Stange Family Vacation 2017 | Yosemite

September 17, 2017

Visiting Yosemite has become one of my favorite family traditions. We stay in a cabin by Bass Lake and when we're not out exploring, we're swimming in the lake, which has been INSANELY full the last two times we've visited!

Our trip to Yosemite this year was especially eventful because Andrew and I were able to hike up Half Dome together! If you don't know what Half Dome is, imagine the biggest boulder of solid granite rock that's been sliced in half, towering in the sky.

I've been wanting to do this hike since we first visited Yosemite and luckily for us, the timing was just right and we were selected from the raffle to receive permits!

The hike up was absolutely beautiful! My sister-in-law, Maya, and I were especially in awe over Vernal Falls on the Mist Trail.

We did encounter a rattlesnake at one point, which was pretty exciting, especially since the hiker behind us was just walking towards us while we were taking a rest, then jumped about 10 feet in the air exclaiming "Sh;t!" as he came back down and the Rattlesnake didn't even seem phased! So that was exciting!

Before the final ascent up half dome, you have to climb up sub-dome, about a thousand switch backs of stairs, and after that, you see the two cables with wood planks at intervals up the side of Half Dome at about a 45 degree angle. I know 45 degrees doesn't sound too impressive, but you'd be surprised.

There was a bit of the line (as everyone needs to stop from time-to-time to catch their breaths), so I decided to do something really stupid and take that picture of Andrew while we were climbing. I'm really glad I didn't die and that the picture actually turned out descent... See what I did there? ;)

Getting to the top of Half Dome was absolutely incredible.

The hike back down was mostly uneventful until about 20 minutes from the car to take us back to the cabin. It started POURING rain! It only took about 5 minutes for us all to be totally soaked. What a way to end, right?

Despite our squelchy shoes and sopping wet backpacks, none of us regretted going on the hike. It's one of the coolest things I've ever done.

And because I'm a birth photographer and simply can't help myself, I have to say that climbing up the cables to the summit of Half Dome reminded me a lot of childbirth. Everyone was encouraging everyone else saying some of the exact phrases I've heard husbands and family members say to mothers. "You're almost there!" "Just a little longer!" "You can do it!" Way to go, Half Dome Hikers. You'd all make terrific doula's. ;)

The rest of the time we spent up at Bass Lake and Yosemite was relaxing and awe-inspiring as well, especially Nelder Grove. I loved seeing the looks on my kiddo's faces as they stared up the massive tree trunks of Giant Sequoia's! These children remind me to always be curious and maintain that sense of wonder about our world.

I'm so grateful for the memories we were able to make on our vacation together this summer, and although I'm always sad to see summertime go, I also love to see where the fall leads. Thanks for keeping up with me and my family and just appreciating us and celebrating the fun times we have together. These memories are the stuff that families are made of and I'm so glad that we get to make some of them in Yosemite.


Susan is a birth photographer/videographer serving Chandler, Arizona and surrounding cities. Considering a photographer for your birth? Contact Susan for EDD availability.

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