October 2–5, 2010
My birthday adventure took Ethan and me to Yosemite. Neither of us had been before, and why not it’s only a 12 hour drive. If you haven’t seen it in person you must. I made reservations here.

I had never been to an In-N-Out. We ended up going three times.

We arrived late Saturday night in the rain/lightening/thunder, checked in and went to bed. FYI:
• park costs $20 per vehicle, bring cash in case their machines are down
• park is huge into bear protection and deterrent, drive slow
• if bringing food, pack a manageable cooler (not the cooler we brought)
• food cannot be kept in your car after dark; they provide bear boxes, but most are small

Woke up to OH MY GOD, Ethan look up!

We spent Sunday seeing the village sights and driving to all the famous viewpoints. It was rainy, but we didn’t care. We ended the day with pizza and postcard writing. At 1 a.m. I woke up to thunder/lightening and a torrential downpour… it continued for 8 hours. I was up for most of it. The thunder was on top of us and lasted twice as long as in a normal setting (granite walls).

This was the sight outside of the tent in the morning. We were signed up to take a free photography class, but bailed on it because it still hadn’t stopped raining and I didn’t want to risk ruining the cameras. We were also planning to hike half dome, but had to bail on that too. Reason in itself to return. We decided to get the heck out of there a day early. Luckily the campground gave us a refund. So we headed West.

We ended up in Napa, CA. Neither of us had been there either. The AAA book Ethan picked up before the trip came in handy and we were able to find the Napa Inn. They gave us a substantial discount. Woot woot! We strolled downtown and ate dinner. It was a beautiful place to wake up to on my birthday, go for a run and the breakfast was amazing. We drove the strip of vineyards out of town, only stopping to take a few photos (I do not have the taste for wine).

Before you knew it we were back in Oregon.

Most of these shots were taken with my new camera, Canon PowerShot S95, which I love. More photos from the trip on my Flickr.

PS I had to post about our trip before Friday’s Oprah show; apparently her and Gayle went there over the summer. Amber are you TiVoing for me?

  1. Beautiful shots! I remember my first trip to Yosemite – its a breathtaking place! And three times to In N Out in one trip to CA is totally normal for me too 🙂

  2. Amber said:

    Love the photos. Really want to visit here now; I can’t believe I’ve never been!

  3. sarah said:

    yosemite is only 12 hours away? why have i never been there before? what a beautiful place – that view! AMAZING.

    …and now i’m craving in-n-out something awful. yum!yum!

  4. I love Yosemite! I’ve been several times, but my favorite was the time I went on one of my geology field studies classes and we slept under the stars (brave when there are bears around). There were bears, but luckily we slept through it if they came through our site. I also like staying outside of the park (to the south east) in Mammoth – I would live there if I could. 🙂 Unfortunately, we bagged our visit this year, the altitude makes me sicker than a dog if i’m not on BP meds, and I wasn’t.

  5. Julie said:

    Beautiful photos Katie! Bill and I wanted to visit last May but couldn’t because of snow. Still on our “must visit” list! National Parks are awesome!

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