2014 marks the 150th year of Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Yosemite Grant Act that set aside Yosemite Valley and neighboring Mariposa Grove for its preservation and subsequent enjoyment as public domain. It paved the way for the establishment of the national park system in the United States. Today, Yosemite National Park encompasses 3,026 square kilometers of vast wilderness and spectacular scenery in central California near its border with Nevada. It is known for its numerous waterfalls, towering granite cliffs, and giant sequoia trees.
What better way to start the new year than looking back at the travel highlights of the past year? 2013 was a year of stunning scenery and spectacular land and seascapes in my travels. My wife Reizel and I were able to cross a few more items from our travel bucket list. In February I went to California to be with my wife on our wedding anniversary. She was in Silicon Valley at that time for an eight-week business trip. I arrived via a direct MNL-SFO flight on a Friday evening US West Coast time, and after having dinner and a couple hours of rest, we (along with the gang of officemates who were also on business trip) started past midnight on a 750-mile (1,200-kilometer) drive to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Yosemite National Park is a national park in eastern central California known for its grand waterfalls, impressive granite cliffs, towering sequoias, and vast wilderness. The bulk of visitors to Yosemite converge on Yosemite Valley, an 18 km2 glacier-carved valley where most of the park facilities and natural landmarks are located. On our visit to Yosemite last February 2013, we stopped at Tunnel View, a viewpoint at the end of Wawona Tunnel, where three of Yosemite’s prominent landmarks can be seen in one frame: El Capitan granite cliff on the left, Bridalveil Falls on the right, and Half Dome straight ahead in the center.