We left cold, foggy Monterey (64 degrees) on Saturday morning and headed for hot (95 degrees) Mariposa, a small town about 50 miles outside of Yosemite, where we are parked at the Mariposa Fair Grounds. It would have been nice to be closer to the park but there is nothing between here and the park entrance, so it will take an hour to get to Yosemite. But that’s OK, as we only plan to spend a day or two in the park. Larry and Mary Anne Weinberg continue to travel with us and are parked right next door. While we do our daytime touring separately, it’s great to have someone to share experiences and go out to eat with after a long day.
On Sunday we were up and on the road early to take full advantage of our trip to Yosemite. After passing through the entrance gate, we were greeted by a neat rock underpass.
Our first stop was to view Bridal Falls. Now, September is not the best time to view waterfalls in Yosemite, as many of them are dry and the rest have a limited flow of water. In the pictures below the one on the left was “borrowed” from the Internet, while the one on the right is ours. We decided that in September it should be called Bridal Mist!
At Bridal Falls we made a turn south and drove thirty miles up a winding road headed for Glacier Point, one of the most photographed views in the world. Along the way we stopped a number of times to take in different views. The first stop was at Tunnel View, a point just before the road heads through a long tunnel.
The next really good viewing point is Washburn Point, where you get more great views of Yosemite Valley.
On the other side of Half Dome (pictured above) there is a hiking trail. The last part of the hike consists of a trail with a wire railing you hold on to. The picture below (taken off the Internet) shows that trail, though we couldn’t see it from our vantage point. The hike takes two days (one day up, an overnight camp, and one day down).
Look at the zoomed picture below (we took this one). See anyone one the top? ? ? ?
Below is the same picture at full zoom. See the small dots on top? Those are hikers ! ! !
A few miles drive from Washburn Point is the end of the road: Glacier Point. This is where most of the classic pictures are taken of Yosemite Valley.
On Glacier Point, looking the opposite direction from the picture above, you see the famous Yosemite Falls. So you don’t see any falls in the picture below? That’s what happens when you visit in mid-September!
Below is a picture someone took from the same vantage point, only it must have been earlier in the year as you can now see the falls! Note the rock sticking out on the left of both of these pictures. It is the famous Overhanging Rock.
Today the park service has it blocked off , so wackos who want to climb out for a Kodak Moment don’t fall to their death, but in earlier times it was the scene of some interesting pictures. Below is a picture that we saw in a restaurant in Mariposa and is suppose to be the first car to get up to Glacier Point.
Below is a very famous (if you like American History) picture of President Roosevelt and conservationist John Muir, during a visit to Glacier Point in 1903. Yosemite Falls has plenty of water, so they must not have visited in September.
No matter where you are in the world, you can always count on a phone conversation, even in the middle of Yosemite National Park.
Back on the valley floor we were treated to some more beautiful views.
The sun changes the views and the colors of the rocks as it moves toward evening.
Above is a picture of Sentinel Rock. In 2011 CBS’s 60 Minutes did a segment on pro climber and soloist Alex Honnold. Honnold is what is known as a big wall free solo climber, meaning that he climbs up sheer rock faces without the aid of a rope. During the 60 Minutes segment he is seen climbing up the face of Sentinel Rock, the first (and probably the only) climber to ascent the face without the aid of any climbing device (i.e. a rope). Check out the link below to watch this awesome climb!
He has also climbed the face of Half Dome, a feat which landed him on the cover of National Geographic.
The tent cabins below have been in the news a bit lately. It is believed that the hantavirus outbreak this summer which infected eight people, killing three of them, originated in these cabins from mice who nested between the canvas and the wood frame. Apparently the threat of infection doesn’t bother many people, as the cabins seemed to have a high rate of occupancy. Ninety-one of the cabins remain closed, but over four hundred are still open.
Yosemite is not known for its wildlife like Yellowstone is, but we did see a number of mule deer having dinner in fields in the valley. Note the fawn sitting in front of the doe below.
The economic force of supply and demand is apparent on the road from Yosemite back to Mariposa as there is only one place to buy gas.
After we take a day off from playing tourist on Monday we will continue our journey south on Tuesday as we head for Bakersfield. More on that later . . .