Yosemite National Park - article

National Geographic – old magazine, new memories

National Geographic January 1985

National Geographic January 1985

Ok so apologies first as this has very little if anything to do with archery, but I wanted to share it with readers.

So firstly here is a little bit of background history. When I was growing up I wasn’t what you could call the healthiest of children. In fact I think I spent more time in and out of the doctors’ surgery or hospital than at school. The up side of this was I got to spend a lot of time with two wonderful people while my mam was out at work, these being my maternal grandparents. During this prolonged absence from school, I developed a love for old black and white TV shows and movies that were shown on British afternoon TV. The downside of my absence from school, was my schooling suffered and I was bullied a lot when I did go back to school.

So what brought on this trip down memory lane and insight into my childhood?

Well my Mam has been clearing out some stuff from my family home and she has given me a few boxes to sort through, actually quite a few boxes. You know the sort of thing, old books, school reports and numerous magazines. I’m sure those of you that may have gone through something similar would agree that the process can bring back a whole lot of memories, some good and some bad, a few happy and a few sad ones. I found a folding penknife my grandfather gave me when I was about eight, he had an identical one. In the same box I found his penknife too, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP emblazoned on them both. I’ve given one to my Mam and kept the other.

pen knife

pen knife

In another one of the boxes was a collection of National Geographic magazines from the early 1980s. My Mam had been buying them for me as a child to try to encourage my reading and interest in nature and the outdoors. The first one of these I found had an article on Yosemite National Park in the USA and how it was trying to cope with the increasing numbers of tourists, whilst maintaining its natural beauty.

Yosemite National Park - snowy image

Yosemite National Park – snowy image

I found this kind of ironic since only a couple of years ago Sharon and I visited the national park when we were doing a short road trip in the USA. Who would have thought that 30 years after the article was published I’d find the magazine in a dusty old box.

Yosemite National Park Map

Yosemite National Park Map

Of course my clearing and sorting for the night stopped there and then as I sat and read the article.

So there I was reading the article but now I was remembering walking some of the routes pictured, having visited it, seeing the views and knowing first-hand the beauty of the land.

View form the top

View form the top

One memory it triggered was of all places based on the Parking areas, where we’d parked up and photographed deer grazing in the early morning long before many visitors arrived.

Yosemite valley deer in early morning

Yosemite valley deer in early morning

I recalled the sound of the thunder storm as it rolled through the valley, having just climbed down from the falls.

Yosemite Falls, seen from the valley

Yosemite Falls, seen from the valley floor

Life is strange as I have to say that when I first read this all those years ago I might have thought how great it would be to visit but doubted I ever would. I guess that finding this and reading this again, what it has showed me was a sick kid growing up on a council estate in North Wales can not only develop a love for the outdoors but also travel. So enjoy your travels and reading, you never know where it might take you.

Thanks for reading

Road trip USA

Golden Gate bridge

Golden Gate bridge

Okay so a few of you will know Sharon and I undertook a road trip to the USA in June. I Whilst there we tried to find a  few archery shops, as everyone we spoke to said we should have a look at the range of bows and associated archery gear available across the pond.
So the trip itself was in four parts with us staying for 3 nights in each location
  1. San Francisco
  2. Lake Tahoe
  3. Yosemite National park
  4. New York
This was our first trip to the USA having wanted to go for a  number of years but never quite getting there.
Sadly we were unsuccessful in our primary quest of checking out lots off archery shops. The store we visited in San Francisco was closed for some reason, one of the one’s  we’d hoped to get to on route to Lake Tahoe was closed on Tuesdays which resulted in us successfully finding only one store. Whilst their selection was great so far as compound bows and targets were concerned they had very few traditional style bows.
So we didn’t come home with any archery goodies but quite a few photos of our trip.
I then decided on a second mission , which I hoped would be more successful.  This was to find a drinkable US produced apple cider. Those of you who follow me on instagram and tumblr will have seen the mixed results.
So in the great tradition of sharing, here are a load of holiday photos showing what we did do.
One of the highlights of the trip had to be seeing whales breaching outside San Francisco harbour, even if it was from a fair distance away it was still amazing to see.
Sharon at Golden Gate

Sharon at Golden Gate

San Francisco is a nice place to visit for a few days to recover from the jet lag.

Lake Tahoe was our next destination and we picked up a rental car in San Francisco to head there via the archery shop that was open. As we left San Francisco we saw how the drought is changing the landscape with brown fields of grass surrounding San Francisco, gradually giving way as we climbed higher to woodlands and forests.

View of Lake Tahoe

View of Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe would prove a very good location to spend our wedding anniversary with some very pleasant walks along the shore line and into the surrounding countryside which offer fantastic views of the lake.
Hiking near Lake Tahoe

Hiking near Lake Tahoe

We were  lucky with the weather, with it being mostly dry and warm. Except for Yosemite where we were caught in thunderstorms on the hill decent from Upper Yosemite falls.

Yosemite Falls, seen from the valley

Yosemite Falls, seen from the valley floor

If you are walking in Yosemite make sure you have plenty of water as it is quite dehydrating.
The route for the walk

The route for the walk

That hike took us just over 6 hours in total up and down but offered fantastic views from the top before thunderstorms rolled in.

Hike up to Yosemite Upper falls

Hike up to Yosemite Upper falls – half way

 The views of the valley from the top of Yosemite falls was amazing.

View form the top

View form the top

Note sure which was the best quote from Sharon at Yosemite, whether it was about the life like 3d poses of the deer or that the bear was closer than you would shoot it if it was a 3D target on a field course.

Yosemite valley deer in early morning

Yosemite valley deer in early morning

Walking round Yosemite was great especially if you got there early as you  avoided the busy parts and trails.  There is more wildlife about and the light for photographs is amazing early in the day.

Sun in the trees at Yosemite Park

Sun in the trees at Yosemite Park

We left Yosemite at 5 am to make the long drive to San Francisco airport to catch our plane to New York.

New York skyline reflection

New York skyline reflection

To coin a phrase, New York City was on our bucket list and was nice to visit but it is a big city and we really aren’t into big cities. If you do visit check out the Highline which is an old rail track converted into a green and leafy walk and is a good distraction from the busy streets, with a decent coffee stall (blue bottle) at the meatpacker end.
New York Highline walk

New York Highline walk

The  9/11 Memorial is very moving as are the talks by survivors of the attack.

We would definitely go back to Yosemite as the views hiking and whole scale of the place was amazing. Lake Tahoe is another location we would return too, maybe for a ski trip.
Thanks for reading.