Explore the wonders of the Earth. In this site, you will find some information about hiking trails, some of the natural wonders in the places we explored, some itineraries of our travels, some road trip information, some health and fitness tips to enjoy the outdoors, and more of the simple joys from our natural world. Life, like hiking, has lots of ups and down, rugged and steep terrains, switchbacks, and beautiful scenic turns.- Betchai
Coming into Yosemite National Park from the west, the first waterfall that comes into sight is Bridalveil Fall. The scenery above is a roadside beauty that could be seen after emerging from the tunnel in Hwy 120. There is a viewpoint right after the tunnel with wide enough parking for people driving in to stop and take in their first glimpse of Yosemite Valley. There is no sign before the tunnel that there is a scenic vista right after, but if one follows the speed limit inside the tunnel, they would not miss for sure the scenic vista that follows right after emerging from the tunnel. But of course, for those who are speeding, am sure, this vista is missed. Here are two more pictures from the vista right after the tunnel in Hwy 120.
One of the places in California that we frequent for a vacation yet never get tired of is Big Sur. What I love most about Big Sur is that it combines two of the Earth's features that I love, the mountains and the ocean. Though between two California big cities, Los Angeles to the South and San Francisco to the North, yet this strip of Pacific Coast appears as wild as it can be.
Summer is near, are you excited, or do you dread it? Though all seasons are great for me, because each season is unique and we get to see the many faces of nature. Photography wise, my favorite season is spring! Despite my allergies, I just can't get enough of the blooms, whether they be wild in the fields or in garden.
The Flower Fields, Carlsbad, San Diego County
I love to imagine myself as the "flower fairy", hahaha, dancing in the middle of the flowers. But could I dance? haha, that is the big question!! But I could smile, at least! :)
No Dancing :) But Rejoicing
In terms of photography, after spring, my next favorite season is fall. I love how the autumn leaves become like flowers in terms of colors.
Hiking wise, my favorite season is winter. Somehow, I find myself being able to hold better in cold than in heat.
Hiking in heat gives me very bad headache most of the time. However, I still do try my best to hike even in 70s F (or low 20s Celsius ) temperature.
So, where is summer in my list? Is it my most dreaded season? Hmmmm, actually, summer is my MOST FAVORITE SEASON! Surprise? Or no?
Let me count the ways why summer is my most favorite season. Or actually, let me share with you the ways to cool down this summer! They are not only my way of cooling down, they are the very reason why I love summer!
picture collage done through fotor.com ( to learn more how I create my photo collage through fotor.com, you can visit the post I wrote for The Salitype Society here )
Saturday: April 12, 2014 @ The Buttefly Jungle, San Diego Zoo Safari Park
I know, I am not even done sharing our recent spring adventure at Big Sur, Yosemite National Park and Eastern Sierra, yet, here I am, sharing our Weekend Wanderings not even a week after we got back from our 9 days adventure trip. :) We got back home Sunday night from Eastern Sierra, Monday- Friday, back to work, Saturday, well, time for weekend wanderings again! Our rest and relaxation is not couching at home, but enjoying the gifts outdoors. For those familiar with the rest and rejuvenation brought about by physical activities I am sure could relate so well that exercising is healing, allowing our body to breathe in therapeutic inspiration and breathe out stresses.
Anyway, last Saturday, we did not do any strenuous hike, because we wanted to enjoy the gifts of "butterfly joys" @ The Butterfly Jungle in San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Though after the butterflies, we took a long walk as usual at the Safari Park, but I will share the other non-butterfly photos later. Meanwhile, let me share here some butterflies photos I took last weekend.
Camera Settings: Manual, f/2.8, 1/160 seconds , ISO 100
Camera Settings: Manual, f/2.8, 1/100 seconds, ISO 100 ( and same settings for all pictures below )
In the current scenario there is a rage for health and weight loss supplements. People have started living fast life. Thus they depend more on junk food than home cooked meals. Also there is more dependency on machines and the physical activities have reduced. All these factors have led to sedentary lifestyle. Due to sedentary lifestyle there are cases of obesity and related ailments all over the globe. People understand the importance of weight loss. Thus they want to stay fit and healthy. They want to lose weight. But they want to try quick methods and thus they feel that weight loss supplements like hcg drops, meal replacements, fat blocking supplements etc. would be useful to them. There is also a craze for hcg diet wherein there should be intake of very few calories. This may lead to malnutrition.
Clear all your misconceptions
Actually there are misconceptions in the minds of people in regards to weight loss and weight loss supplements. People feel that merely with such supplements they would lose weight. But it is not so. There are some myths and some facts that one should be clear with. Just read the information below to find out why losing weight naturally is better than using supplements.
1. Rapid weight loss: Some weight loss supplements may lead to rapid weight loss. Rapid weight loss may have serious implications on health. If you are trying drops of hcg then you should have knowledge about hcg drop side effects. This will help you in taking the right decision.
2. Cost of supplements: The reason why you should rely on natural methods of weight loss including exercise and diet control is because of the high cost of weight loss supplements. Anything that is novel in the market and creates a rage has a high cost for the time being.
3. Exercise and yoga can tone muscles: With yoga and exercises there would be muscle toning which is good for your body. Weight loss supplements merely cut down the calorie intake either by curbing the hunger or blocking the fat.
therapeutic cardio (hiking) and yoga (loosening) exercises in the great outdoors!
Losing weight naturally helps you in longer run
If you lose weight naturally by diet control and physical activity there will be a longer run impact. It means that you won’t gain weight too quickly. Some weight loss supplements like hoodia, garcinia cambogia are addictive and thus as soon as you leave them there will again be weight gain. Even diet pills behave similarly. It is better that you make a schedule for yourself wherein you take up workouts on regular basis.
You should take more of natural foods like salads, soups, fruits etc. Some weight loss supplements can lead to problems like stomach upsets.
For example hcg drop side effects include problems like depression, pulmonary problems etc. Thus if you make a healthy comparison, you will realize that natural methods of weight loss is much better than relying merely on weight loss supplements.
Before I proceed to Day 5, let me share first the summary of days 1- 4 of our Big Sur, Yosemite and Eastern Sierra Road Trip from San Diego, which I shared in part 1 of this series.
Day 1- drove from San Diego to Big Sur
Day 2- explored Big Sur, with hikes at Point Lobos State Park, Garappata State Park, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. We also revisited Pfeiffer Beach.
Day 3 - sightseeing drive from Big Sur to San Mateo via coastal highway, with stops at Moss Landing and Santa Cruz. We did very little hiking and sightseeing this day because of very heavy rain.
Day 4- From San Francisco International Airport, we drove to Yosemite National Park and explored some parts of the Valley.
Now, moving to Days 5- 9.
Day 5: Explored some parts of Yosemite Valley, then, hiked to Vernal and Nevada Falls.
El Capitan @ Yosemite Valley
hike to Vernal and Nevada Fall via John Muir Trail
Vernal and Nevada Fall is considered to be the signature hike in Yosemite National Park. The Park ranger said that if we only have time for one hike, then, Vernal and Nevada Fall must it be, especially that these two waterfalls can't be seen at all from the Valley Floor. I've done this hike before, but it was summer 2008. The trail climbs 2000 ft in 3.5 miles. I believe the early summer hike was a lot better than our hike this year, which was in between periods of snow. I was counting how many times I was hit by a snowball that were falling from trees. But it is not the rough, icy and slippery conditions that made me think the summer hike to Vernal and Nevada Falls was a lot better, it was the closure of Mist Trail. The mist from waterfalls that still turns to snow because of freezing temperatures makes the Mist trail not safe this time of the year. I was a bit disappointed not to see the beauty of Vernal Fall face to face, but only from the footbridge.
A few days before our trip, the weather forecast does not look nice in Yosemite, however, when I called for a change of date, I could not change dates without paying for 2 nights lodging, because of 7-days cancellation policy in Yosemite. We did not want to pay for something without us enjoying it, thus, we just came prepared. We brought with us tire chains ( required in California for mountainous icy driving ), ice trekkers for icy hiking and hiking poles. The ice trekkers and hiking poles really helped us a lot since the trails past Vernal Fall footbridge started to become snow covered, some parts very icy, and getting icier to the top.
Please visit my previous post about hiking Vernal and Nevada Fall if you want to learn more details of this hike. Though I may write about this trail again, for a spring or icy hike, since the last time we hiked this trail was summer 2008.
Day 6: Hike Upper Yosemite Falls Trail, then, drove to Bakersfield after.
Yosemite Falls from the Valley
More than 90% of the tourists in Yosemite see Yosemite Falls from the Valley floor only. A small portion of the visitors would take the hike up Upper Yosemite Falls trail to be up close with the falls. Upper Yosemite Falls hike is a giant stairmaster, the trail climbs 2600 ft in 3.8 miles. It is like climbing to the top of Empire State building via stairs not just once but more than twice. But unlike climbing stairs in a building, the hike up is surrounded by gorgeous scenery around.
Like our hike in Vernal and Nevada Falls, the trail was getting icier and icier towards the top. Getting up close to the thundering power of Yosemite Falls and seeing the Valley below instead of looking up high from the Valley is worth the climb.