After one my first travel nurse assignments, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Yosemite National Park. I had recently discovered a love for hiking and a sense of awe at the beauty of creation, and hoped that this trip would offer some of both.
I wasn't sure what to expect at Yosemite. After having spent the past week at Grand Canyon, I feared I might be disappointed. Fortunately, I was wrong.
I stayed a mile outside the park and the drive into and out of the park each day on the winding and treacherous mountain inroad was an adventure in itself.
One morning, I decided to try to catch the sunrise at Glacier Point. I had really no idea of how to time the approximately hour long drive to the point so as to make it there at sunrise, but I did my best planning, and started out early next morning. It was to be my last day at Yosemite. I had already seen so much beauty there and had fallen hopelessly in love with the place, but this day , if possible, I felt was going to be even more special.
It was still very dark when I left my hotel room, and I had not driven very far when I saw my first treat of the day. Right on the side of the road, chomping on grass, big as life was a huge and beautiful moose. The mule deer I had seen back at Grand Canyon was my first encounter with wildlife in the open in my entire life, so this was quite an exciting experience for me.
As I continued up the winding road, the night was so quiet and still, but there was a sense of it teeming with life. As I rounded a corner, my headlights caught a family of deer on the side of the road. Naturally, at the sound and sight of my approaching, they scurried, but I was so tickled!
On I drove to Glacier Point, and much to my delight, I rounded the bend at the point just as the sun was rising! I sat on a log at what appeared to be the edge of a cliff and watched the sun come up over the distant mountains and the valley below. It was gorgeous! Now I knew I had to see more and make the most of this last day in this special place.
I drove further on into the high country to a place about 2 hours away called Olmsted Point. The view from this point was breathtaking! All around the ground appeared to be covered with snow. A closer look proved it to be the whitest stone I’ve ever seen. The far off mountain peaks appeared to be covered in white as well. It made for a most beautiful picture.
Next stop, Tenayan Lake . I stuck my toes in the freezing cold water of the clearest and most beautiful mountain lake I’d ever seen.
I drove on still another 30 minutes higher to a place called Tuloumne Meadows. Green and flat, this place was such a remarkable contrast to the surrounding landscape. It was getting late in the afternoon now and I wanted to be sure to get back down the mountain road before dark, especially since I planned to head out of the area early the next morning, but I had to see this meadow! I looked at my watch and decided I could hike the very narrow path I saw back into the meadow for about a half hour and then I’d have to begin to make my way back.
As I hiked the path deeper into the meadow, I began to hear water trickling. I saw no stream or body of water anywhere, but the sound was unmistakable. As I continued on , it became louder and began to be accompanied by the “voice” of Jesus, saying “Keep coming. There's something here I want you to see”.. As I walked on into my planned half hour trek, just about when my half hour was up, I came upon a beautiful area of falls. It was so quiet and peaceful there, like nothing I’d ever seen. It was just me and the Lord and I spent some time just sitting and thanking Him for bringing me to this place and meeting me here. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
I hiked back to my car and began to make my way back. As I said goodbye to Yosemite, I felt a profound sadness at having to leave such beauty behind, but was reminded that I will always have the memory of it and of my time spent there with Jesus. And I began to wonder, if it's this beautiful here imagine what heaven will be like!
A bit of a suggestion...pare this down to paragraphs with spacing and it would be so much more "reader friendly"; since we write for readers, it's only fair that we make it easy on their eyes...God Bless.