Sunday, October 15, 2017

Smoky Yosemite

I first went to Yosemite around 1950 or 51 as a very little boy, but it had a profound influence on me.  The last time I was here was about 1972 or 73, Thanksgiving, with snow.  It's when I learned an important lesson.  You can't pour hot water into a glass mug when it's 10˚F.

Since we were driving to San Francisco for a family gathering of sorts, I decided it was time to go to Yosemite again.  Even if there were fires in Northern California.

So here are some shots.  I'd write more, but I'd rather not spend so much time on my computer.

These were our first two views into Yosemite Valley.  
Lots of smoke.  And the remnants of an earlier fire.

Click image to enlarge and focus

Despite the smoke, it's still very humbling to be on the valley floor.  You can't check in for the tents till 4pm  (though they said we could check back between 2 and 3), so we caught the shuttle bus to the trail head for Vernal Falls.  It's only 1.2 miles to the falls (the trail goes on to Nevada Falls), but it's a 1000 foot vertical gain.  The trail starts easy enough.

And eventually we made it to the falls, which were worth the hike.  Even though this is a relative trickle from when the falls are full, the height is awe inspiring.  Toward the end I wasn't sure how my knees were going to react.  It's clear that this sort of work out gets harder as one gets older.

This is a view from the bridge below the falls,  The falls are in the V between the grey rocks and hazy sky.

Here are the steps just before you reach the falls.  I was thinking about my knees as I went up and wondering how the trip back down would go.  It wasn't as bad as I feared, and I was reassured when I saw much younger folks going down almost as cautiously as I did.

There were some signs of fall here and there as we hiked back down - much quicker than we went up.

I think this is the Merced River, below the falls.  We're almost back to the road and the shuttle at this point.  We were able to check in and find our spartan tent - all food has to be out of the cars and in the food locker outside the tent.  Had a short nap and then came to post before dinner.

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