The sore throat blossomed into a full-on cold, but I was determined to not let it keep me from the park. S did all the driving today, and I slept in the car as she shuttled us from place to place.
We had spent two days outside of the iconic Yosemite Valley, but now that we were mid-week (with less weekenders around), we ventured towards the Valley. First stop: Glacier Point, a high point overlooking the valley. There had been a hotel/lodge here until a 1969 fire, but now it's just a gift shop and viewing area. You can see most of the iconic images from Glacier Point, including Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls:
There is a hike from Glacier Point down to the valley floor, but I wasn't feeling up to that long of a hike, so instead we took a smaller hike to Sentinel Dome.
Then, down to the valley floor, where the monoliths rise up around you like gods. The rock faces climb almost vertically, but the valley floor is lush and green. Lots of wildlife: birds, deer, squirrels. Lots of people: lodging, camping, rafting, hiking. We parked the car and went for lunch at the historic (and outrageously expensive) Ahwahnee Hotel. The Ahwahnee was built specifically to attract well-heeled people to the park, and it truly is a masterpiece: big ceilings, huge beams, beautiful decor. I wanted to experience the hotel, so we lunched there and walked around the grounds afterwards.
After lunch, we tried to hop on a tour of the valley, but they were booked up. Instead, we checked out the visitor center, the Ansel Adams Gallery, and then drove back to the Lodge. I was still a zombie, shuffling along, falling asleep frequently. When we got back to the Lodge, I laid down in the bed at 5.30 and asked S to wake me at 6. She did, and I refused to get out of bed. I slept (fitfully) from 5.30pm until 7.30 the next morning...