morning in Yosemite valleyThere just Outside the trail-head bathrooms, mounted on a log, was a relic. The toll phone surprised me when I picked up the receiver and heard the clear, low tone. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one and it worked!Phone Yosemite Valley That was just one of the thoughtful discoveries to be enjoyed in Yosemite Park.

While we were there early on a busy weekend the bathrooms were clean or being cleaned, the trails empty of any trash and well-designed loops managed the crowds growing throughout the day. I wished for strategically placed drinking faucets but not the infrastructure that would take. Recycling bins for plastic bottles would also be a help.

Yosemite is astounding most any time but in the summer, it’s best seen early in the morning before crowds dampen the natural beauty with long lines of traffic, searching for parking, dodging rented bikes or struggling to get a picture of a waterfall with a busload of visitors just out of frame.

Yosemite valley reflectionBefore 9 am I was standing in a field, enjoying the sound of a creek and pivoting slowly to take in the valley view, when my cell phone rang. My sister had no idea where I was and it was surreal to speak to her, calling from a street near San Francisco.

Lovely to connect with family no matter where and I relished it all the more just being in Yosemite Valley, which the first residents called Ahwahnee, The Land of the Gaping Mouth.

I was swallowed whole-heartedly.

Yosemite Valley is one of the most popular of the US National Parks. #findyourpark