Yosemite National Park – Part 2 – The Bear!

Today was our third day at Yosemite National Park.  We decided to switch things up and rent bikes for the day, which was fun because neither of us had ridden one in 15 years or so.  It was a great way to see the park and enjoy the day’s perfect 70-degree weather, which had us returning to favorite spots to recapture photos in full sunlight. Given the amount of snow and rainfall in recent weeks, we lost track of the number of waterfalls viewable in the park, but here again are Bridalveil and its bigger brother Yosemite Falls: the tallest waterfall in the US and the third tallest in the world.
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Yosemite features many shades of green: rivers, moss, trees, and sprawling meadows.  They are all nicely contrasted against the blue sky and various grey hues in the surrounding granite walls.  Here are some examples, including the most iconic of the Park’s granite formations: Half Dome and El Capitan.
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Thanks to the park’s millions of annual tourists, the squirrels and birds here are fat and happy!  Today at lunch we saw perhaps the fattest squirrel ever, who somehow managed to stuff himself with at least 10 french-fries and half a hamburger while we cheered him on.  Just look at those fat rolls! We’ve been very good not to feed them, as Park rules require, but other folks can’t seem to resist their gentle pleadings.

But the most exciting thing we encountered today was Lisa’s first bear!  Yes, the weeks of searching high-and-low finally paid-off: we saw “Orange #66” (his tagged “name”, according to a ranger), a 7-year-old male black bear that weighs 250 lbs, doing “bear stuff” in one of the larger meadows.  We watched him for 30 minutes or so and took what photos we could from the great distance the rangers kept us at.
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