The drive in from San Francisco felt a little long. We chose the northern route and came into the Yosemite Valley through Sonora and Big Crane Flat (Highway 120). I kept waiting for mountains to appear but I just think the long series of switchbacks that led us into the valley didn’t reveal their elevation as we climbed the foothills. I was half expecting the Rockies or Tetons to appear on the horizon, but the Sierra Nevadas present their elevation much more subtly. I was also saddened by the amount of damage from forest fires we observed on our route into the park. It wasn’t until we passed the Tioga Road and drove through our first tunnel that I caught my breath.