Yes, I know, I already did two posts about this adventure, so the title will confuse people. Good. I can’t explain, over and over in every upcoming post, how the fires burning around Yosemite made it possible for me to be virtually alone in the park for long periods of time. I am just going to tell some stories, and share some pictures.
I took 405 photos on this little adventure, if you include a few before and a few after the park itself. Don’t panic. I deleted a few dozen. HA! I am not going to post all the photos… not right away. I will save some for when I get back to San Diego. I am still at my mom’s house in the Bay Area, and I am planning on having more adventures.
Also, I have divided up the photos into a few sections. Animals, Half Dome,a few other famous landmarks, and so on, and the rest… which I just called ‘mix’. I am trying to decide how to share the pictures. You know me, I don’t like to do it chronologically. I don’t think of adventures as being that linear. I think of them in segments. So maybe I will do a bunch of animal photos in one or two posts. I might do a sunrise segment.
Because the park was so vacant, I drove around the entire valley floor at least 8 times, stopping wherever I wanted, taking every small detour. I got out and walked into the woods, or over a bridge, or into a meadow, as the mood struck me.
Look, a young male deer… or buck. Don’t get excited, I have better photos of deer than that.
I stopped at the same places multiple times. I did it for a reason. Yosemite looks completely different depending of the light. Half Dome, seen there to the right, is not the same in the early morning as it is in the afternoon or evening… as you will see.
So I might do a post with nothing but pictures of one rock formation, as seen over two days.
And I need to explain how I ended up staying overnight in the park, which was not my original intent.
So don’t worry if you start to see pictures of the same thing over and over. There are no repeats. Each was taken in its own context.
I will tie everything together with stories and observations and my usual witty banter.
It will be fine. Look, a white, sandy beach. Bet you didn’t expect to see that. And that beach was all mine, just outside of my front door.
I hope you stick around for this. Like I said, I might stretch it out for weeks or more. I do still have to make fun of tRump, and have more adventures, and do… whatever it is I do on this blog when I am not turning it temporarily into a travel blog.
There is one thing I cannot do, even with all these photos. I can’t make you grasp the sheer immensity of the surrounding rock formations. If you have never been in Yosemite valley, no glossy magazine article, no National Geographic television series, can capture the grandeur, the scale, of those imposing cliffs.
In fact, if anything. photos taken from the valley floor tend to make the cliffs less than overwhelming. See those ‘bushes’ on the ledges up there? Those are towering pine trees.
And when you take photos showing the trees on the valley floor, they always look closer to the cliffs than they really are, so the cliff looks like it is just a few times taller than the trees. This is all very deceptive.
A bear! Yes, I saw a bear, In fact, I saw the same bear, in two different places, two days in a row. Even the park rangers were amazed by this.
Telephotos lenses add to the confusion of size and scale. They make things look smaller too.
I wish I could have taken the time to drive up to the rim of the canyon, and taken some pictures looking down into it. But that is a long drive. And it was smokier up there. Okay, you see the huge trees across the meadow. Those are mostly at least 100-or-more-feet-tall. Then you look behind those, at the base of the cliff. That angled ramp of rockfall from over the millennia. It is called ‘scree’. It is just bits of the cliff face that have eroded off because of wind and rain and ice and tree roots and so on. Once again, that ‘brush’ on that scree pile is made up of huge trees, as big as the ones in the foreground. The rocks in those jumbled piles are often as big as houses. Those trees on the top of that cliff are bigger than the ones down in the valley.
I don’t know if any of that helps you get a mental image of the giant walls that surround this magical place.
But did I mention that I petted horsies?!!!