Yosemite

Therefore I decided to visit California for a year or two to see its wonderful flora and the famous Yosemite Valley. All the world was before me and every day was a holiday, so it did not seem important to which one of the world’s wildernesses I first should wander. John Muir

Before I left home, I downloaded a free copy of John Muir’s Yosemite.

After spending an afternoon hiking through the giant sequoia groves in the park yesterday, I came back to the motel room and started reading through some of John Muir’s book. Today, after spending the day exploring more of the park, from Glacial Point to Vernal Falls, I have even more respect and gratitude for the efforts Muir made to create this amazing park for future generations. When it takes a sequoia tree 2000 years to reach its full height, our sense of time and size gets put into a different category.

Everyone is familiar with Yosemite to some degree. Most have heard of El Capitaine, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. I had seen Ansel Adams’ photographs and Bierstadt’s paintings of Yosemite. But being here is a different experience all together. It wasn’t until we drove up 5000 feet or so to reach the park and then down another 3000 feet to the valley floor that I understood that the sheer granite cliffs and waterfalls surround a lush valley meadow. It wasn’t until I stood under one of the many waterfalls that I understood the sheer volume and size of the falls (and this is one of the times when they run the least). It wasn’t until we climbed up to the top of Vernal Falls that I understood how high up they are. Looking down from Glacial Point this morning as one of only a couple of people, was a sort of spiritual experience. Seeing Half Dome, Nevada and Vernal Falls and the valley below was truly awesome. Spotting two climbers at the end of the day, half way up the face of El Capitaine left me breathless. Hiking up to the top of the Mariposa Grove, again, with no other people in sight,amongst the giant trees (and giant pinecones) was an amazing gift. You hear that Yosemite is one of the most visited and crowded parks, but seeing it at the end of the season was truly special.

Tomorrow, we’ll drive through a less familiar part of the park on our way north. Those images will be added to those that I collected today and will share with you here. Enjoy and I hope you can all experince them in person sometime.

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1 Comment

  1. jan bee

     /  October 18, 2011

    It is fantastic to see Yosemite once the summer visitors are gone. The falls should still be nice due to the heavy snowfall this past winter.

    Reply

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