Greetings from Yosemite National Park

My heart thudded wildly as I stepped off the trail and hovered near the edge of the drop-off.

2,000 feet below, Yosemite Valley separated the monolith I stood atop and the one adjacent from me. Usually when my heart raced it was because I was frightened, or anxious, or nervous–but that morning the complete awe that I felt for my surroundings set my blood pumping through my veins and my cheeks flushing bright pink.

In May I had had the fortunate opportunity to spend my summer in Yosemite, and on that late July morning, as I gazed at the wide expanse of beauty vibrating with color around me, I knew that the summer would soon come to a close. Within two weeks I would be returning to civilization; to Verizon’s LTE cellphone reception, to classes and fast food and exams and bills and nice haircuts and all-nighters and stress and daydreaming-in-class and Netflix and–

But right then I was not thinking about any of that. I was simply smiling and feeling the soft breeze brush my bare arms, inhaling the scent of pine, and gazing at the awesome shadow of Half Dome in the distance.

I was simply being. Because that is what wilderness does to me; it allows me to escape my daily routine and live presently, effortlessly. And that is something I think all people should have the opportunity to experience, wherever their outdoor adventure may be.

Until next time, Yosemite.

Sincerely,
Maya

Yosemite National Park

With its sculpted granite rock formations, its towering ancient sequoia trees, and its spectacular waterfalls, it's no wonder Yosemite is one of the most celebrated national parks in the world. Emerging from the park’s famous Tunnel View is a transformative experience, showcasing the jaw-dropping, iconic sight of El Capitan rising from the valley floor with Bridalveil Falls plummeting from the rock and Half Dome shining in the background. The park also features meadows and streams, historic buildings, and vast wilderness.

State(s): California

Established: 1890

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