May 24th, 2017 – our 3rd year wedding anniversary! Where. did. that. time. GO?!
As tradition has it, instead of buying each other gifts and material items for holidays, we choose to go on vacations instead. And every year on our anniversary month, we vow to visit another national park.
2015 – Rocky Mountain NP
2016 – Grand Canyon NP (We squeezed in a coupe of trips to Glacier NP and the Badlands as well! teehee!)
2017 – Yosemite NP
When we arrived in San Fransisco in the late afternoon, we didn’t have much of a plan! We just knew that we were leaving first thing the morning to go grab our rental van and head to Yosemite. We picked a hotel because it was close to the airport and there was a free shuttle… and when we got there, we quickly realized we couldn’t just sit there all night, so we got an Uber to bring us to the closest beach it would take us so we could watch the sunset (After we went to bdubs first and demolished some wings, baby).
Picking up our rental van was an adventure all by itself! We have so many funny memories from this morning! First of all, we picked the rental place because we literally typed “where to rent a VW camper van in San Fransisco” and picked the very first website that popped up (slim pickings). It was sketchy as hell, but the people seemed decent and they were very nice on the phone! We wanted a vintage looking van, and it was difficult to find something that wasn’t a commercialized RV with advertisements pasted to the sides of it! So this place was perfect… sketchy… but perfect. Welp, we hopped in the Uber and gave them the address we found on the website. We were (kind of) prepared for what we were walking into, because we looked at the place on Google Maps. Needless to say, the uber drove away and we just stood there, staring at each other wondering which direction to go! We were surrounded by big industrial ghetto warehouses and had no idea where the van place was. Luckily, one of the construction workers that was working in one of the warehouses spotted us as tourists and pointed us in the right direction! After we got everything all settled up, we hit the road and quickly realized that the AC unit was BROKEN. We were about to drive through the dessert of California, you guys. The AC cannot be broken. It didn’t help that the VW van had about 225k miles on it, and all of that hot engine air was blowing through the vents into the van! Oh, and my window was broken. We kept checking the weather as we were driving and the temps were up in the 100’s, we were sweating, and laughing our asses off. We are smiling, but dying in the picture below.
We arrived in Yosemite just in time to drive around the village and watch the sun set!We camped just outside of the park in a campsite called Indian Flat. Tony did a lot of research on this. And we were so happy that we stayed outside of the park, just because it was so packed in there and we liked having a little bit more space and quiet! We didn’t spend much time there anyways, we were the last ones to get in every night and the first to leave in the morning before the sun rose. We were on a mission to see it all!
Day 1 in the park:
We got up to watch the sun rise behind Half Dome. I had a lot of product photos to take, so we took a ton of shots for Duluth Pack and The Bali Market that morning!
Next stop, hiking Yosemite Falls! (About 7 miles round trip) We are so glad that we did this hike. We hiked ALL the way to the top of that thing! It was incredible… and steep! As we were hiking up, you could see tiny little dots littering the side of the mountain… and it was people who were rock climbing! It was cool to see how tiny they looked on the huge mountain.Then we drove up to Glacier Point. We stopped at a lookout, took a little hike to get a good view, set our hammock up, and took a NAP in the sunshine! We were wiped out from our hike that morning/afternoon.After our nap, we drove down into the village, and ended our day just as it began, by watching the sunset with a view of half dome.Day 2 – Sunrise at El CapHiking to Taft Point! This hike was on the top of our list for places to visit. But with visiting so early in the season, there was still so much snow on all of the trails, so we didn’t think we would be able to go. Luckily, Tony had the REI National Park App on his phone so we were able to track our hike pretty easily without having any cell service. The snow was still pretty deep and there weren’t hardly any footprints to follow, so we were heavily relying on the app and the markers on the trees to lead the way! There were a few times where we got off course, but we managed to find our way and we were the ONLY people on the trail! We saw 1 other couple when we got to the actual point. but it was amazing to have the entire view to ourselves once they left shortly after we arrived. After that hike we were starving. The beauty of having a camper van?? Just pull over and fire up the stove! hah! We cooked hamburger helper overlooking the beautiful views below!Before heading to Yosemite, we saw a lot of photos of places we wanted to see! Glacier Point/Glacier Point Road being one of them. We watched the sunset here and snapped a lot of photos of the van. Since it takes a while to drive down from Glacier point, and we were already in the park while it was dark, we decided to get out the tripod and capture the stars. So wild.Day 3! Dewey Point Hike. Another one where we were out there on the trails alone. This was another day where we set up the hammock in the shade and took a good nap.We ended the trip at the campsite. Cuddled up with a bonfire and thinking about all the fun we had! 🙂