This was a very long day of exploring, with lots of driving. We took off early–before 8 am–from Lee Vining and entered Yosemite from the East, through Tioga Pass and the 40 miles of east-west road that cuts through some of the park; we only stopped a couple of times to look and take pictures–at the Olmsted overlook, from where one can see the Northern side of the Half Dome, with the tiny, tiny line of hikers that go up there every day, and at the one of the smaller Giant Sequoia groves toward the end, where we took a little 1-mile loop hike. Then we turned toward Yosemite Valley village, and actually found a parking spot in the big visitor parking lot–a feat that took a little patience and made us appreciate the ease with which we were able to maneuver the other, less overrun parks (even Grand Canyon with its 4.5 million visitors each year). We found ourselves some sandwiches in the Valley Village, which were only somewhat overpriced, and then walked to the lower Yosemite Fall and climbed over the huge granite boulders as close as we could to the Fall and the lake beneath it. Obviously, people know that in the summer, with little water coming down the Fall, you can swim up there, and there were dozens of people in and around the water. I just stuck my feet in, resisting the temptation to get all the way wet again. After we’d looped back to the parking lot, we decided to drive out of the village loop and to Glacier Point; we stopped multiple times along the way as well, and got some great photos of the village and the mountains above it, looking down from the higher road. A lot of places looked fun to hike to, especially Nevada and Vernal Falls, but I have to say others looked just plain crazy–especially the Half Dome as seen from the south, where you can’t fathom how people get up and down the structure. Mark used his tele to take some pictures of the people walking all the way on top and out to the edge at the end of their hike. He also shot some photos of the two mountain climbers that we watched on the cliff face of El Capitan, trying to pull their gear up on this huge ledge half-way up the mountain. It was fascinating, but completely bizarre as well. We drove the 20 or so miles back after having spent a little time at Glacier Point, and then decided to head out of the park, taking the South exit out of the park (stopping a very few more times on the way, including a ten-minute stop at the bigger Sequoia grove, Mariposa Grove). All in all, Yosemite, for all its beauty, was simply too crowded virtually everywhere we went, so we decided to head just past Fresno and then find our way to King’s Canyon / Sequoia National Park the next day. But that was quite a long drive, and we didn’t have a room and Chinese take-out to eat in it until about 9 pm, so we were very tired by the end of the day and fell asleep pretty quickly.