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.
|Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall|
Down in the valley, we took endless pictures of Yosemite Falls (the Upper Falls is most visible):
|The meadows are flooded right now.|
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.
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!