Not long ago, I made plans to meet up with my friend and fellow photographer/traveler Danielle and some of her friends in Yosemite for a few days. I asked my friend Kelsey, who went to Iceland with us in May, if she wanted to come along, and after some convincing, she agreed 😉
I had never been to Yosemite before, even though it’s only about three and a half hours away from my hometown, and I was dying to visit. It was the perfect chance to go, right before the autumn colors would begin to fade, and it was still warm enough to camp. I can’t describe how happy I am that I decided to go on this trip! It was nothing short of breathtaking.
Kelsey and I arrived in Yosemite as the sun began to set over the horizon, and we couldn’t help stopping all along the way as new sights caught our attention. Finally we arrived at our campsite and we set up the area before the rest of our group arrived.
We walked to a little pond down the road away from our camp and watched the stars for a long time. I had never seen anything so beautiful as the sight of that sky. Thousands upon thousands of stars shone above us in the galaxies beyond, and the soft, slow melodies of Ben Howard echoed from my phone as we sat together in the dakrness.
Our new friends arrived later that night, and the rest of the evening we set up our tents and went to sleep.
The next day, after an eventful morning trying to find a hiking path to take us to Glacier Point, we realized that we needed to drive there instead. So up the mountain we went, stopping along the way at various lookout points. El Capitan glowed in the morning light when we reached our first spot, and we attempted taking pictures of the view and capturing its majesty. Spoiler alert: nothing–not the best camera in the world–could capture how beautiful this view was.
As we drove along, Kelsey suddenly asked us to stop the car, and we walked to this beautiful field that was sparkling in the sun. The weeds were covered in icy little specks of dew, and it made everything look so magical. I was in heaven.
Our next spot gave us the most incredible view of Half Dome and the rolling mountains beyond. I was blown away, once again, at all the beauty that this world holds. God’s creations are beyond spectacular.
So thankful I got the chance to meet this sweet girl in Yosemite. Danielle has such a ready heart for adventure and a will to make her dreams a reality. She is one of the nicest people I have ever met, and we had so many great conversations during our time together. I’m lucky to have people like Dani in my life.
We drove back down the mountain and had to stop at this beautiful autumn paradise along the side of the road. The leaves were still so golden and vibrant, and it was the perfect place to shoot a part of my series–coming soon 😉
These colors though. Can we just…..ahhhh. ❤
I loved these little “Curry Yurts”, as we liked to call them, in lower Yosemite valley. Danielle and I explored around the area for the perfect shot, and I’m determined to come back here and stay in one of these someday.
That night, me, Danielle, her brother Nick and friend Michelle were determined to find this place called “Taft Point”, which I had seen some amazing photos of in the past. It was a bit of a hike to get there, but I was so unbelievably glad we found it. We reached the spot right as the sun went down, and I was blown away by how high we were above the ground. I don’t think I had ever been as high up as I was then, and I could see the little glowing lights of the cars on the roads far below.
Misty clouds rolled gently beneath us and all was quiet. It was definitely one of the most memorable moments of my life. I don’t think I could ever forget the feeling of being so far above the world, and feeling so small.
The next morning was slow and calm. We made hot chocolate and toast over the fire, and cozied up in our blankets against the chilly mountain air. Light poured through the trees around our campsite. Smoke rose from the fire and steam rose from our mugs. It was idyllic in the most accurate sense of the word.
That afternoon, we planned our last stopping place before parting ways with the group and heading home. We mapped out the distance to Mariposa Grove, home of the giant sequoias, and we realized it would definitely be worth it to visit.
These trees were gigantic, and I had never seen branches so high above me or bark so thick. We didn’t stay long, but we were lucky enough to be there on the last day before the park closed for the weekend.
I wish I was better able to capture the scale of these trees in this grove, but nothing can quite do reality justice. Nature is crazy.
I’m so glad I was invited on this trip to Yosemite with Danielle and Kelsey, and I know I will be back again for more in the future. I am so passionate about going on regular little adventures to experience new places and meet new people, and I feel so lucky to have been able to do so much of that this year.
If anyone is thinking of going to Yosemite, do it. It is SUCH a beautiful place, and I wish I would have gone sooner. I wish I had more time to explore this park, but I definitely know I can’t stay away for long.
Thank you Danielle and friends for making this trip so memorable. I hope we have a chance to meet up again in the near future 🙂