also dropped the new camera I was borrowing (sobbing emoji). Needless to say, I was rather frightened to take it out and use it (and I was feeling crummy about how I would break the news when I got back home).

National Parks week was just last week and I’m glad I was able to appreciate one of the most beautiful sites in the west this month. Car camping was super easy and a really great way to have a “home” base if you’ve never been to the park. Lower Pines is close to everything that you imagine when you think Yosemite; so I definitely suggest that area (especially by the river!). We were able to walk to Vernal Falls, making it about a 5 mile round trip. We relaxed by cooking dinner, journaling, drinking A LOT of whiskey and tequila (don’t judge) and taking photos of the glistening beauty around us. The only word I could think of when I though of Yosemite National Park was “majesty”. Have you ever just seen something so much bigger than yourself that you were in awe? Leaving such a grand place was tough and the ride home was just depressing. I’m taking it as a sign for a different future.

Backpacking trip anyone?