One of our most favorite things to do with our little ones is getting out into nature, hiking, and looking for animals and plants. We love the time we get to have with the kids, exploring together, and remembering that we live in a big and beautiful world. The best hikes have happened this year as Boston, who is three years old, is incredibly talkative. We get to hear all sorts of stories, both true and made up, from him. It’s amazing the little things he notices and how verbal he is about his experiences.
So after visiting Kings National Park we had planned to go down to San Luis Obispo, but some plans changed and we ended up going to Yosemite National Park - it was AJ and the kids first time!
The morning of our journey was a little hectic as we wanted to get in as much time as possible in the park. So we neglected to fill-up on gas before leaving civilization. When we realized our folly we looked to technology to save us. Unfortunately, cell service (for T-Mobile) wasn’t great, so we got turned around for awhile. Finally we found a Chevron (very overpriced) and filled up there. It wasn’t long before we passed some little towns like Coarsegold, where gas prices were way better than what we paid. We held back our little screams of annoyance. Lesson learned--Chevron is always overpriced, and definitely fill up gas before you begin a journey.
The drive to Yosemite was beautiful. It was breathtaking to ascend the mountain and feel like we’re climbing up Giant Sequoias as well. We loved driving with the windows down and breathing in fresh air. We had a great time with the kiddos. We drove up to Glacier Point to take in the magnificent vista of Half Dome (the large boulder people hike up to), waterfalls, and the view of the valley. While there, we listened to a presentation by Park Ranger Christine, who taught us all about the different wildlife in Yosemite and how to take care of them. Boston became a Junior Park Ranger, so if you ever ask him “Should we feed squirrels,” he’ll tell you “no, because they would get dead.”
Martina found a few accessible trails, so we went on one to the Lower Yosemite Falls. We loved the trail as it goes along the river, where Boston found all sorts of fun things like huge trees (he kept asking why they fell and why the river didn’t carry them away), a blue jay, and some frogs. It was amazing that all of us were able to hike this trail with so much ease. It was a beautiful trek and the destination was so worthwhile. There was tons of water this time of year, and the mist gave us a good spray. Boston loved it. And Audrey… tolerated it. The only downside of the whole hike was the food, mostly because we were the food! It seemed like we were constantly swatting at mosquitos which feasted heavily on Boston and Martina’s sweet blood. So… if you are looking for an accessible, or just family friendly trail, definitely do the Lower Yosemite Falls! Just don’t forget the bug spray...
As with all things in life our wonderful day eventually came to an end. We were fortunate enough though to see an incredible sunset, which was a magical rainbow sherbet mixture of pastels in the sky. It really caused us to reflect on our day and the beauty we’d just seen. We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to visit places like this and that places like this are protected just for this purpose. Summertime is the perfect time to visit your local national park (or road trip to one). We have a new goal of trying to visit every national park across the US, which will take some time, but we look forward to the adventure!