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—A walk through Yosemite—

Story by Cory Maryott January 13th, 2015

Up We go

Saturday, January 10, 2015.

Four friends and I headed up to Yosemite National Park for an InstaMeet hosted by Chris Burkard. A few of us, myself included, had never visited the park before, so we all were looking forward to this adventure.

Our morning started before sunrise—we woke up at 4:30 am and were on the road by 5:30. The drive from San Francisco to Yosemite is about four hours, so we stopped for coffee along the way and went ahead full throttle. After driving through what felt like an endless suburban strip mall and series of winding mountain roads, we finally made it into the park.

Janelle was kind enough to drive us the entire trip. We were jamming to tunes along the way in the Audi we rented.
We instantly found ourselves steeped in the beauty of the park. With so many incredible views, we had to make a few stops before meeting up with the rest of the people gathering for the Instameet.
Jeffrey Gerson, always with his Hasselblad snapping gorgeous photos.
Zach Cole ventures into the meadow to get a photo.
"PULL OVER!!" —Liz Gilmore, upon spotting the waterfall.

MEET Chris Burkard

We finally met up with the larger group that came to Yosemite for the InstaMeet. Hundreds of people showed up, and I even ran into some friends from Los Angeles. I overheard one person say he drove up all the way from San Diego for the meet.

After a round of hellos we chatted with the meet’s organizer, Chris Burkard, who gave us a rundown on climbers who were making a historic climb up the face of El Capitan. Chris also gave us the scoop on cool parts of the park to explore, and pointed us in the direction of Vernal Falls. So, onward we went.

—Be sure to check out the #YNPinstameet hashtag on Instagram to see what the other hundreds of people shot during their trip!

Check out Chris's stunning landscape photography on Instagram, @ChrisBurkard

Towards Vernal Falls

After hearing from Chris how breathtaking the Vernal Falls route is, we started our trek. Before heading out we ran into Kate and Melinda, friends and fellow Instagrammers from San Francisco, who joined us for the adventure. The path to the falls was beautifully wooded with fragrant California bay laurel trees and a variety of conifers. The air was crisp and fresh, but overall the weather was quite warm for a mid-winter day.

Up we climb
Kate strikes a pose
Moss covered rocks and California Bay Laurels guided us along the slopes.
Getting close to the falls! We could hear it in the distance at this point.
Light dappled shade along the path
Naturally, we all took plenty of #selfies
"Adventure is out there!"
We made a little friend along the way.
Beauty, everywhere we looked.

Reaching the Falls

After a long trek up the slopes, we finally reached Vernal Falls. It was getting chilly, and we could now feel the mist gently on our faces.

An old set of stairs lead up to the falls. They're entirely made of stone, and a little uneven.
Vernal Falls— Can you spot Kate?
A little chilly, but well worth the trek.
The sun began to set on the park, and so we headed home.
Footnote: You can find us all on Instagram: Cory (@coryiander); Jeffrey (@jeffreydgerson); Liz (@elizabethgilmore); Zach (@zachacole); Janelle (@janelleburdette); Kate (@katedavison); Melinda (@melindaearle)
Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Village, CA, United States