Backpack Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley

Updated: Sep 20, 2018

My daughter Keara was in grade 12, as a single dad I always enjoy bringing her places when we could afford the time..... adventures to inspire both of us.

Her final March break as a high school student meant she could afford the time to assist me on an adventure capturing some photography.

It was a special trip for both of us, although the adventure had a professional purpose it is always special when you can spend time in awe inspiring locations with your only daughter.

When home on my computer working, every time I would open up my Macintosh Imac my screensaver showed this awesome large formation of rock that always inspired me.

El Capitan, is that famous rock structure on your Macintosh screen saver, located in Yosemite National Park.

I had no idea where this magnificent rock wall was located, until, I had discovered the documentary series from Ken Burns called “The West“. Over 13 episodes I watched and discovered that Yosemite park was the first landmass delegated by President Abraham Lincoln on June 30, 1864, creating the Yosemite Grant to be set aside as a designated place where human impact would be limited to sightseeing.

I had not known much about California, my ideas of this western US state where basic, perhaps thoughts of vast coastline, palm trees and Los Angeles.


Although I now see it as perhaps being a bit negligent and ignorant, we all need to learn different geographical areas at some point in our life.

The world is diverse and covers more land mass than anyone will have time to see in its entirety, no one will ever fully understand the vastness in beauty of this planet.

For many of my adventures and travel , every time it's teach's me many things. Often times, if I visit a location, I then return home to do even more research of where I have just been.

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Often times, If I really got a great vibe and had a positive experience, I would return to visit, learn and photograph more of the area. For example - Amsterdam five times, although there was not a whole lot of photography going on there....

In saying that, our trip to California in March 2018, we drove 2000 miles, starting from San Francisco and spending our first evening just outside the city on the start of Highway 1 Coastal Highway.

We covered just a just a small section of the coast line but this was enough to inspire us. The next day we drove to Yosemite National Park in which we spent a couple of days exploring the valley.

I knew then that there was far more to be seen beyond the valley walls. We continued on to Sequoia national Park to again to be awestruck by the size and beauty of the Sequoia trees.

We decided to head east over the Sierra Mountains and visit the Mojave Desert and Death Valley.

Onwards, we spent a night in Las Vegas which seemed like a vast contrast from the past several nights in the Sierra mountains. We then continued west again to visit another small section of the Coastal Highway, Highway 1.

Fast forward a number of months and it was time to bring my daughter to University for her first year at Memorial, in St. John’s Newfoundland.

I had decided that this was a good time to go back to the Yosemite Valley and perhaps explore the John Muir trail, or at least a section of it to experience some of this back country. I again returned to San Francisco and continued on into to the Yosemite Valley. I found myself acquiring a walk up trail pass to hike from Toulomne meadows (Cathedral Lake trail head) to Yosemite Valley in what was a spectacular backpacking trip.

My philosophy when travel blogging and capturing images is simple.

If I invest the time and effort into a trip, although it has it's pleasures, its usually work.

I capture many images, if one magical shot from the trip can be captured then it's worth the adventure.

"In travel, the most expensive part is...finding the time. I can't afford to travel but I can't afford not to." Glen Ferguson

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