My beautiful cousins from Florida are now living in CA, and they came to visit last weekend in Yosemite. It was wonderful to have a chance to catch up with them, and show them around. They were so thoughtful – they brought me a delicate orchid as a birthday present, and a birthday card. These are so much more spectacular than the small native orchids that you find around the park growing wild.
On Saturday morning, after late night arrivals for both cousins, we got a leisurely start with Quiche (courtesy of Kim) and strawberry scones (courtesy of Stephanie and Tom, respectively), and then hit the trail. Fortunately, because Tom and I had left one car in the Valley, we were able to start the hike down the Panorama and Mist Trails from Glacier Point, rather than driving down in the Valley and battling for the few remaining parking spaces. The hike was wonderful.
As seems typical lately, Tom and I slipped into flower picture taking mode, and brought up the rear of our procession for the first part of our hike. I saw some purple nightshade for the first time. The Brewer’s Golden Asters were out in great numbers. Whisker brush. Monkey flowers. Pacific stonecrop. We decided that we need to keep a journal of some sort to catalog all the different flowers that we saw along the trail including things like time of year and any other interesting things. That would be a fantastic record to have.
The waterfalls were more spectacular than usual for this time of year because of our big winter/snow season, and the mist a welcome reprieve from the heat on the trail. The best part was just having the chance to get to know each other a little better.
Dinner was interrupted with the need to go and retrieve Kim’s car, from where we left it at Glacier Point, but the ice cream and the conversation was excellent. Stephanie decided to get up early instead of driving late, sneaking out of the house at 4am on sore legs and feet from hiking, only to work a full shift on her feet for the day. Next time, maybe we should try rafting instead.
Kim and Orestis spent the night in the downstairs apartment, and we got to spend a little more time with them in the morning (my actual birthday) before they took off to explore Tuolumne and maybe Mono Lake, while we settled in to clean the rental apartment for the next guests, and then curl up with movies and a bit of champagne. All in all, a very happy birthday weekend.