American road trip 2011 D5 Yosemite

Just a quick explanation: in the summer of 2011, my parents decided to take all six of us (four children between 22 and 16 and two parents) on a roadtrip through -mostly- the West Coast of the USA. This was written as a diary at the time, so keep in mind that this was written by a 22-year-old who was blogging to keep family and friends updated on our whereabouts. Enjoy! – Camille

Well, have I got some more information for you about Yosemite, the national park…

Did you know…

* That the national park itself is as big as the whole of the province of Antwerp? just think about it: as big as the whole of the province of Antwerp. To put it in perspective: the state of California is about eleven times Belgium.

* That the park was made protected area by president Lincoln? Apparently he saw the park in 1860 and was so impressed by the huge quantity of sequoias (the big trees you can reportedly drive through) he decided to save them as much as possible. This made Yosemite the first protected park. Go Abraham Lincoln!

* That Yosemite is the home of bears, deer, squirrels, chipmunks and God knows what? I saw four deer in one place, with one of them crossing the road about half a metre away from me. Very “let’s put all our thoughts behind us and just admire nature for a while”. I liked it (a lot). Oh, and feeding squirrels peanuts just to keep them in one place so you can take a picture of them? Not nice. But: a very nice photo-opportunity, so in a way funny. And chipmunks are adorable (really! Think squirrel but about two thirds smaller).

*Sequoias could grow until the end of time? If it hadn’t been for their own height and weight putting too much pressure on their roots, there would be a lot of very impressive trees. As it is, I was very impressed with the sequoias we saw today.

* That Glacier Point is spectacular? You have a wonderful view up there of a large part of Yosemite (or at least the most famous part). If possible, go and visit!

* That public restrooms in Yosemite National Park are (for the most part) hideous and unbearable? We found some toilets that flushed and provided a small washbasin on our way to Mariposa Grove, but that was about it for decent restrooms.

* That driving too quickly and avoiding a squirrel/deer on the roads in Yosemite NP is not a good idea? We saw the aftermath of an accident when going down and it was not pretty.

Tomorrow: the trip to Death Valley. Pray we get through alive…

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