My first visit to Yosemite National Park was at age 12 and I have been back dozens of times since.

Though I have completed all but one of the day hikes from Yosemite Valley (El Capitan awaits), I had not done the easiest one until last Saturday. The morning Laura and I hiked the Valley Loop Trail, it was clear and bright – a beautiful day.

On our way to Bridalveil Fall, Laura spotted a bear on the trail about 50 yards ahead of us. We calmly left the trail, shifted our hike northwest and headed for El Capitan instead.

On the way back from El Cap, we came across a break in the brush, through which we could see a meadow with Half Dome in the distance. That is the picture you see at the top. As many times as I have been to Yosemite, the only view better than this is from the entrance/exit to the Wawona Tunnel.