Greetings from Yosemite National Park

The first time I visited Yosemite my then boyfriend suggested we go for my birthday. We were late leaving town, so by the time we got there it was already dark, and I couldn’t really see anything. We checked in at Camp Curry, found our tent cabin, and turned in for the night. The next morning as we left the tent cabin we walked back to our car to put some things away and get some breakfast out of our cooler.

Before the story goes any further it’s important to know that for about a year leading up to this trip any time my boyfriend said something sweet and romantic I would give him a wicked grin and say “is that a proposal?” The mischievous part of me enjoyed watching him get flustered.

Now, back to the story. It had rained at some point, so there were occasionally puddles on the paths from the tent cabins to the cars and the other buildings at Camp Curry. As we emerged from our tent cabin, and walked towards the parking lot I had a chance to look around me and take in the awesome spectacle that is Yosemite. I was stunned and excited. It was such a treat to be in such an amazing place. At one point I joked to my boyfriend that we could pretend, and tell everyone we were Mr. and Mrs. ____. He gave me a grin equally as wicked as anything I had given him in the previous year, and said “we could.” The way he said it, and the look he gave me made it clear that he would like that and was, essentially, proposing to me. He said that he would have gone down on one knee, but we were standing over a puddle.

Later he told me that originally he had thought maybe he would propose when we visited Bridal Veil Falls, but the line I gave him was just too perfect. Also, when we had talked about marriage in the past I had said that I didn’t feel the need to have an engagement ring, but after his proposal my finger felt rather bare, so one of our first stops that day was to the Ahwahnee gift shop, where we picked out a lovely silver and turquoise ring.

We spent most of the rest of the day hiking up to the top of Nevada Falls, possibly one of the most physically challenging things I had ever done, and then in the evening got dressed up and went to dinner at the Ahwahnee, where we had a truly wonderful meal. We were waited on by multiple people, especially our server, who joked around with us during the meal, and ended up making up a story about our visit there which included spies and all sorts of other fantastical elements. She really made the meal even more special than it would have been by itself.

The next day, however, every muscle in my body was so sore it hurt to move, and I threatened to change my mind about marrying him, telling him I wasn’t sure he wasn’t a sadist. Instead I started working out, and six years later, on our fifth wedding anniversary we hiked to the top of Nevada Falls again. This time, on the following morning I practically bounced out of bed (in our tent cabin), and suggested we rent bicycles and go for a ride around the valley, which we did.

We’ve made many visits to Yosemite over the years since my first time. It’s a place we go to recharge our batteries, whether we’re enjoying the higher water levels at Happy Isles in the spring time, or the slight chill to the air when we make an anniversary (and birthday!) trip in September. We don’t manage to make it there every year, but if we go too many years without a visit we both begin to feel the need.

M. Virginia

Yosemite National Park

With its sculpted granite rock formations, towering ancient sequoia trees and spectacular waterfalls, it's no wonder Yosemite is one of the most celebrated national parks in the world.

State(s): California

Established: 1890

“The park system provides people with a chance to experience something special, sometimes something so special that it can only be found in that place. The parks remind us of the wonders of nature, or the significance of historical events. They take us out of the everyday, and can help put our lives in perspective.”

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