Yosemite is Awesome

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The only way to sense the scale is to look at the trees on the left, and realise that they are ... trees.

Language is funny. You spend the year throwing around superlatives, describing new features on Facebook or the texture of your new favourite Burrito, and are then totally disarmed when you go somewhere like Yosemite, and faced with things that really are ‘awesome’ (in the base sense of the word), ‘massive’ (as in, unimaginably heavy’?) and ‘amazing’ (oh come on). Without the ability to describe anything in a meaningful way, all you can gawp and try in vain to compare it to other places that you have been, and mostly failing.

Yosemite is ridiculously, completely unnecessarily gorgeous. Like a set from a Star Trek movie (perhaps one of the pleasure planets where people run around in togas and seduce secondary members of crew into a life of endless procreation), there is forever a CGI waterfall in the background and vistas stretching off into the distance.

Four days of unbroken sun above our heads, snow underfoot, and yet weather warm enough for t-shirts was a perfect backdrop for enjoying a birthday with my family. Great food, wonderful company, and an awesome location; literally.

Entrance to the valley, on some of the finest roads in California (not saying too much, there).

Mum and Dad enjoy the vista. It's impossible to stop yourself from screeching to a halt in each siding to enjoy the views on offer.

El Capitan rock - a genius of naming.

Incredible arcs of rock look like an impressionist; the brain is not capable of dealing with such scale for more than a few minutes.

A good day to fly overhead

First major hike of the weekend, up past the snow line.

The same waterfall features in most of the images.

Switchbacks - ah for my mountain bike.

Don't look down!

Oh look.

Half dome on the left, and more waterfalls on the right - we hiked up to the first one the next day.

Attempting to link up with the previous day's hike ... we turned back after we decided it was getting a bit hairy ... it's hard to appreciate, but there was a substantial cliff to the direct left side of this.

Instagram delivering the goods again the next day in our hike up to the falls.

One thing I love about my Mum is that we notice the same things at the same time.

Back to the house for the most delicious possible artichokes. Mum & Dad drove through the 'Artichoke Capital of the World', and we spent the weekend laughing about it until we actually tasted the things.

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