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Yosemite was INCREDIBLE. None of the pictures I can show you do this experience justice. I have to admit, I was slightly hesitant, going to a national park all by myself. I did my research and found that the most prominent danger to a young solo female is to encounter a bear.  I figured that even my amazing boyfriend wasn’t going to win a fight with a bear if he were present, so I went anyway.

Luckily, I did not see a single bear. There were a few squirrels though, and they scared the freaking daylights out of me!

I arrived at the park Monday afternoon. After checking into my hotel (about 15 miles from the South entrance), I drove up to the park to check out the sequoia trees. I didn’t know anything much about trees when I got there, but I knew I was about to see some really big trees.

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OMG. SO BIG.

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I learned that sequoia trees have the widest girth, while the redwood trees are the tallest. I did see some redwoods on my trip as well. They were all really big.

Tuesday morning I headed down to the Valley floor. I knew it was 35 miles from the park entrance, and estimated it would take about 90 minutes to get there. I didn’t account for the fact I was going to want to stop and take pictures on the drive though. I don’t know how long it actually took to get there, nor was I too worried about what time it was at this point.

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I made it to the Visitor’s Center and after some encouragement from the park ranger that the trails were heavily populated, decided that I was going to hike the Vernal/Nevada Falls Trail. I wasn’t sure how far I was going to go, but I figured I would see what happened.

The first part of the trail was steep, but paved. After about an hour, I felt a few drops of rain. I had read that rain = slippery = extremely dangerous. This was the first time I thought about turning around. It was also the where I met my new friends, Mark and Marie.

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We decided that the rain was a fleeting happenstance and that we could keep going. I wanted to go too, but it no longer seemed safe to go on alone, so I asked if I could tag along. They were extremely welcoming and a great couple to spend the day with!

Thanks to their motivation, encouragement, and patience, we made it all the way to the top of the Nevada Falls!

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See my hand in that picture? I am hanging on to the guard rail, shaking, because I am standing directly over a 1000 foot drop.  Absolutely terrifying and exhilarating!

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The whole climb (and descent) was terrifying, and I wanted to turn around so many times! But I knew I couldn’t let my new friends down, and I sure as heck wasn’t going down by myself. I am soooo proud of myself for doing it!P1030780 P1030731 P1030726

One of the top 5 days of my life!

The hike in all took about 6.5 hours. We got to the bottom of the trail and split ways about an hour before sunset. I really wanted to checkout Mirror Lake before I left the park since I wasn’t planning on coming back the next day.

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I was exhausted and hungry, but decided to just go for it. The trail was only a mile out and it was FLAT. A magical word at that point in the day!

It was worth it.

Then I drove out of the park, saw a great sunset, and an awe inspiring moon. I stopped at an Italian restaurant and had a giant slab of lasagna, then promptly passed out in bed for 10 hours. Glorious.

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