Obama family concludes historic visit to Yosemite

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The trip ended a historical visit to the Central Valley and to Yosemite National Park as the Obama family spent Father's Day weekend at the park after sending a message on climate change and meeting with local kids. (KFSN)

President Obama waved to crowds of people Sunday as he stepped out of Marine One at Castle Airport.

The trip ended a historical visit to the Central Valley and to Yosemite National Park as the Obama family spent Father's Day weekend at the park after sending a message on climate change and meeting with local kids.

"It's not every day an American President, a standing President comes to a rural valley town," Pete Etchegaray of Fresno exclaimed.

It was a historical moment Donna Pierce will never forget, after she spent all weekend trying to spot the First Family in Yosemite National Park.

"I have stalked this guy since Friday," she said. "And I got a glimpse of him and his family and it was great."

The First Family stepped out the helicopter and walked towards Air Force One after a refreshing weekend in Central California.

They were here to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park System, and Dion Dodney brought his entire family out to see them leave on a day dedicated to him.

"To be able to come see the President on Air Force One on Father's Day with my children while he's with his children, it's pretty special," he said.

It was also special for his son Connor who had the best seat in the house.

"My son loves airplanes and this is like the most famous airplane in the world to see," Dion said.

And after that plane took off with the First Family, Secret Service and the President's staff on board.

Pierce, after four hours in the sun, drove away with one less thing on her bucket list.

"I wasn't sure I was going to live to see but I did I was thrilled to see him safely off the ground and on his way back to Washington DC, she said.

And while on the trip, Obama also spoke about the importance of preserving and protecting Yosemite and all national parks.

Most of the presidents remarks centered on the need for more Americans to get out and enjoy the benefits of nature and protect them.

He said the best way to preserve natural treasures like this is to fight climate change.

"The biggest challenge we are going to face in protecting this place and places like it is climate change," Obama told a crowd on Saturday. "Make no mistake, climate change is no longer a threat it is a reality."

The First Family did some hiking in the backwoods Saturday and they visited Happy Isles Sunday before taking off to Castle Airbase where Air Force One awaited.
Related Topics:
newsmerced countybarack obamayosemite national parkAtwater
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