We first visited Yosemite National Park in 2009, spending a week exploring Yosemite Valley filled with all the famous park landmarks. But, as those of you who have visited Yosemite are well aware, once is never enough.

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Our first hike in the park was memorable because we hiked the Mist Trail, climbing ever steadily up past Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls onto a beautiful picturesque plateau.

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The hike consisted of 5.4 miles with a 2000-foot elevation gain and while we thought we were in pretty good shape we headed straight for the hot tub that night to soak our weary muscles.

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Even so, we approached the following day hike gingerly and with less purpose to gaining altitude on foot. The first seed of getting a camper was born from a trip up to the top of the park to visit Tenaya Lake.

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This lake is magical and as we spent time walking around and taking it all in we noticed a couple kicking back in lounge chairs outside their trailer. Each was reading a book, for all appearances, without a care in the word. What! The idea of an RV, spending time in the great outdoors, stuck with us; and, here we in 2014 doing just that!

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Traveling south from Lake Tahoe, we set up our base camp at Mono Vista RV Park where we were able to take a day trip to Yosemite by way of Tioga Pass (something we had not been able to do on our first visit). For those of you who like to drive memorable roads, Tioga Pass is exceptionable and serves as the eastern entry point for Yosemite. The road is built into the side of the mountains and at 9,993 feet of elevation it is the highest highway pass in California with some of the best views in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

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We entered the park to return to Tenaya Lake and even though we noted the serious drought in Tuolumne Meadows there is no denying that the natural beauty of Yosemite unfolded in full abundance.

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Up Next: Death Valley

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