Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yosemite Park - Day 2

I woke up early and drove to Badger Pass. The route is amazingly beautiful, first going down to the valley and then snaking up the mountain again.

There are several vista points and a mile long tunnel through the rocks. Badger Pass is a ski resort and it was full of skiers and snowboarders, even at 9am.

At the ranger station we met Ranger Dick (don't look at me - that's how he introduced himself), who appointed me to collect a $5 non-mandatory donation from the crowd (everyone paid, although I think most thought it was a price, not a donation).

We each got a pair of snowshoes and a short explanation of how to lace them up. The walk is quite strenuous and is entirely on a slope. Be sure to bring with you sunglasses - the glare from the snow, especially on a sunny day, can be blinding (you get close to 180% sunlight).

I found out again how out of shape I am, and was quite happy I missed the moonlight walk - imagine the same trip at night, where if you drop back, you get stranded in the snow. The funny thing was that despite the mountains of snow and ice around us, everyone were hot. So make sure you wear layers.

I proceeded down the mountain and had some lunch at the village. From there to the Yosemite Lodge, where I took a tour around the main attractions of the park.
I recommend it if you want to see all the highlights and snap some pics in a limited amount of time.

Over the last 2 days I found myself stopping at the side of the road, looking up and inhaling deeply. This park is one of the greatest manifestations of nature I've seen since visiting the Canadian Rockys. I highly recommend it.

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