Been There – Yosemite National Park

The release of Been There – Yosemite National Park denotes the further expansion of the BT series beyond cities and countries. Yes, we had amusement parks, but never a National Park, which made me wonder what other parks have Starbucks stores in them? After a quick search, it seems that this is the only one so far, and I think I know what could be the reason for that. It seems that the news about the opening of the store in Yosemite National Park was not well received by many park admirers. They believe that the coming of a multinational corporation to the park is another step towards Yosemite losing its character and becoming just another regular touristic commercial spot. On the other hand, many park guests expressed their support for the change. In Starbucks and the park administration’s defense, they made sure the store is not popping out among other facilities. It is even missing any Starbucks signage outside but still feels like Starbucks inside thanks to design and atmosphere.

Upon looking closer at the mug design, it seems that the creators tried to incorporate as many symbols and points of interest of the park as possible. These include, but not limited to:
– Half Dome (top right corner of the front of the mug) is a well-known rock formation named for its distinct shape: one side has a sheer face, while the other three are round. It rises almost 5,000 ft above the valley and could take 10 to 12 hours to climb (for an average hiker).
– El Capitan a.k.a. El Cap, is a granite monolith that is about 3,000 ft from the bottom to the summit. Its vertical faces are very popular among rock climbers
– Yosemite Valley is a 7.5-mile long valley carved by glaciers. It is covered in pines and surrounded by granite mountains (with Half Dome and El Cap among them). It is considered to be the centerpiece of Yosemite National Park, where most of the guests stay. Easy access by road and multiple hiking trails with nice views allow for a relaxing visit to the park.
– Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in the park with a height of 2,425 feet (in three sections). It is one of the major attractions in the valley, especially at its flow peak (in late spring).
– Bridalveil Fall is another very nice-looking waterfall in the park. It is 620ft tall and offers amazing views. Expect to get wet if you come too close.

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