Saturday, June 18, 2011

What's the Secret Word?

MONDAY, June 13 …

It’s no secret. The ultimate word for Yosemite this season is WATER.

Water: cascading, flowing, roiling, boiling, meandering, coursing, raging, gurgling, spraying, standing, hurtling, falling, splashing. Nearly everywhere you look, there is water.

An April 1 survey showed the snowpack at 178% of average this year. And it shows. The park’s handout newspaper describes Yosemite Falls as “2,400 gallons of water hurtling over a cliff every single second.”
That is nearly unimaginable, yet I suspect this year it’s an even higher number. And that’s only one of the bigger waterfalls. There are also many other major waterfalls such as Bridal Veil—

Cascade Creek –

and scores of little temporary falls all through these mountains as the huge snowpack melts.

Water has been described as “Of All Things Most Yielding,” for its ability to flow around and over and under and not raise much of a fuss. And yet it was water that carved this elegant Yosemite Valley. It was water that created Carlsbad Caverns and all the other major cavern systems. And it is water that is causing such a traffic jam in Yosemite Valley this year. Just like us, thousands and thousands of people are called this season to witness the (dare I use the word?) awesome displays of water. Yosemite is always crowded in the spring, but this is a banner year for water and for crowding!

Spring: what an unusual word. Spring is the season; a spring is a place where water seems to generate itself from the ground; and water springs from cliffs in these mountains.

How was our first visit to Yosemite this year? Well, before we even got into the park, my camera went bad. The self-generated diagnosis was “System Failure – Focus.” I could not resurrect the camera, my Lumix, the one that everyone else was congratulating me for buying.

And it’s been a good camera, except that today it went belly-up. Fortunately we had Suzy’s camera, a nice Kodak that gives her good results. Unfortunately, I don’t know its ins and outs, so I’m basically pointing and shooting.

Secondly, we wanted to go to the store in Yosemite Village (to see if we could buy an inexpensive replacement camera and a few other things). We found a parking space in a lot maybe a quarter mile from the store, unloaded Big Red so Suzy could ride over to the store while I walked. Big Red lasted maybe 50 yards and absolutely quit – flat out suddenly stopped dead. Hey, there are new batteries in there! Hey, we just gave it a complete charge! And it stopped short, never to go again, for today at least.

Suzy on Big Red - file photo
We pushed Big Red back to the car and loaded it up, drove over to the store, luckily found a car pulling out of its parking space, and quickly slipped in. Nope, the only camera they sell is a Fujifilm throwaway, but they did have a couple of things we wanted. Back to the car we went to return to our RV park.
Tomorrow we have friends driving in to spend a couple of days with us, so we won’t be heading back to Yosemite until at least Thursday, Maybe by then we’ll have found some answers.

More of our Yosemite pictures (at least those taken so far) can be found at 2001 Yosemite.

More, we hope much more, will be available next time, as we rejoice in … Our Life on Wheels!


  1. There's only word that describes Yosemite and it's the word AWESOME! Water or no water, Yosemite is always worth visiting, but especially in the spring when there's lots of water.

  2. The camera! Big Red! What a pain! Yet, being in Yosemite probably eased the sting...

    Man, I love that place. Last time we were there (Ocrober 2010) it rained for two days with quite a bit of minor flooding. Beautiful anyway, as the falls - usually dry in late autumn - were roaring. Awesome is indeed the word.

  3. beautiful shots of the cascading water!!..too bad about your camera though!

  4. We were at Yosemite about ten years ago for a few days and enjoyed it so very much. It looks like the water is really putting on a show. I'm not sure I would appreciate the crowds though.

  5. If that was Suzy's Kodak you used for the photos in Yosemite they turned out pretty darned good!!

    Yours is the second of those Panasonic Lumix models that have crashed from what I've heard. Rod Ivers had one that self-destructed on him as well. Good info to know. Maybe Nikon and Canon are the way to go on these things.

    Hope you get Suzy's ride fixed up and ready for action soon.

  6. I hope you go back to Yosemite before you come to the Bay Area. We were there last year when there was a lot of water and it was spectactular! Poor Big Red...

  7. Reminds me of my first day in Yellowstone last summer when my camera died. An awful feeling. :(

  8. Some lovely Yosemite shots! It's wonderful to see the waterfalls there (takes me back). Sorry to hear about your camera issues...If you're looking for a really good point and shoot I can recommend the Canon S95...that's what I use as my "walk around" camera. Not cheap, but very good. Nina

  9. I think your Lumix problem is the third one I have heard about. I actually went to the Best Buy store in Sierra Vista this past winter with the intention of buying a Panasonic Lumix but the manager talked me into buying a Canon Powershot instead. Too bad that abundance of water all around couldn't somehow be diverted to arid southern Arizona right about now.


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