Saturday, June 25, 2011

Yosemite is About Everything – Water, People, Trees, Mountains

Friday was our last trip into Yosemite National Park, quite likely our last trip there ever. (There is so much to see in other places!) Our three visits have been absolutely splendid. We have mentioned before that we feel watched over from above, with an angel on our shoulder. Our angel did his job in spades today, covering safety on the road, parking spaces showing up when we needed them, a picnic table emptying as we pulled into the area, and even our timing getting into crowded rest rooms!

One of the first things you see coming into Yosemite on Highway 120 is an area scarred by forest fires.

Our targets for this trip were the Wawona Tunnel on Highway 41, the one that ends in the quintessential view of Yosemite Valley, and the valley itself.

Here’s the view just beyond the tunnel.

Left to right, the major features are El Capitan, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Sentinel Rock, Cathedral Rocks, and directly below Cathedral Rocks, Bridalveil Fall.

El Capitan

Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall
And these are just a few of the people we saw!

Down in the valley, we took endless pictures of Yosemite Falls (the Upper Falls is most visible):

The meadows are flooded right now.
But the Lower Falls can be seen from the road.

And here is Bridalveil Fall.

Our friend Nick Russell was here a few weeks ago, and asked the age-old question: Why is Horsetail Falls plural, while Bridalveil Fall is singular? He didn’t know the answer, but we do. It’s because the signs say so!

Although we seldom take any of the short hikes to see features close-up, I couldn’t resist the trail to a Bridalveil Fall vista. Suzy stayed at the car, taking in the beauty all around her, while I fell in line with a horde of people intent on getting the best view of Bridalveil. This is the stream that emanates from the waterfall; like all the other streams in the park, it is at maximum capacity.

Further up the trail, I felt the mist from the crashing water. Yet further up, it became a rainstorm; the paved trail was running with water, my glasses were misting over, my hair was soaked, and my T-shirt was clinging to my body. This is the picture I quickly took before the camera lens became drenched! One must protect one’s camera!

Moving around the valley, we found an area where both Upper Yosemite and Lower Yosemite Falls could be photographed, and we photographed them. Returning to the car, I noticed an artist under a shelter, and I had to get closer. She generously allowed me to take her picture while she was painting.

At another stop, I visited the Yosemite Valley Community Church. In the background of this picture, if you have a great imagination and a little faith, you can see the very top of Half Dome.

Inside the church, I found a young man banging on the grand piano. He wasn’t banging, actually, he was playing very well.

I sat and listened while he moved from a classical piece to RAG! And how well he performed it! When he completed the piece, I applauded and commented that this was surely not what he would play to accompany the Sunday worship service. He allowed that it wasn’t. With his response, I moved forward and chatted briefly with him. He identified the lively piece he had just played as the Make Believe Rag. He told me he was from Washington State (I could tell he was perhaps 17 or 18 years old) and here to enter a piano competition. He had received permission to practice on this fine instrument. I noticed he had no written music in front of him. To my chagrin, I neither got his name nor took his picture, and I apologize to our readers for that elemental oversight.

To close our Yosemite visit, we stopped at the Yosemite Store (we created our own parking space here, using Suzy’s handicapped parking tag) and purchased our souvenir T-shirts (and a Butterfinger ice cream bar for strength).

For the day we drove 69.5 miles, and got back to Thousand Trails in time for Happy Hour. Tomorrow we drive to the old mining town of Coulterville, partially suspended in time, to refresh our understanding of California’s creation in the wake of the 49er Gold Rush! We are enjoying this period in ... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. Wow, you had a fine art kind of day with breathtaking photos, a painting, wonderful music, and the artists themselves.

    Along with the stunning scenery, I thought that was a pretty little church too.


  2. I am enjoying this trip of yours. I'm so glad that Dave and I visited Yosemite in January, because your pictures are even more enjoyable after seeing those scenes in the winter. Your iconic picture near the tunnel is great! All of your pictures are great! Your new camera is up to the task. I like your shirts!

  3. I think an underwater camera might have come in handy today!! Still, lots of great photos. Loved your tour of Yosemite and it makes me long to go back. Travel safe.

  4. great day at Yosemite!..thanks for sharing all the 'falls photos'!

  5. What a fabulous year to see Yosemite with all the snow melt creating the gorgeous waterfalls. And back in time for Happy Hour - great timing.

  6. It's been lovely revisiting Yosemite through your last few blog posts there. Although I've been there many times I never tire of seeing those fabulous mountains and beautiful falls! Nina

  7. How fortunate you are to be where you are.

  8. Beautiful pictures. One of the places we have not been to yet and really need to see.

  9. Really enjoyed your visits to Yosemite! The pictures were super!!

  10. Wow wonderful photos and youguys are looking GREAT too!!! Glad you're having such a good time there. Give Suzy a BIG hug from me and to you too!!!
    Have fun & Travel safe

    I started another blog just for RV Park reviews... It is under construction but come on over and join my followers list.

  11. Just joined your blog. We're full timers too and are heading for Yosemite. We are thinking about taking our 38+ 5th wheel along route 49 from Yosemite to Jackson and wonder if you'd recommend it, or should we try another route? Thanks for your blog.
    Check ours out if you'd like:


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