Recently, Honda reached out to ask if I wanted to come to Yosemite and test drive their new Honda Passport. They said I could bring someone along for the ride, so immediately I called home. You see, my mom and I had done a work trip before- to South Dakota- and it was so much fun. She had never been to Yosemite, and even though I was just there for the 5th time last month I couldn't pass up this opportunity to show her around.
I don't get to see my mom very often, she lives in Kansas and since my early 20's I've lived everywhere but Kansas, most recently I moved to Providence, RI from San Diego. When I called she responded with an enthusiastic, "Hell yes! I'll clear my calendar!" The trip was super last minute, but she packed and even figured out what hikes she was interested in doing in no time at all.
The day we arrived we checked in with Honda, grabbed our new 2019 Honda Passport, and headed to the park so I could show her around the valley. When we pulled in, and she saw El Capitan looming overhead, she was in awe and said how she just couldn't imagine how people climb it at all. Cruising around the park in the Passport was easy and comfortable. The drive into the park can be windy and long, but the vehicle handled it really well and made it feel like the smoothest ride out there. After a little exploration we headed back to AutoCamp Yosemite for dinner and then sleep because we had been traveling all day and we were toast. Also, I wanted to be up well before sunrise to go back into the park and show my mom one of the best views ever at sunrise.
We woke up around 5 AM the next morning and drove into the park. I wanted to go up to Glacier Point so the drive ended up being over an hour and a half. We stopped briefly at Tunnel View because color was starting to creep into the sky. We arrived just in time to see the first sun rays burst onto the landscape and my mom couldn't believe her eyes. It's so fun to show your parents places that you love and fall in love with the landscape all over again through their eyes. I'm sure I'll do the same one day with my kids.
We snapped some photos, ate breakfast at Washburn Point, and headed back down to hike to Inspiration Point. Also, known as Artist's Point, Inspiration Point is a short 2.6 mile round trip hike with the trailhead beginning at Tunnel View parking area. There used to be a road up to there and that is where everyone would stop and take in the view because that's as far as the road went into the park. It was a great hike with not many people on the trail, and my mom and I enjoyed the peace and solitude.
Next, my friend Claire happened to be in the park that day so we met up with her to hike to Vernal Falls. There were a lot more people on this trail, but it's because you get to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls ever. It was not my first time seeing Vernal Falls, but every time I see it I love to wait for the rainbow to come out at the bottom of the falls. My mom loves rainbows, so I didn't tell her this was going to happen and she thought it was magnificent!
We had about used up all the daylight and my mom and I needed to head back to AutoCamp for dinner so we bid farewell to Claire and drove the long, windy road down and out the southwest side of the park.
When we arrived back at camp we were welcomed with delicious pizza and we were able to talk to others about their awesome days. Thanks to Honda for helping to create memories and adventures that will last a lifetime.
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Kat Carney is an outdoor adventure photographer. She loves surfing, climbing, canyoneering, and mountaineering, and can often be found wandering around both the east and west coasts in her built out suburban. See her adventure wedding portfolio at www.swellandstone.com.