I’d Rather Be….

That little bridge in Yosemite is my gateway to relaxation

This week’s photoblog prompt is, as the title suggests, about something that I’d rather be doing.

When I saw the prompt, initially I was thinking about being on a road trip. Many of the trips we’ve done have included a road trip, travelling from one place to another with a list of places to visit. There’s something about the open road and the promise of somewhere new.

As I was thinking about what to write, I realised that actually, where I’d rather be is by the little bridge.

Stoneman Bridge offers some great views of Half Dome and is the gateway to Sentinel Beach.

The little bridge in question is in Yosemite National Park. Spanning the Merced River that runs through Yosemite, Stoneman Bridge is the gateway to the stunning Sentinel Beach, which offers a secluded little rest stop. It’s perfect for swimming and gazing up at the views of Half Dome. To get to the beach area, hang a left after crossing the bridge, taking the unassuming dirt pathway through the trees until you reach the stony beach.

The pathway through the trees doesn’t look that promising at first but it soon opens out onto the Merced river

This little bridge has become a bit of a symbol for me. The first time we visited Yosemite, we’d spotted the area the day before heading up Half Dome. Seeing that it was a fairly secluded spot, we planned to come back the day after our big hike to rest and swim in the water. It became cemented in my mind as a place to relax and now every time I visit, it’s on my ‘must do’ list.

Surrounded by huge granite cliffs, Sentinel Beach is the perfect place to relax.

Usually, when people say places are ‘magical’ I start to think that they are exaggerating, or at least prone to being a bit dramatic, however, for this location, I think that the word fits. Particularly as this was the setting for our closest encounter yet with a deer.

We backed off slowly, giving it lots of space but still managed to grab a couple of photos.

We were playing frisbee on the beach. It was later on in the day and there were very few people around. I could hear some voices on the other side of the banking and looking up, I realised that they were all pointing over to our group with their cameras in hand. Not one to think that I’m ever good photo material, I immediately looked behind me to see a deer silently wandering out of the tree line on to the shore. I let the others in our group know *quietly* and we slowly moved back, keeping a respectful distance from this beautiful animal. It stood fairly still, exploring the ground and the water for, what felt like, five minutes, while we gaped open-mouthed at the opportunity to be so close up to something this stunning in the wild. After a few minutes, it wandered away, returning into the trees as stealthy as it arrived.

Like a ninja, this one sneaked up on us, wandering really close to us as we sunbathed.

We spent the rest of the afternoon floating in the river and soaking up the last of the day’s light. Freezing cold at first, the water soon warmed up and it was so peaceful to hear the sounds of the water in such a beautiful setting. Yosemite’s granite cliffs surrounded the river and it was such a stunning view from the middle of the lake.

Housekeeping Camp can be seen just through the trees on the bank of the Merced river.

Stoneman Bridge is my gateway to that relaxation spot in Yosemite. I know that as soon as we reach the bridge, the little pathway will lead us through to the river and the small stony beach. On any given day, that is where I’d rather be.

Where would you rather be? Let us know your favourite places in the comments 🙂