There's something shameful about being a native Californian who's never been to Yosemite. How I never made it there in the back seat of my parents' car is a total mystery to me given how many California peaks they climbed, how much they loved classic camping spots, and how many miles I did travel in the back seat on road trips to other destinations. I would unwillingly pile into the backseat, only contented by listening to cassette tapes on my headphones, and try to ignore my mom excitedly pointing out cows. But those trips were proverbially, ineluctably life-shaping, and an appreciation for long stretches of road, improbable geological features, road side stops (especially gift shops), and Western destinations seeped osmotically into me. Now I dream of them. I would love to retrace some of the trips we made while I was growing up and I'm definitely excited to pull up to towns and places I've never been. Yosemite seemed like a necessity.
Spring is a great time of year to visit because the snow is melting, which means major waterfall action. They're mesmerizing moving aspects of the landscape from afar, but you can also get up close enough to feel their icy mist.
The next day, we hiked up to Artist Point. I found our route on one of the first internet lists of Yosemite hikes I came across, but somehow not many of the Yosemite workers had heard of it, and it seemed relatively untraveled. We had the trail almost to ourselves the whole time, which was eerie and cool. I secretly hoped to see a (peaceful) bear. Once we got to Artist Point, it was just us and the view the entire time.