Once our cross-country Amtrak train adventure ended, we took an all day tour of Yosemite National Park. Our son, David, has been trying to persuade us to make this visit for a long time. This was our chance to do it. The 1100 square mile national park hosts nearly 4 million visitors per year. Galen Clark first discovered the Mariposa Grove of giant Sequoia trees in 1856 and was able to secure legislation to protect the area. Thirty-four years later, naturalist John Muir convinced Congress to create the National Park System with Yosemite as its first National Park.
A full day's tour was no where near enough time to see everything. Still, what we did see was spectacular! Unfortunately, the Mariposa Grove of Sequoia trees was closed for maintenance work. In a day full of surprises, one additional surprise awaited us. Part of this tour included lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel. Expecting a set menu from which to choose, we found that it being Sunday, we could partake of the very excellent lunch buffet (and excellent it was). This could not have been a better day nor experience. However, one more surprise awaited us. On the return trip, our tour guide, Antonio, made a side stop at Treasure Island for a fantastic night-time view of the Bay Bridge. It was truly beautiful.