Yosemite National Park
【Summary】If you’re thinking of traveling to Silicon Valley on business, don’t miss Yosemite. The chance to see this grand wonder of nature is truly the opportunity of a lifetime!
By Anthony C. LoBaido
In 1903, the leader of the free world, President Theodore Roosevelt, felt he just had to see Yosemite National Park. So in May of that same year, he traveled from the east coast all the way to California. Teddy Roosevelt was an eccentric person. He led the Rough Riders up San Juan Hill in Cuba. He moved the White House in Washington, D.C. to Oyster Bay, Long Island during the summers. Sometimes he hid from his Secret Service agents and dared them to find him. Traveling all the way to Yosemite was another of Teddy's grand and eccentric adventures. These days, there's even a picture of the late President taken during his visit to one of America's greatest national parks.
Yosemite is only about a three hour drive from Silicon Valley. People come from all over the world to see the park. They travel from Sweden and Russia and Australia and South Africa. They journey from China and Japan and South Korea and Indonesia. The campers and hikers at the park constitute a regular United Nations of sorts.
For those who are not ardent hikers, it's possible just to drive through the park. The fall months are particularly amazing, since you can see the colors of the changing leaves as you travel along the road. It's possible to get out of your vehicle and take short walks while following various trails. The wildlife is incredible. The opportunities for photography are seemingly endless. This is truly "God's Country."
One would find it difficult to explain just how wonderful Yosemite is with mere words. The official website is here. The park is gigantic – over 747,000 + acres. (An acre is roughly the size of American football field.) There are waterfalls and lakes and mountains and glaciers waiting to be explored. The highest elevation in the park is over 13,000 feet. Of the 7,000 plant species in the entire state of California, about one-fifth can be found in Yosemite. Talk about diversity!
El Capitan in Yosemite National Park is an awe inspiring sight
(Photograph by Anthony C. LoBaido)
Long before Teddy Roosevelt came to visit, President Abraham Lincoln – America's first "eco warrior" -- signed the Yosemite Grant in 1864. At first, Yosemite Valley was protected from development. And later a wider area became protected as well. This in effect was the springboard for the creation of the entire national park system in the United States.
The Miwok American Indian tribe is credited for coming up with the name "Yosemite." They referred to another tribal band, the Pai-Ute Indians, by saying, "they are killers." And that's what "Yosemite" means. When the first Europeans came through Yosemite in 1851 after the 1849 Gold Rush, they learned of this moniker, and the name somehow stuck.
The Wawona Tunnel Tree, a giant Sequoia, was one of the "early tourist attractions for Yosemite." It was believed to be already 300 years old when the Three Wise Men from the East brought gifts to the Christ child in Bethlehem.
When the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869, new possibilities for tourism emerged. Yet there was still an arduous and time consuming horseback ride required to see Yosemite. It would take decades to make the park more accessible. Yosemite National Park officially came into existence on October 1st, 1890. It was a great day indeed.
If you're thinking of traveling to Silicon Valley on business, don't miss Yosemite. The chance to see this grand wonder of nature is truly the opportunity of a lifetime!
Anthony C. LoBaido is a journalist, ghostwriter and photographer. He has worked in 53 nations around the world – from Laos to Lebanon, from Belize to Botswana and from Nepal to Namibia. He also published a book on the Kurds. Some of LoBaido’s favorite stories include attending the British Army’s jungle warfare training in Central America, retracing Lawrence of Arabia’s World War I trek through Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, investigating the blood diamonds of Sierra Leone as popularized in the Leonardo DiCaprio film by the same name, meeting “CNN hero” Aki Ra at one of his landmine digs in northern Cambodia, working with Time Magazine’s “Hero of Asia” Lek Chailert on her crusade to assist injured and abused elephants in Southeast Asia, rescuing HIV/Aids throw-away babies in the garbage dumps of Cape Town, South Africa, as well as visiting a leper colony in Myanmar. LoBaido’s articles have been cited by Ivy League universities such as Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania. As a photographer, LoBaido made National Geographic in 2014.
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