Recently married, Kaila and Mike came to Yosemite for their official wedding portraits. This was their first stop on a whirlwind trip through some of my favorite National Parks like Glacier and Yellowstone. They wanted to return to Yosemite for their wedding portraits as it holds such an important place in their lives – this is the place where Mike bent down on one knee to ask Kaila to join him on the the adventure of life.
It’s amazing to me how much of Yosemite we were able to see of the park in such a short time. Entering the park in the late afternoon, we were able to hike through meadows, take in waterfalls, and see world class views in Yosemite Valley. Together they held each other on the banks of the river, danced under Half Dome and looked across the valley from Tunnel View. I was even able to introduce them to one of my favorite spots in the valley, Fern Spring, a truly refreshing place. And that was all before we hiked out to Taft Point to watch the sunset while perched on top of the world.
One of the most satisfying parts of my job is being able to share some of these amazing places with someone for the first time and this day was no exception. Seeing a place like Taft Point for the first (or fiftieth) time is humbling. The ledge and the dropoff may look impressive in photographs, but until you stand there and feel the breeze come up the face of the rock as you inch closer to the edge, your stomach hasn’t experienced it. Kaila and Mike continued to gush about the beauty of the places we traveled, with Kaila even stopping mid-hike to request specific photographs with things that caught her eye.
It’s wonderful to be able to share and enjoy the beauty of this world with others – the looks on their faces, the excitement in their eyes, and they way that they hold each other in these jawdropping locations. For Kaila and Mike it’s so much more. It’s about marking a chapter in your life and spending time with the one you love in a place that will always be incredibly meaningful.