It was our second last day in Yosemite National Park when Dan and I spent the night in our trembling wooden cabin, shaking from the storm happening outside. The lights and internet would switch off momentarily before turning back on more times than I could count and the wind was howling loudly outside. Frustrated that we couldn't get in contact with our families to let them know how we were, we fell asleep only to wake up to a perfectly calm and sunny morning the next day. Walking outside to the balcony of our cabin was strange. The night was so noisy and yet this morning all was quiet and still - such a stark contrast to when I fell asleep. When I first noticed the light snow in the surrounding trees, we immediately got ready and headed out.
I think it was Yosemite's perfect way of saying goodbye. On our last day I finally got to see what I've wanted to see my whole life; the world drenched in winter. The further we drove up the same road we had driven the entire week, the thicker and thicker the snow on the ground and hanging on the tree branches was. I couldn't believe my eyes.
We stopped on the side of the road so many times to take photos of the snow covered trees and the pathways leading to nowhere. The Yosemite National Park entrance sign that was bare when we first arrived at the beginning of the week had piles of snow on and around it. We visited all our favourite spots one last time. Tunnel View, Lower Yosemite Falls, Valley View and places which I don't even think have a name.
It wasn't long after that where we headed off to spend one day in San Francisco before catching our flight that same night back home to Sydney.
I have never seen it snow before. I've been to the snow twice in Australia; once with my family when I was young and again on a road trip recently with Dan and my friends to the Victorian Alps where the landscape was covered in snow. But it never snowed while we were there.
Dan and I travelled from Hawaii to Yosemite National Park just after peak winter season. The days were cold, but not extremely. There were still patches of snow in the park but most of it had melted away. Towards the end of the week, the forecast said it was going to snow and I was so giddy with excitement every time I looked at it, I couldn't wait for that day to arrive. I giggled one afternoon while Dan and I were getting lunch at the two workers in the cafeteria having a chat in between small amounts of work left to do for the day. "Oh man, I got so mad when I saw the weather predictions this morning. I just want the snow to go away, I've had enough". Such a stark difference to my opinion. I've never seen it snow and can count the amount of times I've been in snow with one hand.
We had spent the morning in Yosemite Valley, wandering around, taking photos and going on a hike. By the afternoon we had finished everything we wanted to do, so we decided to go on a drive to the tree-house cabin we stayed at in the summer time in Yosemite West. The further we drove, the more of our surroundings were covered in snow. We rolled down the road slowly to approach two deer nibbling at the ground right on the side of the road with our windows down. Onwards, the snow still lingered in thick slabs on top of rooftops and verandas. Some driveways of what I'm assuming are holiday houses were still caved in with snow and the trees surrounding us were also decorated in white.
On our way back, we wanted to see the closed entrance Glacier Point Lookout road so we stopped at Badger Pass Ski Area, parked our car and went for a walk. It was too late in the afternoon to purchase an entry to go and ski, so we went for a walk around the area to admire the trees and the mountains of snow. In the distance I could see what looked like rain, but it was falling in the motion that a feather would. "Is it snowing over there?!" I wanted to go up the ski lift so badly, but we couldn't unless we hired ski equipment which it was too late to do. I started to get excited. Before I knew it, the storm clouds crept closer and the snow started to fall everywhere. At first it was small amounts and within minutes there was white everywhere I looked. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face, holding my hands out to try and catch some snowflakes. Dan and I spent the next hour running around madly in the snow, taking pictures and filming. I laughed and breathed in deeply, knowing I will never forget this moment.
Finally with our hair and clothes drenched we went back into the warmth of the car and headed to our new accommodation, a cozy wooden cabin just outside of the park. Our time in Yosemite National Park was slowly coming to an end with only a handful of days left over before flying home.