The Change

June 22, 2020
Yosemite Valley, Bike Riding
Total distance: 24 miles

Yosemite National Park is my happy place.  February was the last time that my husband and I were in the park.  It was just before the health authorities considered the pandemic cause enough to close Yosemite’s gates.  Months passed.  In early June, the park reopened with a new way of doing things.  A reservation is now required.  In my years of visiting the park, I never experienced such a stipulation for entry.

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Bridge over Merced River

I admit that I was extremely unhappy when I heard about the new procedure.  It changed my plans to hike all summer.  The day-use reservation system made me realize what a great country we live in, that I could take the freedom to come and go as I wanted for granted.

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Merced River

According to the National Park System, about four million people visit Yosemite each year.  With so many people competing for entry, I wondered if I would even be able to get a reservation.

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Half Dome and Ahwahnee Meadow

The clock neared 7 AM (when reservations went on sale).  I was on pins and needles as  the website (recreation.gov) loaded on my laptop, unsure if I would win a ticket or not.  I imagined thousands of people around the world doing the same thing at that moment.  With credit card in hand, I entered the information and “voila!” was granted (and paid for) a week-long day-use entry pass.  Contrary to my doubts, I had no problem getting what I wanted.

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Tenaya Creek

Though I still feel the loss of freedom to come and go as I please, I do believe the new temporary—we’ll see if it actually remains temporary—way of doing things is a good change.  Now there are less crowds in the valley, less vehicle traffic, and more parking throughout.  Perhaps the change will have a positive impact on Yosemite’s environment as well.

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Mt. Watkins and Mirror Lake

Chris and I were delighted to be back in our happy place that week.  We biked the loop through Yosemite Valley twice, picnicked, and wended our way to Mirror Lake.

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Black headed grosbeak

 

18 thoughts on “The Change

  1. So happy you were able to get in and hike. I am sure it felt so good to be back in nature and enjoy fewer crowds and fresh air. Thank you for sharing and giving the rest of us a glimpse into the beauty we all are missing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As usual, your photographs are spectacular! You share the beauty of Yosemite for us and quench our thirst for the feeling of being outside in the freshest of air! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you were able to snag a reservation. A few of the conservation areas in Ontario have moved to a similar system where you have to book your time slot in advance. It definitely is more restrictive and feels like you have less room for spontaneity. But hey, at least parks are open now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Janet. I am so glad you were able to get into Yosemite for a wonderful day in Nature. I also appreciate the update about the reservation-access routine. It does sound restrictive, but I am glad you got in. Perhaps when I am ready to make a trip, it will still be a relatively easy process. Thanks for the glimpse of that beautiful place!

    Liked by 1 person

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