ESCAPE to Yosemite 2023

It was a wild weekend in our favorite National Park. SO. MUCH. WATER.

You’ve probably sensed by now that this was a unique winter in California and in the Sierras. And maybe you’ve heard about the spring and summer crowds in Yosemite. Well, we experienced both this time to Yosemite. It was a challenge. And it was awesome.

After four years away, we made our way back to Wawona Campground. Since Mariposa Grove was still closed, we spent Friday afternoon in the valley, walking up to a thundering and frigid Yosemite Falls, and catching the most spectacular rainbow on Bridalveil Falls from Tunnel View. The valley looked so different, with its swollen waterfalls and rivers, and flooded meadows. From there, we arrived at our usual campsites along the river, down at the very end of the campground. We set up our tents, and enjoyed the best camp nachos you’ve ever imagined.

On Saturday morning, we ate a hot breakfast and headed back down to the valley to our usual Mist Trail hike. But there was nowhere to park! We drove an hour just to find a little lot with 8 spots and caught the shuttle back to our hike. It was the first of a series of detours in our day.

The hike up the Mist Trail was brutal. There was more water than you can imagine, and it was so tough to get through the “mist” (which on that day was more like a hurricane). But we made it, and decided rather than go down the Mist Trail, that we’d hike up and over the John Muir Trail. It was more climbing, and longer, but drier and safer.

Delays with the valley shuttles and some inopportune rain forced us to order pizza in the valley for dinner, and return to camp in the dark. We were grateful that our tents were dry, and we made the most of the evening with a campfire and some s’mores.

We took it easy on Sunday morning, and headed home, grateful for the experience, and grateful to wrap up a really fun year with this latest iteration of the ESCAPE Club.

Next year will bring its own changes, and we’ll have new challenges, and new adventures. But we’re excited about what we’ve accomplished, and grateful to be able to engage with our community in such a meaningful way. Thanks again for all of your support–your kind words of encouragement, your financial donations, your prayers, your time and effort. We’re looking forward to a new crop of kids and a new year coming soon!

See the full story of our weekend here!