There were too many photos for one complete Yosemite blog post, so here’s Part II.
Also, my first blog about Yosemite! was chosen today by WordPress from amongst its 65 million bloggers as an Editor’s Choice! (from WordPress: “Your Yosemite photo essay was beautiful — such gorgeous images! And they assume even greater poignancy now that national parks have been closed to the public for days. It’s a great post that a wider audience is bound to enjoy.”) More about what WordPress calls ‘Freshly Pressed’ later. Now that I’ve opened the door to Yosemite, I’m chomping at the bit to get back there (as soon as the government gets itself straightened out and providing the Tioga Pass isn’t closed by snow).
Yosemite, Part II picks up after the sequoia at Mariposa Grove. The next day, we drove to Tuolumne Meadows via Route 120 which borders the Rim Fire. The smoke smell was prevalent. We could see some hotspots that were still smoldering, and saw lots of evidence of ‘back-fires’ where part of the 7500 firefighters had started fires to prevent the Rim Fire from crossing the road. Once we arrived at Tuolumne, thankfully, we had driven past the smoke smell.
Tuolumne Meadows’s altitude is 8,600′, considerably higher than Yosemite Valley’s 4,000′. The area receives 39″ of water a year (in the form of snow). When that snow melts, the meadows become huge lakes. There were stains on the now dry rocks from the tannin in the water that collects in the meadows.
Kevin tests the water from the Tuolumne River to see how cold it is. The water around Soda Springs was frozen that morning in mid-September, the wood stove felt good in the Ranger’s Station.
We encountered 5 or 6 different pack trains on the trail that shadowed the Tuolumne River – proof that we were in the back-country! This stretch of the our hike was on part of the John Muir/Pacific Crest Trail. (hiked it twice now!)
The mule was carrying shovels and rakes, the rest of the train was full of fire-fighting tools.
It’s delightful to find rock creations and cairns along my way, I always have to stop and snap them.
The grass on the other side of the river was my new favorite color (Chartreuse). It was waving in the wind and reflecting on the pool, I could have stayed there all day. Doesn’t it look like an adult fairy garden?
Looking toward the Cathedral Mountains on the left. So beautiful. There is smoke haze in the background from the Rim Fire.
The view from our campsite!
While I was in the Yosemite Valley, I took advantage of an Ansel Adams Gallery Photography Class. We walked through the valley’s meadows. ‘Christine’ has been teaching photography in the valley since 1986 – talk about a dream job! This view is scrumptious! Thanks Christine!
The chapel was built in 1879. It is the oldest (and first) structure built-in Yosemite Valley.
These penstemons were perched on granite rocks that would have required either crawling up them or using ropes. The flowers were beside the top of the trail to Vernal Falls.
This is part of the trail near the summit of Vernal Falls. To the right is a chasm with huge boulders; a pretty scary trail, but very crowded with many foreign visitors.
The falls were barely falling in September! During the spring melt, the spray from the falls hitting the boulders below causes ice on the trail – not a good activity during late spring!
These trees are growing out of granite with the trail going through. It’s amazing (my favorite word about Yosemite) to see where these trees grow!
The Ahwahnee Hotel, a reward for roughing it for four days!
What a wonderful visit!