When you wake in the morning, what’s the first thing on your mind? Mine is always “where am I going
next?” You never know working for adventure travel companies, but this year it has been Yosemite National Park, our Nation’s first State Park. Yellowstone beats it in the status ranking of the first National Park for technical reasons. You see, California became a State in 1850. That allowed the government to give Yosemite to the State of California in 1864, for protection and preservation. Yellowstone Park’s magnificence became known in the 1860’s and 1870’s and needed to be protected. It became a National Park in 1872, because the lands were only territories, in order to preserve the land for the betterment and enjoyment of the people.
That all seems a little complicated, I know. But it is an important part to understanding their crucial role in bettering our country as a whole. Yellowstone Park prides itself in being Americas first National Park while Yosemite the first State Park. Both, today, are National Parks and incredible corners of our world that so needed to be protected for our generations to enjoy. But in the end it is Yosemite that was noticed first by a Scotsman named John Muir.
On the Austin-Lehman Yosemite National Park Adventure we begin our journey in San Francisco on Sunday morning. From there we head east toward those 750,000 acres of playground. Each time we head out I think about John and his journey along that almost same path… through that San Joaquin valley, over the foothills of the Sierra Mountains and toward that hidden treasure. We do his 2 month walking excursion in almost 4 hours by car. And we think we’re tired when we get there!
Most of Sunday is a little cycling tour and playing along the edge of the Park boundaries. You can feel the pull all day of Yosemite asking us to come explore and see. Ahh, but there is so much to see everywhere! Monday we head to Toulmne Meadows, my favorite meadow in the world! Glacially carved rolling hills, cold streams full of beauty and life, hikers and climbers taking it all in, its that wordless beauty – the kind you just can’t describe. You have to see it to believe it. But, to top that off, as if you ever thought that was possible – Tuesday we make our way into Yosemite Valley. That 7 mile valley that awaits us all… and even though I’ve seen it before it never ceases to amaze me, this might be one of my favorite family adventure vacations. I know how to explain its phenomenon geographically but at that moment, no, at those moments… its just not important. Standing there, whether from above or amidst, it is important just to be there, just to breath in its awesomeness and appreciate all its glory. And then of course to have a cold drink and say “Ahhh… sure am glad I didn’t walk here!”