Yosemite Day One: Glacier Point Road
Hey there blog followers! Let me tell you, completing 25+ hours of driving in 2 days is no easy task (on the mind or body).
Despite the difficulties of no sleep, we started our trip by waking up promptly around 6AM (PDT) the next morning. Today, we have successfully completed DAY ONE of exploring Yosemite National Park! I decided that instead of journaling our day to day activities of our entire road trip, I would start with our Yosemite travels and then go back to other locations of the trip towards the end!
Entering the park, we drove through winding forest roads with beautiful, sparkling creeks, brightly colored meadows adorned with wildflowers, and all topped off with that refreshing and cool mountain air!
We started Day One knowing exactly which destinations we wanted to see! But alas, our curious spirits have proven to take us on detours that we least expect, and today was no exception!
For instance: Why do a 1 mile hike to a popular sight to start off with when you can pull right off the road to a random 12 mile hike that you didn’t plan for whatsoever?! I know, awesome idea right? It actually gets better. In their own special times, we learned three very important lessons:
When I first tried typing the name of this lake, my autocorrect told me to try “Estranger Lake”…
Couldn’t have been more accurate.
Ostrander Lake is one of Yosemite’s “diamond in the rough” attractions; it is VERY secluded, (rated a 1 out of 5 on the park’s crowd factor scale) and VERY beautiful.
The DIAMOND aspect of Ostrander is the glittering, freshwater lake oasis that awaits you at the end of your journey.
The ROUGH is hiking a 6 mile hike to the lake of which 2 of those miles are at a straight incline, and then after you’ve recovered from your strenuous hike TO the lake, you must also hike back ANOTHER 6 miles to get back to your car. (No there was not a personal shuttle to pick you up from a random location, I already asked Corey that halfway through the hike).
Overall though, Ostrander Lake turned out to be one of the absolute prettiest stopping points we have ever visited! (and to think this was only the start of our trip!). Once we got to the lake, we set up our hammock and took a well-deserved hour nap right on the water before heading back to the trail head.
Lesson Number One: Don’t always be set on sticking to your plan; the results can be beautiful.
BONUS STORY TIME
So Ostrander Lake had its challenges with hiking. However, I left out our close encounter with the mule deer kind.
We’re from Texas, so we have definitely encountered our fair share of deer. But those were White-tailed deer, which always seem to be somewhat docile. When we came across a Mule deer and her baby however, things turned out a little unexpected.
Corey was taking some pictures along our pathway back when we spotted the mule deer and her baby. He snapped a quick picture and we continued walking when I spotted another baby deer on the road. It was honestly a pitiful sight; it was asleep and curled up, but it had ant-infested fur and was breathing shallowly so we honestly thought it might be in danger of dying. Corey almost passed by without even seeing it, but I couldn’t pass it by without feeling like we should do something (I always have a soft spot for all the sweet, innocent animals!). The baby deer’s mother turned out to be the mother of the other baby deer we had seen, and I thought she had left him to die!
Corey gently nudged it and the baby sprung up and ran towards where its mother had gone, but the baby was clumsy and soon fell in a hole. We moved closer to make sure the baby was okay, but he was laying down with shallow breaths again. I thought maybe we should call a Park Ranger or someone who could pick up the baby to make sure it was well again, but Corey insisted that we try one more time to prod the baby to find its mother and then we would continue on the trail.
The baby deer let out a loud and horrible screech.
Lesson Number Two (should be RULE #1): DON’T TOUCH THE WILDLIFE
Okay…so we got away with touching it once, but little did we know that mama deer was lurking around the corner silently observing the scene. It wasn’t until after the incident that we researched mule deer to see that the mothers leave their babies miles away at times to search for food. They also become VERY aggressive when something else comes near them…especially people (go figure).
Well anyway, our hike ended up with a very brisk 1/4 mile sprint in which mama deer chased after us not once, but TWICE after we stopped running.
Yes, we’re very lucky to not be suffering from injury.
Yes, I should have known.
Yes, I also wish that my GoPro would not have run out of battery just a mile before the incident so I could post it for you all to have an awesome laugh.
Glacier Point was our very brief last stop to our adventure on Glacier Road. We weren’t up for a complete hike again after our traumatic encounter so we opted out for the panoramic views instead. As you can see, great choice.
Glacier Point also had some awesome Park Ranger interactions, in which you can listen to the Ranger’s experience on history of the park, wonderful star-gazing views and their stories, and advice on which hikes are their absolute favorites!
*Upon hearing one of the Ranger’s conversations with a tourist, I gained utmost respect for them because he was telling her what all she could do without paying extra even though the brochure says you have to pay (things like stargazing, picture touring, etc).
We were able to see the entire Yosemite Valley from the view, as well as some other sites like Vernal Falls, and the mountain we spent nearly 7 hours hiking. All in all, very beautiful. It inspired most of the destinations that we plan on seeing tomorrow!
Enjoy the pictures!
Lesson Number Three: Don’t be a dummy- wear actual hiking socks instead of settling for ankle socks you threw in your suitcase last minute. Your ankles and feet will thank you.
Follow up tomorrow for the next day of Yosemite adventures! (Pictures will be uploaded tomorrow morning, so check back!!)
Adventure is out there!
~Exhausted gal with an exhausted pal
Adventure is out there!
~The gal with a pal