Yosemite, the Girl Next Door

I flew all the way to the Himalayas but what I found there is also in my own backyard.

Yosemite is like the girl next door. You don’t realize how beautiful she is until, well…you realize how beautiful she is. It’s like you wake up one morning and, through your bathroom window, you catch a glimpse of her brushing her hair. Instead of sneaking into your dad’s magazine pile, you could have been spying on Sophia Loren all this time from your own backyard.

The impact of such spectral beauty is earth-shattering, heart-stopping, much too hyphenated for words. You are ruined for life. The air inhaled and exhaled by mere mortals will never again tickle the cilia of your nasal passages. You will tape dried corn kernels to your knees and crawl for miles for a sniff of such rarified air.

Yosemite is a conundrum. Crawling with visitors, far too many for any ecosystem to sustain, it is also a place that belongs on every bucket list. Despite the hordes of screaming children, people with no teeth, monster trucks, and men in camouflage garb, it is truly a Great Wonder of the World, right up there with the al-Hambra, Taj Mahal, Mount Fuji, Roman Colosseum, Hagia Sophia, Chichen Itza, the Eiffel Tower, and Curly Fries.

It is too easy to take the familiar for granted. I vow, from this day forward, to make an earnest effort to view my immediate world, the one in which I live day to day, through the virgin eyes of a tourist. The vineyards of Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Chateneuf du Pape will have nothing over Napa and especially Sonoma. The Costa Brava and Amalfi Coast will pale in the shadow of Big Sur where the mountains meet the sea. The girl next door will forever eclipse the female perfection of Sophia Loren, Gong Li, and Queen Latifah.

And, four hours outside of San Francisco, there is the magnificence of the High Sierras and Yosemite.

Near Wawona Campground

El Capitan

Half Dome

Louis the Wonderdog, prepared for the elements


Bridal Veil Falls



I can think of so many names for this but, woefully, it is simply Yosemite Falls…


Scenes from Yosemite Valley















8 thoughts on “Yosemite, the Girl Next Door

  1. Pingback: Throwback Thursday: Side Trip (part deux) « The Sophomore Slump

    • Rommel! Are you still in Okinawa?

      Thanks for the shout-out, kindred spirit. I will be traveling across the islands from Nov 13 to Dec 1. How cool would it be to connect over a drink, perhaps at the Park Hyatt for a Lost in Translation moment, though I suspect neither of us is ever really lost or in translation.

  2. Your eloquence shines here, magie. Yosemite truly is ever-picturesque. It’s so high in my bucket list. I’m going to beat myself to death if I don’t get there.
    Awesome writing. Excellent, excellent photography. I picked the right one to feature you.

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