More than 30 years ago, I graduated from college, accepted my first "real" job, and decided to take a month off before starting that job. My idea was to explore the country in my little Austin Healy Sprite and to visit friends from college who had dispersed across the country. Somewhere in this adventure, I visited Yosemite, enjoyed the roads, took some pictures, and was on the next adventure. Although beautiful, I never told many stories of Yosemite, in part because it didn't seem all that adventurous.
All those years that I lived in California, I never made it back to Yosemite. Now 12 years after leaving California, I've been back.
So what's different after 30+ years? Well, the trees are a little taller.
Just kidding. How about, I have a better camera?
How about going there in winter (February) when the snow is gorgeous and the crowds are smaller.
The smell is wonderful. You can't beat the smell of a damp forest and melting snow running into a brook.
The problem 30 years ago was that it was a little too pretty, a little too civilized and controlled. At least I had a little British sports car with the top down and that I never knew when it was going to break down to provide adventure. Now we all wear designer outdoor gear, drive in reliable SUVs or vans loaded with every creature comfort. We have become a National Parks Poster version of ourselves and it makes me sad that we don't embrace risk the way we used to.